I must say I am surprised that they are able to annex such an area for their own purposes, it does deny a large area to people who simply want to stroll and take in the view. I have no idea if any permissions are required or if the area is part of their rental agreement, if its not then it could be the thin edge of a very large wedge !
I gather they've had the lease for 3 years, but not used it till now. It looks very pleasant and Southwark have done nothing with a quite remarkable site. A tiny garden or playground would have been apt.
mark, if you walk about 25 feet to the left (facing the river), there's all the garden you could want in Potters Fields. as a city, we are truly impoverished (compared to others) in terms of opportunities to sit by the river and have a drink. loads of river frontage is private property, or "working" space, and the embankment architecture curtails most of the rest. and the latter provides plenty of opportunity for people to "stroll and take the view". it's not a huge area and it was previously massively under-used. good on them - they've bought a little bit of the continent to our patch of Blighty!