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Westminster Bridge Roundabout Derelict Building

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Tuesday 16 March 2004 10.17am
I'm really sorry to raise this topic again - I'm sure it has been discussed to death but it's starting to REALLY get on my nerves now.

I've lived on Lower Marsh for a few years - every time I go home I pass the disgrace that is the huge space ship shaped, concrete piece of **** that sits on the 'roundabout' on the South side of Westminster bridge.

How is it possible that a local council can allow such a massive building and piece of land to sit in this state? I simply cannot understand why it hasn't been developed in to something.....anything. Which ever developer owns the site should be prevented from submitting any planning applications nationwide until they do something with it.

The area immediately around this piece of land sums up the extremes of the South Bank - a fantastic area with great recent developments and an ever increasing number of visitors brought down only by an appalling lack of rigour, conscientiousness and thought in sorting out known problem areas.

Is anyone aware of the planning permission which was granted for the site, who owns it or what the conditions where on development timescales?
Tuesday 16 March 2004 10.44am
The developer is Frogmore, - the building still has the fading signs 'Frogmore developing in partnership with Lambeth'. I believe that the scheme designed by Gensler Architects was refused because it was too high, and rather than lopp a floor of office from the top, Frogmore have walked away, deciding that it is too much of a development risk. Or perhaps they are waiting to see what happens across the road.
Tuesday 16 March 2004 11.08am
Are you sitting comfortably...

When I last heard the site was still owned by Frogmore. They had originally been pursuing an office scheme, which would have bridged Addington street. I think that they contributed towards the roadworks at the junction

Some of the case history is on the Mayor of London's planning report. The Mayor decided that he preferred to keep York Road open and close Addington Street

Frogmore then pursued a separate scheme for Addington Street as a hotel, which got planning consent. This was subsequently rethought, and Frogmore recently got permission for an "aparthotel" with a larger number of stories squeezed into the same height of building.

At this point, the owners still seemed to be pursuing a plan to redevelop the island block (which I think they were marketing as 1 Westminster Bridge) for offices.

However, a firm called Marlbray Ltd recently (16/02/04) put in an application to construct a similarly sized hotel building.

04/00455/FUL Demolition of the existing Island Block building and erection of a hotel development comprising 743 hotel rooms, 2,553 sqm restaurant and cafe, 2,398 sqm conference facilities, 600 sqm leisure facilities, access, coach and taxi drop-off, service area, together with associated hard and soft landscaping and public realm improvements.

04/00456/CON - conservation area consent for demolition of existing building

Planning application drawings should be in the Lower Marsh library, although the staff may need a bit of gentle prodding to find them for you - the boxes containing the various "mega-site" applications seem to be randomly distributed around the library in various cardboard boxes.

The site notice was apparently posted on 27/02/04 - which I assume gives people until this Friday 19/03 for formal objections. However, as I'm fairly sure that the pink notice is in the wrong place - along with several others in the area that are nowhere near the application sites that I spotted while strolling through the area last weekend, you could probably get comments in a bit later.

[Edited to include application details once I could get into Lambeth planning website!!!]

Post edited (16 Mar 04 11:21)
Wednesday 17 March 2004 2.17pm
Lang - very helpful, thank you. I'm sure that Moggy will also want to thank you for taking so much time to answer her question.
Thursday 18 March 2004 11.04am

aha - so there is stuff happening.

will get down the library with a suitable proding stick

I also heard that Galliard Homes (?) gained planning permission for an aparthotel - I can only assume they are owned by Frogmore

Marlbray are all new to me - will try to find out who they are.

Thanks, Moggy
Wednesday 12 May 2004 6.40pm
Have just remembered that I failed to post some more recent documents on this one...

Marlbray's plan now squeezes 11 floors of hotel into the same volume of building as the previous plan for 9 floors of office space.

The Mayor's "initial representation" to Lambeth

The report prepared by his officers

I'm not sure when it is coming to Lambeth's planning committee.

Locals may be interested in the Financial considerations :

As part of the previous office application the following financial contributions had been agreed. It is acknowledged that these contributions were agreed based on both the development of the Island Block site and the Addington Street site together. However, the contributions under the ‘seperated' s106 packages, as secured by Lambeth on 29 April 2003, should be carried over and included in this application:

• Contribution towards improving public transport facilities (770,000).

• Upgrading the Leake Street Viaducts together with paying for the street furniture works (300,000).

• Upgrading Westminster Bridge Road viaduct (1,350,000).
[elsewhere the report implies that this money could also be available for improvements to Lambeth Palace Road, Westminster Bridge Road and York Road. LR]

• Scheme to improve signage and reduce street clutter (100,000).

• Employment and training schemes in the Borough (100,000).

• Travel survey following occupation of buildings.

I would press Lambeth for more consultation with residents, the hospital and local small businesses on how the money gets spent.

Could substantial improvements to access to St Thomas' be delivered with this cash?

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