Controversial plans to build student accommodation beside a Buddhist centre in Bermondsey have gained hundreds of objections. 

Student Urban Living Bermondsey and Bermondsey Spa Ltd have submitted a planning application to build 185 student rooms in Spa Road.  

The proposals are due before a Southwark planning committee next week.

The building would be between four and six storeys – the developers originally proposed seven but reduced the height after consulation.  

According to the planning statement: “The proposal is to demolish the existing buildings on the site and develop a new student accommodation scheme consisting of 185 studio bedrooms and associated amenity space. 

“The site faces onto Spa Road and the public park Bermondsey Spa Gardens. Adjacent to the site to the east is the Buddhist Centre, a grade II listed building.  

“The site lies within five miles of six universities, including City University London, University College London, University of Greenwich, Goldsmith’s University, Camberwell College of Art and London South Bank University.” 

The application has gained 373 objections and five comments of support.  

People objected to the height and general size of the building, were concerned about loss of privacy and light, added pressure on transport, and housing going to short-term students rather than permanent residents.  

There were also concerns raised about the accommodation being too close to the Kagyu Samye Dzong Tibetan Buddhist Centre. 

Those supporting the plans backed new housing being built. 

Responding to height concerns and proximity to the Buddhist centre, the developers said: “Following the public exhibition, the project team reviewed the feedback from local residents and further reduced the proposed height of the building by one full storey.  

“In addition on its upper floor the building has been set back to further increase the separation from the adjacent Buddhist centre.  

“The scheme has also been designed so that, facing Spa Road, the height of the proposed new building is equal to the height of neighbouring buildings.  

“From the outset of the design process, the proposed redevelopment was designed to respect the context of the surrounding area.” 

The application will be considered by a planning committee on Tuesday, March 3.