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Council moves to protect Victorian mineral water bottling works

London SE1 website team

A former mineral water and ginger beer bottling works just off the Old Kent Road has been protected by Southwark Council from the risk of demolition.

Council moves to protect Victorian mineral water bottling works

Southwark Council's planning committee last week resolved to add the buildings at 12 Ossory Road SE1 – near the Asda superstore on the Old Kent Road – to the Glengall Road conservation area.

Built in 1895 for J Mills & Sons, the building is currently on the market, touted as redevelopment opportunity.

One of its most recent occupiers was the Christ Embassy church which used the building without planning permission.

Now that the building is within the boundaries of the conservation area, it cannot be demolished without the council's explicit consent.

The building is described by planning officers as "a legible reminder of the industries that developed in the hinterland of the Grand Surrey Canal".

The officers' report added: "The earliest part of this complex of buildings dates from 1895, with the main part of the former factory completed by 1914. It was also extended again post WWII. The factory is built from characteristic London yellow stock brick, with polished brick quoins, natural slate roof and large prominent gable to the east elevation, facing a cobbled yard and entrance from Ossory Road."

The advice to councillors continued: "Officers' understanding of the current marketing of this building leads us to conclude that it is at risk of demolition if not given immediate protection through the planning system.

"The loss of this currently undesignated heritage asset would be of detriment to the Old Kent Road Area, which over time has lost the vast majority of its industrial heritage. It is considered important to protect and retain the remaining traces of this industrial heritage wherever possible."

Glass and stoneware ginger beer bottles bearing the name J Mills and Son and the Ossory Road address regularly appear for sale on eBay and other sites.

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