Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Garden at New Covent Garden Market


PRE-APPLICATION CONSULTATION GETS UNDERWAY - Press release from Covent Garden Market Authority:

· Covent Garden Market Authority leading the regeneration of 57 acre site, a core part of the Vauxhall / Nine Elms / Battersea Opportunity Area

· Planning application to be submitted to Wandsworth Council this Summer

· Market plans will deliver a modern new market and new Centre for food and flowers (the Garden Heart)

· Development plans for 2,500 new homes alongside shops, cafes, restaurants and commercial space

· Major public open spaces proposed to begin and end the ‘linear park’ to run across the whole opportunity area

Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA) has today launched its third pre-application public exhibition for its regeneration of The Garden at New Covent Garden Market, displaying designs prepared by Foster + Partners and Neil Tomlinson Architects for the 57 acre central London site.

Following the positive response received to the first public exhibitions held in November 2009 and February 2010, CGMA has undertaken further technical studies, detailed consultation with tenants and work with neighbouring landowners as well as with planners from the GLA and Wandsworth Council.

The plans on display today show a detailed layout for the entire site, with a modern new market providing increased trading space built onto a single site and four development plots, the most significant of which is the Northern Site next to Vauxhall interchange where the current flower market is located.

Speaking about the public consultation, Baroness Brenda Dean, Chairman of Covent Garden Market Authority said:

“We are delighted to be presenting our updated plans today which will provide the beating heart for Nine Elms and create a new city quarter, centred around a magnificent new park.

“For too long New Covent Garden Market has lacked investment in its facilities and these plans will allow us to create a modern new market for our traders and their customers alike and hugely strengthen London’s food supply.

“We also have the capacity to turn our vision into reality, with the procurement process for a private development partner well underway and our planning application to be submitted to Wandsworth Council later this year.”

Jan Lloyd, Chief Executive of Covent Garden Market Authority said:

“Our priority has always been the delivery of a new market for our tenants, but our vision is much broader than this.

“The Garden at New Covent Garden Market will become a new centre for food and flowers in London. Alongside the Market itself we are looking to encourage the provision of cafes, restaurants, education facilities, training rooms, business support initiatives and possibly a public market as well.

“We will help open up the site to the local community, and the Northern Site will act as the gateway to the wider Nine Elms area and the start of a magnificent new London Park throughout the area.

“I would encourage people to take the opportunity to engage with our plans and let us have their views.”

The plans for The Garden at New Covent Garden Market consolidate all market activities onto the main market site, in a phased redevelopment which aims to move tenants only once. It will deliver five new buildings for wholesale and catering distributors, alongside a dedicated new flower market building, relocated from its current location at the Northern Site.

By redeveloping – rather than refurbishing the existing 1970’s buildings – a much more efficient site layout can be achieved with flexible trading units created taking into account practical issue like standard pallet sizes, loading, unloading, utilities, food hygiene standards, storage and cooling. Tenants will be able to chose their own fit out requirements from a catalogue of interchangeable components.

The Garden Heart will be a new building, closest to Vauxhall interchange, as a new Centre for new food and flowers in London. This will be a hub of activity outside of the Market but provide a base for a host of facilities supporting the Market and be open to the public with exhibition space, cafes and possibly a public market.

Development plots are freed up by these plans and the money raised by CGMA releasing this land will be used to deliver the new market and facilities. CGMA is therefore currently in middle of an OJEU procurement process to select a private development partner to deliver the works in return for the surplus land. The initial short list of six parties will be reduced down to two or three within the coming weeks, with a selected partner identified later this year. This process is being led by Drivers Jonas Deloitte on behalf of CGMA.

The development plans at the Northern site will include 1,750 new homes arranged around a new park which will run throughout the site, with seating areas, play areas and other amenities. This will act as the start of the new ‘linear park’ for the area connecting Vauxhall at one end to the Entrance Site and Battersea Power Station at the other, linking with the proposed US Embassy public plaza along the way.

Around the parkland will be six new residential buildings ranging from 8-15 storeys, with three buildings of between 25-46 storeys to the East of the site, where planning policy specifically supports taller buildings. The tallest of these will include a hotel and service apartments on the lower floors with residential apartments above.

Alongside new shops, cafes and restaurants, a new supermarket is also proposed with access off Wandsworth Road offering more choice for local people and to support the growing population in this area. Two new junctions will help traffic move into and out of the site, linking to both Nine Elms Lane and Wandsworth Road.

Three smaller development plots are also proposed.

· Along Thessaly Road – the South-Western boundary of the Market – there are currently homes on only side of the street, with a large brick wall on the other side. CGMA proposes to move this market boundary further back from the road, removing the current brick wall and building around 200 new apartments built around communal gardens and play spaces.

· At the College site, at the South Eastern end and opposite Lambeth College, around 100 new apartments are proposed arranged in four main blocks with improved pedestrian access from Wandsworth Road.

· At the current entrance to the Market along Nine Elms Lane, a further 450 homes are proposed arranged in three new buildings ranging from 9 - 11 storeys, including one new landmark 19 storey building to act as a marker for the site opposite Battersea Power Station. These would also be located at the Western end of the new linear park.