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Lambeth leader urges Pickles not to ‘call in’ in Waterloo decision

Lambeth Council leader Lib Peck has written to Eric Pickles urging him to reject calls for a public inquiry into plans for the redevelopment of Elizabeth House next to Waterloo Station.

Elizabeth House

Last November Lambeth Council's planning applications committee resolved to grant consent for two new buildings of 11 storeys and 29 storeys on the site of the 1960s Elizabeth House block on York Road.

The mixed-use scheme, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, is the latest in a series of redevelopment proposals for the prominent South Bank site.

An earlier plan by developers P&O and architects Allies and Morrison was rejected in 2009 after a public inquiry because of its effect on the Westminster world heritage site.

The Chipperfield scheme has also been criticised for its impact on views from Parliament Square. Both English Heritage and the City of Westminster have asked communities secretary Eric Pickles to order another public inquiry.

Now Lambeth's leader Cllr Lib Peck has intervened in the row, urging the secretary of state to let the scheme go ahead.

In a letter to Mr Pickles, copied to Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Cllr Peck says giving the green light for the Elizabeth House development "...is a critical component of ensuring that the Waterloo area can realise its full potential ...and that we can realise our vision of delivering 15,000 jobs and 1,900 new homes within the Waterloo area."

She added: "There is a real risk that if we do not get this scheme moving that we may jeopardise other schemes in the area.

"We also risk missing a once in a generation opportunity to ensure that local communities in the area can benefit from improved connections, opportunities to gain employment and a vastly improved environment to ensure that they can enjoy an area which many feel currently turns its back on them."

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