Downing plans London scheme

Liverpool-based property group Downing has announced plans for its first development in the capital; a 32-storey, mixed-use scheme in Vauxhall.

The project, designed by architects Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios, will feature 580 student bedrooms with a leisure centre and swimming pool at lower ground level.

Downing's proposals will aim to regenerate a derelict site on South Lambeth Road, which is identified in the London Plan and Vauxhall Nine Elms Business Opportunity Area as being suitable for tall buildings. Downing anticipates submitting a planning application this autumn, following a public consultation.

Paul Houghton, development director at Downing, said: "Over the past two decades Downing has established a track record of very successful student developments in major UK student centres. We have been looking for the right site to bring the Downing brand to London for some time. Demand for high quality, purpose-built student accommodation far outstrips supply in the capital and we are very pleased to be bringing forward these proposals.

"The site is currently underused and could offer so much more to the area. Our proposals will utilise it to its full potential and provide a scheme that will help the local economy and revitalise the street-scene along South Lambeth Road."

A 20-metre swimming pool will be visible from the street behind a glazed frontage to South Lambeth Road, while a 10,000 sq ft leisure centre will be open to the public. The plans also include large internal and external amenity space for students, including a 4,000 sq ft roof terrace.

The property group, founded by George Downing, is currently progressing work on converting the former Scandinavian hotel on the corner of Duke and Nelson streets in Liverpool, to provide a new 180-bedroom hotel, bar and restaurant.

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