Mayor approves Festival Hall plans

Plans for a new retail and office building on the South Bank were given the go ahead by London Mayor Ken Livingstone last week.

The mayor's team describes this as an important first step in delivering world class arts quarter for the capital in line with his strategic vision for the South Bank.

It will allow for other service areas around the Royal Festival Hall will to become landscaped public realm as well as the cultural benefits from freeing up additional space for public/artistic use within the Hall. It will also enhance the pedestrian environment between the Royal Festival Hall and the viaduct by masking the railway line and providing public uses.

No part of the building is located on the Hungerford Car Park, although the existing service road over the car park will be retained.

Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "This scheme doesn't impact upon the openness and character of the existing area and the proposal as it stands will allow the future development of Jubilee Gardens as a world class park – which can only further enhance the area."

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