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Regeneration of New Covent Garden Market

Architects BDP and SOM, working with VINCI St. Modwen (VSM) and its partner Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA) have submitted their Planning Application for the 57 acre regeneration of the New Covent Garden Market site in Vauxhall/Nine Elms, Central London.

This landmark, multi-phased project is the single largest redevelopment scheme within the proposed regeneration of Nine Elms on the South Bank, one of London’s key opportunity areas for sustainable mixed-use development. It will secure the future of New Covent Garden Market, the UK’s largest fruit, vegetable and flower market, through the delivery of new 21st century facilities.  The proposal also strategically delivers a large quantum of new homes to help meet London’s future housing targets.

The new design consolidates the market south of the Vauxhall railway viaduct, releasing 20 acres of surplus land, which will be transformed into a high quality residential-led mixed-use neighbourhood benefitting from panoramic city and riverside views and comprising approximately 3,000 new homes, 135,000 sq ft of new office space and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and new community facilities, including shops, cafes and restaurants.

The designs build on the planning permission already secured by CGMA in 2012, now refined with further input and collaboration between CGMA and their development partner, VSM. The proposals will provide over 500,000 sq ft of modern market facilities consolidated on one site for the 200 tenant businesses which employ over 2,500 people. This will sit alongside a new Food Quarter, part of the new market, known as The Garden at New Covent Garden Market.

The entire scheme will be set alongside a new linear park for the area alongside the river stretching from Vauxhall to Battersea Power Station and engaging the future American and Netherlands Embassies.  This major Opportunity Area will also benefit from the extension of the Northern Line and the opening of two new tube stations, connecting people living and working in Nine Elms to wider areas in London and beyond.  The future market as well as each of the Surplus Land Sites will be within five minutes’ walk of a tube station.

Working together, BDP and SOM have delivered a seamless masterplan that will increase the permeability and connectivity of the surrounding district with the new Linear Park and the River Thames beyond.  Following the agreed masterplan, BDP has developed the detailed design of the future market facility, while SOM has developed hybrid planning submission materials for the surplus land including parameter plans and a robust design code for future residential-led development, which will help to fund the redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market.  In particular, the two firms have collaborated closely to establish a new public face to the wholesale market, and a vision for a new Food Quarter for London, including outdoor market space, retail, restaurants and cafes integrated within future private development adjacent to The Garden.

Subject to receipt of planning permission, development work on the new market will commence in 2015.

Dan Smyth, Director at BDP, commented:
“It’s really exciting to be involved in such a significant regeneration project with VSM and CGMA, and to continue to grow BDP’s expertise in wholesale market design. Our proposals for ‘The Garden’ raise the bar for wholesale market renewal in an urban setting, and celebrates both Market scale and Market pride. It provides a self-funded, flexible and future-proofed market for 200 businesses, an additional new indoor flower market and a lively new food quarter.”

SOM London’s City Design Practice Director Dan Ringelstein commented:
“We could not be more pleased professionally to support CGMA and VSM in delivering on ‘the final piece’ of the Nine Elms on the South Bank vision to create a much-improved Market integrated into an emerging and exciting new district for London.  Our vision for the surplus land integrates future residential-led mixed-use development into the ever-changing local area, creating a gateway into the linear park, and providing a significant percentage of the district’s future open space network.  The project also provides an exemplar for comfort of living and community amenity integrated within high density urban regeneration.”

Bill Oliver, Chief Executive of St Modwen, commented:
“This latest milestone is a hugely important step forward for this vital and complex regeneration project which will act as the gateway to the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea Opportunity Area. Over the last 12 months, VSM has worked closely with CGMA and the market community, as well as key stakeholders, to refine these plans and present a world class development that will create jobs, attract investment and transform this important part of Nine Elms.

“We are now looking forward to working alongside Wandsworth Council to secure planning approval and, with CGMA, to transform the area into a lively and exciting new quarter for London.”

Pam Alexander, Chairman of CGMA, said:
“New Covent Garden Market is of huge importance to London and the wider UK economy as well as being the largest employer in Wandsworth, outside the Local Authority. I am delighted that in the 40th anniversary of the move to Nine Elms we are embarking on this significant chapter in the Market’s 800 year old history. 

“Since the launch of our plans for the redevelopment of NCGM, we have worked closely with our key stakeholders, our tenants, as well as with the wider community to create a new market fit for the 21st century and to ensure not only the Market’s future but its contribution to London’s hospitality sector and the national horticultural trade for years to come, and to open up a new food quarter for London.”