SOS: Save Our South Bank

Infographic showing the size of the proposed development in comparison to other buildings along South Bank

SOS: Save Our South Bank! Sign the petition

South Bank is a vibrant hub of culture and heritage in London, attracting millions of visitors every year. We must ensure it stays that way.

We acknowledge the need for redevelopment of this site. However, in such a treasured area of London for locals and tourists, neighboured by listed IBM and National Theatre buildings, the design must protect and enhance rather than dominate its surrounding.

We are urging decision makers Lambeth Council to reject the current proposal for this development, in favour of a smaller design that complements the surrounding area and adds value, for the local community and London as a whole.

Proposals for the redevelopment of ITV’s former home on London’s South Bank are heavily criticised by its neighbours and the wider community.

We urgently need you to join with us to sign our petition to the decision makers at Lambeth Council and underline how unpopular this proposal is and the impact on individual residents and families across the neighbourhood. 

See the 72 Upper Ground Gallery below the supersizing images of shadow casting and the mass impact on surrounding buildings:

To the west of the site are the  National Theatre Grade 2* and  IBM Grade 2 listed buildings, both designed by Sir Denys Lasdun.

To the south are Coin Street’s Iroko and Mulberry Housing Co-operatives. To the east are Prince’s  Wharf, Gabriel’s Wharf, and Bernie Spain Gardens.

All CGIs and shadow diagrams in the 72 Upper Ground Gallery are taken from the Applicant’s planning application documents. 

#SOSSaveOurSouthBank

CGI images showing the comparison of the building before and after development

72 Upper Ground Gallery

All CGIs and shadow diagrams (below) are taken from the Applicant’s planning application documents. They show the impact of shadowing

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Background

Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) and other neighbourhood stakeholders have been raising our objections for months.

Why do we object to this planning application?

Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) states in its advice to decision makers at Lambeth Council:

  • The scale, bulk and siting of the proposed development is excessive, overbearing and overly dominant.
  • The impact on daylight received by adjacent Coin Street housing co-operatives will be severe.
  • The riverside walkway to the north of the proposed development currently enjoys sunshine throughout the lunchtime peak but would be cast into shadow by the proposed development.
  • The development would also cast its shadow over most of nearby Bernie Spain Gardens, an essential public garden in an area starved of open space.
  • Instead of improving nearby public realm, the proposals significantly harm these spaces.
  • This is not just a local issue - it's a national issue: South Bank riverside walkway is currently one of the most visited areas of London. The proposed over-development of ITV’s former home threatens the special qualities and success of London’s Cultural Quarter on South Bank.

“The wanton disregard of the South Bank, one of London’s most popular amenities is unacceptable and short-sighted.”

  • The claimed ‘public’ benefits of the development, its expansive views and generous planted terraces, would only be enjoyed by its occupants. These do not justify the harm it will cause to the South Bank conservation area, adjacent housing, riverside and local views, and existing public amenities like the riverside walkway and Bernie Spain Gardens through impacts on daylight and views.
  • The existing ITV building is already one of the tallest in the Conservation Area, yet these proposals aim to increase the building on this site to 225% of its current size.

Press Release: 1 Dec 2021

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Take a look at our full letter of objections

Secretary of State, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

On 4 November 2021 Secretary of State Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP told MPs “We want to have a planning system where people can feel confident that beauty is taken seriously, confident that the environment is benefiting, confident that the money will be there to support infrastructure; and confident that the Community has a role ultimately in determining what is right”. He added, “We want to be in a position where communities, accept and welcome knew development”. [Source: Planning Resource 12 November 2021].

What do other stakeholders say?

South Bank & Waterloo Neighbours (SoWN) was established under the above planning acts. SoWN states in its advice to decision makers at Lambeth Council “the mass of the proposed building would be overbearing when experienced from neighbouring streets and public spaces. The proposed building would dominate the local street scene and the conservation area to their detriment. The scale and form of the building would cause harm to important local heritage assets, such as the South Bank conservation area, IBM Building, National Theatre, and Roupell Street conservation area. The proposed building would result in a significant loss of daylight for a number of local residents. The proposed building would result in a very significant loss of sunlight across important public spaces, primarily the Queen’s Walk and Bernie Spain Gardens”.

SoWN is the community body that represents residents, workers, businesses of all sizes, and voluntary organisations in the South Bank & Waterloo Neighbourhood Plan, formally approved in February 2020. SoWN was responsible for the wide consultation involved in identifying the key issues, for writing the Plan and seeing it through to adoption. It represents the local community in monitoring how the plan is implemented, within the wider context of the Lambeth Local Plan and the London Plan.  SoWN objectives are t

  • To promote high standard of planning and architecture in or affecting the area of benefit.
  • To educate the public in the geography, history, natural history, culture and architecture of the area of benefit
  • To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of feature or areas of historic or public interest in the area of benefit.

The Twentieth Century Society states in its advice to decision makers at Lambeth Council: “considers the currently proposed new building to be an over-development of a site within a sensitive historic environment. Compared to the existing building, the massing of the proposed new building will be further forward on the riverfront side. The new development will impact close views of the listed buildings from the Queen’s Walk and it will also impede wide views, particularly views of the National Theatre from Blackfriars Bridge to the east…The Society’s Casework Committee believes the proposed new building in its current form would harm the setting of the listed buildings on the site and harm the special character and appearance of the riverfront site, which is both a designated conservation area and positive contributor to a strategic view in London. We therefore urge the local authority to refuse planning permission and encourage the applicant to revise the design to substantially reduce the building’s front massing.”

Historic England states in its advice to decision makers at Lambeth Council: “There would be harm to the Grade II listed IBM building and Grade II listed National Theatre because of the close proximity of the proposed buildings and their impact on the importance of these designated heritage assets in river views. We have identified further harm through the 26-storey tower on the Roupell Street Conservation Area, through an increase in height and massing which compete with and distract from the Georgian domestic architecture in views within the conservation area…We continue to encourage you to explore refinements to the design to minimise the harm identified, including careful consideration being given to a reduction in the height and massing of the proposed buildings.”

Who are the developers and architect?

The former London Television Centre site at 72 Upper Ground was secured by Mitsubishi Estate and CO-RE for £145.6m in November 2019. The scheme is designed by Make Architects.

The application for planning consent was submitted to Lambeth Council in July 2021.

What can I do?

Sign the petition SOS: Save Our South Bank

You can also take a look at a summary of the planning application and all associated documents here. 

What next?

Please sign the SOS: Save Our South Bank petition  and use #SOSSaveOurSouthBank in your social media to spread the word.

You do have a say!

Neigbourhood planning (enshrined in the Planning Acts of 2012 and 2017) gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area.

Together we can stop this!!!

Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community’s needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area. 

What have other local people said?

The Planning Application and public responses where local people have shared their personal opinions and comments can be accessed at https://bit.ly/3CyoiHR

We have created a flyer with all of the key information

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