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Oval Village

When built in 1877, the largest gas holder on this site was the biggest of its kind in the world - a magnificent feat of Victorian engineering and working monument to the great pioneers of British power. Now, the historic site's redevelopment (and restoration) heralds a new phase in its history: with new homes, jobs, shops, cafes and a proud and tight-knit community. This is a community website, created for people living in and around Oval Village. When construction is complete it will be handed over from Berkeley to the local community.
ABOUT OVAL VILLAGE
1877
When built, the largest gas holder on this site was the biggest of its kind in the world - a magnificent feat of Victorian engineering and working monument to the great pioneers of British power.
2019
Now, the historic site's redevelopment (and restoration) heralds a new phase in its history: with new homes, jobs, shops, cafes and a proud and tight-knit community

Project Milestones

JUNE 2018
Oval Gas Works planning permission granted
DECEMBER 2018
Tesco Kennington planning permission granted
FEBRUARY 2019
Construction commences
JULY 2019
Project Office installed along Montford Place
AUGUST 2019
Temporary Tesco store opens and demolition of Tesco on Kennington Lane
SEPTEMBER 2019
Demolition of Axis building
KIA Oval cricket ground
The KIA Oval cricket ground started life as a cabbage garden. It gained its shape from a road that was laid around it in c.1790.

In 1844, the Duchy of Cornwall agreed to lease the land as a cricket ground. Turf was brought from Tooting Common and the Surrey County Cricket Club officially started life in 1845.

20,000 spectators gathered at The Oval in 1868 for the first game of the Aboriginal cricket tour of England, the first tour of England by any cricket team.

The first Test match was played between England and Australia in 1880. In 1882, Australia achieved the Test with seven runs within two days. A British newspaper, The Sporting Times, wrote a satirical obituary, remarking that English cricket had died and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”.

The Beefeater Gin Distillery
The Beefeater company started in 1863, when pharmacist James Burrough purchased a distillery in Cale Street, Chelsea.

The company increased in size and moved to Lambeth in 1908, then starting producing gin in 1958.

It is now housed in an Edwardian building with a 1950s extension and original features such as pot stills and a botanical room where the ingredients for gin were stored.

Oval Gas Holders
Gas holders, sometimes known as gasometers, began to emerge in Britain in the early 19th century and do largely as the name suggests: store large volumes of gas, usually from nearby gasworks.

The large gas holder at Oval Village was built in 1877-9 by Corbet Woodall on the site of an earlier holder. It was then the world’s largest telescopic gas holder with a capacity of 3.1 million cubic feet.

The Morning Post thought it ‘a stupendous piece of workmanship’, noting that ‘it will contain upwards of 28,000 feet of riveting, and when completed will weigh upwards of 400 tons’.

It was heightened in 1890-1 by Frank Livesey of
the South Metropolitan company to four vessels (lifts), doubling the capacity. The wrought-iron guide frame was increased from 27.5m to 41m high.

By the 1990s, advancements in technology meant the bold iron structures were no longer needed to store gas. In 2014, Southern Gas Networks announced plans to remove 111 gasholders around the country during the next 16 years, the Oval gas holders were included.

The main Oval gas holder was granted Grade II listed status in 2016 by Historic England who said:

“Gasholder No 1 at Kennington was the world’s largest gasholder when it was built in 1877-9. It also made early use of wrought iron in a frame and so marks an important moment in gasholder technology. Furthermore, it provides a distinctive backdrop to the Oval cricket ground and its image has long been broadcast around the world.”

Berkeley started construction on the former Oval gas holders in 2019 and plans to retain and refurbish it by building homes within the iron structure.

NEW HOMES
Over 1,309 new homes (35% affordable over 409 affordable homes)
COMMUNITY SPACE
Two designated community spaces as well as community fund, community plan and employment and skills plan
THE GENERATOR
A flexible co-working space for small businesses
JOBS
When complete, Oval Village will support 1,400 full time jobs
HERITAGE
Retention and refurbishment of Grade II listed gas holder
PUBLIC REALM
Three new public spaces: Cutler's Way, The Lime Grove and Gas Holder Place
COMMERCIAL SPACE
Approx 160,000 sq ft commercial or flexible commercial space including retail
NEW CONNECTIONS
New pedestrian and cycle routes, unlocking an impermeable site and integrating it with the surrounding area