Community Hub

Old Kent Road 

Welcome to our Community Hub to display an overview of our proposals for the former Gasworks site on the Old Kent Road.

We look forward to receiving your feedback and sharing further details throughout the process.


The Site

The development site is the South Metropolitan Gas Company (SGN) Southwark Gasworks at 709 Old Kent Road, which lies within the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan. This is an area designated by the Mayor of London, which focuses on the delivery of housing, employment, open space, and community facilities.

The site was originally home to three gasholders and only Gasholder Number 13 remains. It is a grade II listed structure, and the frame will be retained, restored, and incorporated into the emerging development proposals.

To the Northwest of the site are our previously approved One Old Kent Road and Ruby Triangle schemes. To the east of the site lies the Veolia recycling centre. 

The Gasworks Site with the draft LBS Area Action Plan

The site within the wider local context

The current Gasholder and site

Site Opportunities & Constraints

The proposals seek to retain the site’s industrial heritage, whilst opening the Listed Gasholder to the public. The new development will have to negotiate existing gas and water pipes. The wider site and the Gasholder will have to be decontaminated after many years of industrial use. The Gasholder itself presents a number of challenges, and as it stands there are risks to its current integrity.

Unique Opportunity Areas Include:

  • Gasholder No.13 as an Old Kent Road identity.
  • The Livesey Conservation Area setting.
  • Balancing the industrial heritage with the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan (AAP) new public park vision.
  • Remediating and re-using the site instead of containment and leaving it empty.
  • Former Livesey Museum (commissioned by George Livesey in 1890 as a library for the workers of the local Gasworks).

Unique Constraints Include:

  • The contamination from previous heavy industrial use.
  • Navigating the live gas pipelines through the site.
  • The varied ownerships across the area allocated as the park in the AAP.
  • Current levels inhibiting access to the full site.

Livesey Conservation Area 

Treasure House (Former Livesey Museum for Children)

Existing layout of underground pipe network

The Listed Gasholder No.13

Historic image of South Metropolitan Gasworks, Old Kent Road

Historic Map of the Site

Gasworks from Surrey Canal

The site formed part of the extensive South Metropolitan Gas Company which was established in the 1830s and extended across the land from the Surrey Canal to the north to Old Kent Road to the south. The Gasworks grew under the pioneering engineer GeorgeLivesey to 36 acres containing 8 gasholders, a cricket ground, cycle track and allotments. The Gasworks ceased production in 1953 and the buildings were gradually replaced by new developments. The Grade II Listed gasholder is the only remaining gasholder on the site.

Current Gasholder

The Listed Gasholder No. 13 is the most prominent remaining feature of the South Metropolitan Gas Company and is a landmark for the wider area. It is listed at Grade II for the following due to its historic interest as the world’s largest gasholder when built, it was a pioneering structure and a highly significant achievement in civil engineering. It proved to be a greatly influential examplethat was emulated throughout the country. The gasholder is 66.5m diameter and 50m in height. Currently due to safety reasons and the contamination present on this previously heavy industrial land, the Gasholder is inaccessible to local residents with metal fences andsecurity personnel.These proposals seek to sensitively renovate the existing Gasholder and convert the land within and around into high quality accessible public space for the community.

New Park Vision


Active Leisure is a key principle within our Livesey Park proposal, focusing on physical activity and play/exercise, set within a park landscape.

  • We seek to achieve this through:
    Larger destination play pieces using level changes, landforms and the Gasholder structure within the site.
  • Smaller scale sports amenity such as table tennis, basketball and external gym equipment.
  • Enhancement of the setting of the retained listed Gasholder Structure
  • Enhancement of the setting through landscape treatment, access/levels, lighting and material palette
  • Promoting heritage and history through landscape design and interpretation
  • Enhancement of urban ecology and biodiversity
  • Provision of opportunities to interact with nature
  • Implementation of a planting strategy that is bio-diverse and of benefit to wildlife, as well as for the enjoyment of visitors

Emerging landscape masterplan

  1. Old Kent Road Public Realm Enhancements
  2. Public Realm Enhancements
  3. Proposed Lido
  4. Livesey Park Gasholder Play Area
  5. Dense Green Buffer to Site Boundary
  6. Biodiverse Wildflower Meadow planting to site wide landscape
  7. Arrival ornamental planting to park entrance
  8. Landscape podium with associated play space and communal open space
  9. Avanton residential development
  10. LBS residential development


Potential for a Lido or natural swimming pool area with integrated cafe pavilion and changing shower facilities is at the core of our design due to its rare and unique experience in London.

  • Option 01: The Lido or natural pool border at the furthest extent of the park,maximising the
    space available.
  • Option 02: The Lido or natural pool within the confines of Avanton ownership boundary

Option 1 

Option 2

Gasholder Play

The Old Kent Road Gasworks project is a unique opportunity to celebrate the industrial heritage of this landmark site by restoring the Gasholder, decontaminating the land and providing a new Park, a new connection with the Old Kent Road, high quality play space for the children of the local community, a publicly accessible lido for the people of the Southwark, and much needed high-quality housing for local people.

The proposals for the Gasholder Structure within the heart of Livesey Park will be focused around a playable landscape destination. By removing the surrounding platform to the Gasholder Structure, we can expose the concrete structure and create openings to the Gasholder for level access. This would provide opportunity for the public to access and experience being within the gasholder structure. Utilising the Gasholder Structure as a play space will allow us to congregate almost the entire play provisions within one area and create an exciting destination for both residents and the wider public. 

Elevated View of the Gasholder

Gasholder Walkway

Gasholder Experience

Gasholder Approach

Gasholder Central Green

Building Proposals: Massing & Form

Massing is arranged in a carefully considered cluster that builds to the north from Old Kent Road.

Massing is stepped in plan to disaggregate form with the elements and dropped/lifted to provide articulation on the skyline.

A taller building cluster and new park provide a destination from the new Bakerloo Line station.

The buildings are arranged north / south to avoid any single aspect north facing units.
The courtyard facing facades are angled to open in both directions to improve daylight and aspect and reduce overlooking. The Building mass is broken with an informal internal facade adding playfulness with orientiation and balcony design.

Building mass grows from Gasholder – a set made of 4 elements in 2 pairs with stepped + lifting heights

1. Base case

2. Breaking down each building into two volumes to reduce the mass and emphasise the verticality and elegance

3. Stepping the buildings in height to divide the mass  and articulate the skyline

4. Colour the facade to correspond with the
gradation of colours of the original gasholder tank

Building Proposals: Residential Quality

Typical Residential Floor Plan

New High Quality Homes

  • 650-700 new high quality homes
  • Over 60% of homes to be family units with 2 or more bedrooms
  • Homes predominately dual aspect offering improved ventilation and outlook
  • All social rent units are dual aspect
  • There are no single aspect north facing units
  • Each apartment has their own external balcony or terrace space
  • All residents have access to two escape stairs in the event of an emergency
  • Careful consideration given to the design of reducing risk of overheating and improving ventilation to all homes.

New High Quality Facilities to Support Community Growth

  • All residents have access to the shared podium level terrace which incorporates play space for young children – high quality play space for older children is incorporated into the park
  • All residents have access to a shared roof top terrace with incredible views
  • All residents have access to a community room at first floor level which opens onto the podium
  • All residents access their buildings through high quality entrance foyer at ground floor level
  • No more than 6 units per core, each with dedicated stair, lifts and amenity spaces, encouraging sense of community across the development
  • All residents have access to dedicated cycle storage which is designed to encourage and support cycle use
  • The development is car free improving air quality with 3% blue badge parking for residents with accessibility needs

New High Quality Public Realm

  • Colonnade to ground floor to define public uses and emphasise quality of materials
  • Variety of ground floor uses including commercial to animate the street and park frontage
  • Exemplary public benefit through provision of high quality public realm, new unique park and swimming facilities accessible to the local community

Building Proposals: Scale, Materials & Details

The design of the buildings has considered much of the surrounding context to ensure high quality, site specific and innovative sustainable housing.

The design has been guided by:

  1. A strong brick building base to complement the context.
  2. An analysis of the frame and taking inspiration from it.
  3. A contextualisation and ordering of the frame.
  4. An incorporation of bay composition within the frame.
  5. A façade that adapts to the Orientation to reduce overheating.
  6. Balconies that adapt to the orientation.
  7. The designing of the homes from the inside out, to prioritise the quality.
  8. Reusing the existing gasholder tank to reduce embodied carbon.
  9. An optimisation of the structural frame to reduce embodied carbon.
  10. A colour palette study using Livesey Heritage as a generator

Colour palette study using Livesey Heritage from the Treasure House (Former Livesey Museum for Children)







Access & Servicing

SA 3.4 – Sub Area 2 Servicing and Road Network Plan from the AAP Dec 2020

The AAP proposes a new service road, Livesey Street, connecting Ruby Street to Verney Road. This will provide access to the planned standalone industrial units to the south of Verney Road and on the old gas works site, as well as the mixed use developments on the Gasworks.

Proposed Ground Floor Plan

Vehicular access to the site will be via the new Livesey Street proposed within the AAP. Servicing will be focused to the north west corner thus opening up the remaining façades for active frontages facing the park and public realm. Each building will have its own entrance foyer which will animate the ground floor. High quality public realm is proposed adjacent to the building to all sides and connects the building to the wider park.


1.  Energy Strategy

Connection to local community heat and power system: SELCHP, to take advantage of future district wide green energy initiatives. Photovoltaic panels to all available roofs to generate renewable energy.

2.  Water Strategy

Aspirations to incorporate
sustainable urban drainage to work across the building and park including green roofs
providing ecological benefits and reduce rainwater run off

3.  Water Management

Water efficient fixtures and fittings will be selected to reduce water and energy usage

4.  Encourage Active Lifestyle

Public park that is open to all providing a range of leisure facilities promoting an active lifestyle including park space, cycling, play space and a community lido

5. Blurring landscape & building

Green walls to colonnade and to connect to the podium providing habitats, biodiversity, solar shading and promotes the well-being of users

6.  Natural Ventilation

Aim to maximise passive ventilation with large opening areas and cross ventilation to improve user comfort and reduce energy usage for mechanical cooling

7.  Renewable energy

Car free development with parking for blue badge holders only. Usable and inviting cycle storage to encourage residents and visitors to cycle

8.  Brownfield Site

Industrial site decontaminated and converted to a new park providing habitats for biodiversity, trees for wind shielding and cleaner air thus reducing the heat island effect

About Us

Avanton is a progressive London property development company driven by an occupier led design approach. Focusing on placemaking, quality and community, Avanton builds homes and creates lived in spaces in some of London’s prime locations. Led by a team with extensive experience across the sector in land, sales and development, Avanton leads with an entrepreneurial mindset to create long lasting locations built by people for people.

Committed to Old Kent Road

Ruby Triangle

One The Kent



Public consultation period


Target application submission November 2022


Target determination


Have Your Say

Thank you for viewing our proposals for the new development. We appreciate you taking the time to visit our community hub and would be grateful if you could complete this feedback form.