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Swan Street/Harper Road redevelopment

Construction work and complaints

In September 2017 the work on the Swan Street/Harper Road development has moved from the demolition to the construction phase run by Galliard Construction.

TNRA has received several complaints regarding the construction site from nearby residents about noise, traffic and damage to property. We are monitoring Galliard's compliance with relevant legislation.

Construction and demolition work can only be carried out within specified hours or with permission from the Council and is considered a nuisance outside these hours: Mon to Fri - 8am to 6pm, Sat - 9am to 2pm.  When the contractor works outside these hours, please tell Southwark Council on 020 7525 5777 or online at https://forms.southwark.gov.uk/ShowForm.asp?fm_fid=786&np=1, so they have a record.

We know of occasions when Galliard has failed to comply with its own Construction Environmental Management Plan regarding the movement of construction traffic. Again, please notify these incidents to Joanna Lesak at Joanna.lesak@southwark.gov.uk, who has asked to be told in particular if we see any more trucks coming the wrong way down Swan Street. Please email TNRA at info@tnra.net when you report such matters to the Council so we can build up a record of the contractor's performance.

Background

In September 2014 Trinity House announced plans to redevelop the site of the self-storage building and Crown Court annexe on Swan Street in a scheme to be designed by architects Haworth Tompkins. The architects held several meetings with residents to discuss the scheme and TNRA made extensive comments, some of which were incorporated. Planning permission for the development was granted in March 2016 and work began later in 2016.

Roman sarcophagus found

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In January 2017 Pre-Construct Archaeology began to excavate the site. On 18 July 2017 it was announced that the excavation below the former court annexe building revealed a large robber trench around a sarcophagus (coffin) and found that the lid had been moved, suggesting that the coffin was discovered and robbed in the past. However, it is possible that only the precious items were removed, and the less valuable artefacts, such as the body itself, still remain within the stone sarcophagus.

"In my long archaeological career I have excavated many hundreds of burials, but this is the first Roman sarcophagus I have ever discovered, still surviving in its original place of deposition," said Gillian King, Southwark Council's in-house archaeologist. "I have seen them in museums, but I think part of me believed that they had probably all been found by now! It really is a very special discovery. Personally, I find it really fascinating to contemplate that this area – which we are now so familiar with – was once, during the Roman period, so completely different. It really does make me feel very honoured that my role at Southwark Council contributes to protecting amazing archaeological treasures like this, and our work means that we can ensure that the historic environment is championed and preserved for the enjoyment of us and future generations."

Cllr Peter John, the leader of Southwark Council, said: "This is a remarkable and exciting find. In Southwark we take our duty as custodians of the borough's rich, varied and important archaeological heritage very seriously. "This Roman sarcophagus is the find of a lifetime and a credit to the council's commitment to ensuring that the borough's history is properly conserved."