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Tall buildings for Waterloo?

Lambeth Council this week launches a consultation exercise on the borough's new unitary development plan. It covers many important issues for the Lambeth side of SE1.

The new document follows on from last year's consultation on the key issues paper. We had a look through the key issues paper to find out about the main issues for SE1:

Significantly, the North Lambeth town centre section recognises that the local economy is "increasingly linked to the central London economy" and the current plan is "unsatisfactory in that it provides clarity neither for local residents nor the development community about the future of the area".

The key issues document looks at the potential and the need for the development of office accommodation in the Waterloo area, but worryingly points to the "potential to develop an attractive cluster of high buildings at and around Waterloo Station".

The provision of local shops and services is also covered in some detail, suggesting the development of York Road as a second high street to complement Lower Marsh and absorb some of the food and drink trade from the unauthorised traders (hot dog stalls etc) on the riverside. The plan identifies several sites for a new supermarket for North Lambeth: the corner of Cornwall Road and The Cut, Westminster Bridge Road, the Shell Centre and Lower Marsh (as part of a rebuilt Waterloo station).

Transport issues are another key area for the plan. It suggests that a new bus interchange is needed at Waterloo, and points to the "potential for improved street access" to Southwark station and Waterloo East. The impact of the congestion charge is also considered.

According to the key issues document, "surveys show that local residents consider that main deficiencies are libraries and sports facilities", and rightly points to the "dearth of cinemas" in North Lambeth.

Cross-river issues are also a priority, with the document pointing to the challenges posed by "the great pressure for the West End nighttime economy to spill over" to the South Bank. A section of the document is devoted to considering the role of Lambeth within the Government's London South Central plan for the area between Vauxhall and the Pool of London (essentially mirroring the SE1 area). London South Central is home to 45,000 people.

Lambeth's 3.25km of river frontage is a great asset to the borough, but it also raises problems. The UDP points to the illegal traders on the riverside and the conflict between pedestrians and cyclists on the South Bank.

The London Eye also merits a large section of the document. It has brought millions of people to Lambeth, but again there are some problems, including the issue of coach drop-off and parking. The London Eye has also contributed to the sorry state of Jubilee Gardens, which is itself covered in some detail.

There's a lot more in the document that is relevant to those who live and work in SE1 – it's well worth the effort to peruse it and take part in the consultation.

Copies can be obtained from the Town Planning Advice Centre (Acre House, 10 Acre Lane, Brixton, London SW2), or it can be viewed on the Lambeth website www.lambeth.gov.uk/udplan, and at the Town Planning Advice Centre and local libraries.

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