Civic Revival recently reported on a controversy about a proposed new tower block scheme in Brixton in Lambeth, South London, which local activists have been campaigning against. And now others have come into their sights, including a massive riverbank development at Albert Embankment (pictured).
Visiting the Brixton Buzz community news website, you could be forgiven for thinking that all over Lambeth there are communities fighting towers against a scale of development that doesn't suit their location, and that doesn’t steal their daylight, dwarf over them just feet from their bedrooms and devalue the heritage that gives soul to local neighbourhoods.
You’d be right though, because on Tuesday 3rd November, Lambeth’s Planning Applications Committee approved the 20 storey Hondo Tower in Brixton and next Tuesday 17th November a public inquiry will open into the Woodlands development in Streatham, where it is proposed to build a 29 storey tower.
Close on the heels of these there will be a public inquiry into the proposals at 8 Albert Embankment on the Thames riverbank opposite Westminster for two new towers of 24 and 26 storeys.
It is a site owned by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) who are seeking planning permission for a development that Brixton Buzz says clearly departs from the Lambeth Local Plan, and has been acknowledged as such by Lambeth planners.
Despite this, and an outcry from local residents, local councillors and the local MP, the scheme has been approved on the casting vote of Cllr Clair Wilcox, the chair of the planning committee.
The proposed development is on a relatively small site in the historic approach to Lambeth Palace. There are two towers in the centre of the development of 24 and 26 storeys tall, the later adjacent to a homeless hostel of 2 storeys.
Both towers would cast long shadows over the council owned Whitgift Estate, and would allegedly rob Whitgift House immediately opposite of 40% of it’s daylight on every single living room window.
At the forthcoming public inquiry on 8 Albert Embankment whilst the community will argue for a much better designed and more appropriate development, Lambeth Council will now support the developer with a QC Barrister and other paid experts. The developer U+I and the LFB will also employ a QC barrister and seven experts in opposition to the community campaign.
Brixton Buzz questions why the Council is lining up behind the developer, and the decision has now been taken out of its hands and that it is surely the role of the applicant to make the case for the proposals?
Brixton Buzz is appealing for support in its opposition to the scheme, and acknowledges 'we are David taking on Goliath!' and is seeking funding contributions.
[Thanks for the material in this article provide by Helen Perrault-Newby]