Media & Insights

Landsec secures planning permission for Timber Square, its proposed net zero carbon office development in Lavington Street, SE1

2 December 2020

Landsec has secured planning permission for Timber Square, its proposed 370,000 sq ft office development in Lavington Street, SE1. 

Timber Square will be a net zero carbon scheme, a decade ahead of the UK Green Building Council’s target for all new developments to be net zero carbon. 

Landsec will meet its ambitious sustainability targets by, among other measures, retaining a quarter of the existing building and using natural and recycled materials. Timber Square aims to be the largest commercial development in the UK to use cross-laminated timber (CLT). 

The scheme has been designed by industry-leading pioneers of sustainability, Bennetts Associates, who are the first and only architectural practice to have approved science-based targets. In 2016, Landsec became the first commercial real estate company globally to have its carbon emission target approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, which links targets with the science of climate change. 

Landsec has appointed Laing O’Rourke on a pre-construction services agreement. Together Landsec and Laing O’Rourke expect to explore sustainable Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) such as off-site prefabrication. 

When it completes in early 2024, Timber Square will comprise two main buildings – The Ink Building and The Print Building – featuring 17 terraces and linked by landscaped public realm. Set on the site of a former timber storage yard and latterly a printworks, the scheme aims to honour SE1’s rich industrial heritage. Landsec will ringfence 10% of the new space created as affordable workspace for SMEs and will prioritise local businesses when leasing the retail space at ground floor. 

The site forms part of Landsec’s wider development pipeline in the Bankside submarket, which includes The Forge, on Sumner Street, and Red Lion Court. 

David Heaford, Managing Director, Development at Landsec said: 

“We’re delighted to receive confirmation of planning permission for Timber Square, a scheme which exemplifies our commitment to creating sustainable and healthy spaces for our customers. Timber Square combines innovative construction techniques with ethical materials and an aspirational design, making it perfect for businesses who want to visibly live and breathe their own commitment to sustainability. 

“In a future where the office is one part of a wider ecosystem of physical and digital workspaces, ensuring a seamless experience for clients and employees will be more important than ever. Timber Square has the resilient infrastructure to allow that, meaning our customers are free to focus on expressing their brand and culture through their space and using their office to drive collaboration, learning and innovation.”

Peter Fisher, Director at Bennetts Associates said: 

“The Timber Square scheme is both ambitious and challenging, and a fitting project to realise Landsec’s net zero carbon plans. Securing planning permission is a significant milestone not just for Timber Square, but for the wider property industry. The project has the potential to be a game changer regarding operational and embodied carbon impacts, as well as wellbeing. We hope to prove what’s possible in sustainable development and set a new standard of what businesses expect of their offices.”

Timber Square is part of the Building a Better Future series produced by BBC StoryWorks – watch our short documentary about the scheme on