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Blackfriars Road: scrutiny committee to probe cabinet decision

The decision of Southwark's Labour cabinet to approve a new Blackfriars Road supplementary planning document (SPD) is to be scrutinised by a cross-party committee.

Fiona Colley
Cllr Fiona Colley will face questions from the overview & scrutiny committee

Last month Southwark's cabinet rubber-stamped the new Blackfriars Road SPD despite representations from local residents concerned about some of the contents of the document.

Now Liberal Democrat members of the cross-party overview & scrutiny committee have used their power to 'call in' the decision for further examination.

The committee's consideration of the matter is likely to centre on the question of whether the new SPD contradicts the borough's existing planning policy – particularly with regard to appropriate locations for tall buildings.

The new SPD suggests that tall buildings of up to 70 metres could be appropriate at the southern end of Blackfriars Road as well as on the Southwark Underground Station site.

The committee's hearing is likely to be held next week at the council's Tooley Street HQ. Regeneration boss Cllr Fiona Colley and senior council officers will answer questions from the committee.

Labour has a majority on the committee so the decision is unlikely to be overturned, but councillors may make recommendations as to how the council could address the objectors' concerns.

• Simon Bevan, Southwark's director of planning, is due to address this week's South Bank Forum about the council's vision for Blackfriars Road.

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