We were invited to take a look around the old Vauxhall and Southwark Water Company buildings which are just up the road a bit from us. Having walked past those magnificent buildings every day for the last eight years, we were keen.
The Riverdale and Morelands buildings were auctioned off by Thames Water a couple of years ago (I think). And I’ve been wondering what was going to happen with them since. The new owners Blackbottle had an open day yesterday. It turns out that if all goes according to plan, the buildings will become a bio-tech research hub. And if the information we received yesterday is all above board, I think it’s going to be great.
I think some of the residents that will overlook the works and eventual access route to the buildings have understandable concerns about security, noise, light, and general inconvenience. And this is not a neck of the woods that could really handle much more in the way of traffic. But the plans for the renovations look amazing. And the mission of the hub – to look for new cures, researching the DNA of diseases apparently – is a sound one.
I hope it works out well, with residents’ concerns satisfied well. It’s not easy to find out much about Blackbottle or its plans – at least not in a cursory Google search. There’s not much on the website. I haven’t felt the need to dig through the planning application – yet!
There is a contingent in my family that loves the past. My sister resides in a living museum, firmly rooted in the steam era. My other half is a history graduate and will be a history teacher. It seems to have rubbed off a bit on me. I loved looking around the buildings, feeling a bit anorak-y. And I’m pleased that the prospect for the development seems so positive.