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Coin Street's plan for 48-storey tower - a betrayal of their founding principles?

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Friday 30 December 2005 1.08pm
I was interested in those claims about the tower too - but to be pedantic those claims are being made by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands who have designed the tower and the leisure centre.

Allies and Morrison have designed the Rambert part of the complex.

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Friday 30 December 2005 1.22pm
Oops! It would be interesting to know whether Nathaniel Lichfield also had a hand in the "research" for the overall design strategy.

To me that claim looks suspiciously like a post-hoc rationalisation of a decision to locate the flats so that they get better views of the river/trees rather than the back of the National's fly-towers.
Saturday 31 December 2005 2.49pm
A question. When Lambeth handed over this land to a community action group for a pound, surely there should have been some covernants - either implicit or explicit that the land should be used to support stated community objectives, such as mixed size social and affordable housing.

The issue for those living further away from Coin Street is that building of a leisure centre and swimming pool on the very tip of the Waterloo peninsular, will preclude a second facility being built in a place, eg the Elephant and Castle, which many more people and youngsters could access.

Another concern is that building this facility at Coin Street will provide Lambeth with justification for demolishing the very fine sports facilities at the old Lilian Baylis school site. (I was given a midnight tour - they are really amazing with indoor gyms, indoor and outdoor football, badminton and more.)

Coin Street seem to be using 1999/2000 MORI research designed to support the South Bank Employers Group Urban Design Strategy (UBS), as justification for the swimming pool. This research was also used to justifiy UBS proposals to build an indoor tennis centre on Archbishops Park - and a Lido in the Thames. The north of the park could apparently go because people preferred indoor leisure facilities to outdoor. I don't know what happened to the Thames Lido idea which I sort of liked. But when campaigning against the tennis centre we were unable to find a single person who was approached for the MORI research, and suspected they may have limited their sample survey to rush hour commuters at Waterloo Station.

There is a story I am happy to share for the price of an expensive Oxo Tower cocktail about the SBEG take over of the management of the North Lambeth and North Southwark Sports Action Zone (SAZ) from Peabody. (I inadvertently seem to have been the person who informed the SAZ manager at Peabody that he no longer had a job.) The SAZ should have been a really good way of taking an inventory of existing and potential facilities across the area, including the ones at Lilian Baylis mentioned above, and link it with demand. This may have been done, but since it looks as if the provision is going to be in the centre of the SBEG area instead of the wider SAZ area, I feel pretty sceptical.

My real objection to the proposal is the opportunity cost, rather than the proposal itself. I suspect that we will end up with provision used by office workers from both sides of the River, and a small number of local residents. If this were to have no impact on the liklihood of similar provision in the rest of the SAZ area there would not be a problem. However I don't think it does. Instead it will let Lambeth and Southwark off the hook in terms of Local Authority provision, and let them flog off the Lilian Baylis site. And when the seasonal summer posts appear on the forum about local kids hanging out and getting up to no good, we can still lay all the blame on their parents. (Getting into full rant now!)

If only Lambeth could look to the development of Waterloo and reccognise that they need to employ a similar strategic vision in the area between Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridges, to ensure we don't have a river-belt with expensive residential accommodation with the poor on the wrong side of the tracks with very little. If Lambeth does not have a sense of where they want to go it is inevitable that the lead will be taken by well resourced groups such as Coin Street and SBEG, at times to the detriment of other interests and needs.

Given the outrageously short deadline, I feel I should object even if only to articulate the concern felt in Kennington about needed sports facilities being concentrated on the South Bank. Can anyone help me with arguments that planners might take on board?



Monday 2 January 2006 1.21am

Andrew posted a very good link to an explanation of who and what CSCB were and are:

This mentions that the 14 acre site was actually sold to CSCB for 1M (not 1 as I stated previously) and explains how the funding was arranged.

Maybe the problem with CSCB is the second 'C', the 'Community' word. It means different things to different people and maybe it would be easier to see CSCB just as CSB, just another property developer. That would remove the expectations and maybe the ideals implied by the 'C' word.

Regards and a happy New Year


Monday 2 January 2006 11.25am
Thanks. 1m is very different.

Without the C they become another St George with a scheme for private flats that should stand or fail on its own merits. The proposed tower looked a little odd when shown in a view from across the river. I understand why people will find this a reason for objecting.

In presentations the scheme has been put across as a community project providing a community swimming pool. Plus Ballet Rambert which sounds fun. My problem is that building the community swimming pool in Doon Street will ruin chances of having a more accessible pool elsewhere. So office workers gain at the expense of those with least. Whether the Doon Street development has a pool or not is pretty irrelevent. Primary Schools outside Waterloo will find it difficult to access, and so presumably won't use it.

But I suspect in planners will not have the power to look at issues such as whether a high rise builiding containing small private flats is really a 'community' development. Or the opportunity cost in terms of loss of opportunity in building a genuinely accessible community pool to serve quite a large area of North Lambeth and Southwark.

Time for a sweepstake. My guess is that they will get the permission.

Monday 2 January 2006 2.33pm
I don't buy this argument that the location is inaccessible. Yes, it's on the edge of the borough of Lambeth, but it's adjacent to Waterloo Bridge which enjoys excellent communications with all points north and south.

As for it "ruining" chances of a pool elsewhere, I don't see any prospect of a local authority-run facility happening any time soon.

MORI research or not, a swimming pool is one of the most requested amenities in the area and the Doon Street proposal seems to be the best chance of getting one.

Whether the skyscraper of private apartments is a price worth paying for it is perhaps another argument.

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Monday 2 January 2006 3.30pm

The area in need of a pool is perceived to run from Stockwell through to Blackfriars to the Elephant. If you are talking about a pool that serves the working population both North and South of the river, as well as a smaller residential community, then it might be the right place, but if you are looking for something to kids on the large estates in the wider area, the Elephant has to be better. I don't have a problem with Doon Street having a swimming pool. I just don't want it seen as being for wider community benefit.

One of the very odd things to emerge at the start of the SRB process is how little many local people use facilities on the South Bank, and the extent to which the railway line provies a psycological barrier - in both directions. This might be a good argument for placing a community pool on the South Bank, to encourage people to venture further afield and widen horizons, but I suspect that a pool in this area with its business and large numbers of tourists, and attracting predominently (white) office workers, would be be seen as not safe for kids to go on their own or 'not for them'. A community facility attracting a diverse population can be done. The Clapham Manor Leisure Centre is a good example. But I'm not sure that the will is there, particularly given that the majority of the block will be private residential.

At the end of the day whilst we may disagree over the cost or the benefit, I suspect that many of us have doubts about whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

Monday 2 January 2006 4.05pm
I did notice that a verbal update on a "North Lambeth Recreation Centre and Swimming Pool" is on the agenda for the next North Lambeth Area Committee - any idea what that might be a reference to?

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Tuesday 3 January 2006 10.34am
James Hatts Wrote:
> I did notice that a verbal update on a "North
> Lambeth Recreation Centre and Swimming Pool" is on
> the agenda for the next North Lambeth Area
> Committee - any idea what that might be a
> reference to?

A few months ago, when Lambeth evicted the squatters from the houses at St Agnes Place, Kennington (back of Kennington Park), the press reported that a leisure centre and pool was to be provided there along with new housing. However, I'm not aware of a planning application.

Presumably there is still a campaign in some parts of Kennington for a replacement for Kennington Lido (closed in the 1980s?)
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