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Ugly building by County Hall - what's happening?

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Monday 14 January 2002 11.04am
By County Hall the roundabout has become a junction, the tunnels have become pedestrian crossings, there are cycle lanes of a sort, but the grey hexagonal (?) bunker type building in the middle of the old roundabout remains, with signs saying "Frogmore -regnerating Lambeth" on it. Oh no they're not. I can see it out of my workplace window and it is depressing. The last I heard was that Frogmore had their plans for a new building rejected (something about them wanting it to go over the road to link with a new building on the other side, so we could have another grim tunnel to go through). Has anything happened since? Surely a really tall tower must have been proposed? Can we contribute to a fund to buy some dynamite in the meantime?
Tuesday 15 January 2002 3.09pm
Hi, i was thinking exactly as you so I contacted Lanbeth Council Planning. There is an outlying plan for a new office development there, but Frogmore had their original plan rejected.
It seems that they are in the process of re-submitting a new proposal. The only good news is that the "Bunker" is coming down although when is anybody's idea!
Thursday 24 January 2002 6.23pm
This building, and the railway underpasses nearby, are a visual disgrace which would be unimaginable in any other European city, and probably wouldn't be tolerated if they were on the other side of the river. The whole south bank of Inner London, from Battersea to Greenwich - the area within, say, 1/2 mile of the river - should be treated as a major regeneration project, not allowed to be developed piecemeal, with little regard to public amenities, by developers.
Saturday 26 January 2002 9.52pm
What I heard was that Lambeth rejected the first planning application, which was huge and did involve more storeys and was going to go over the road to link up with the site that is now a car-park next to the EuroStar terminal, so another great big and forbidding 'tunnel' to walk through effectively cutting the South Bank off further from the area on the other side of the railway line. The developers went back with a slightly shorter building, and I understand that Lambeth passed it, only to have Ken call it in.
The crazy thing was to do all the road alterations in advance of planning permission on what was always going to be a controversial application. Though at times it feels like anything would be better than what is there at the moment.
Sunday 5 May 2002 10.14pm

Frogmore, which has been trying to reach agreement for a 60,000 sq m (646,000 sq ft) office scheme at its Island site on Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 for the last two years has submitted a new application which splits the site into two blocks of 38,000 sq m and 22,000 sq m. The scheme is of interest to venture capitalist 3i and if passed may allow work to begin on one block for 3i's occupation. - (01-05-2002)
Monday 6 May 2002 8.14am
Ta James. It would make sense if Frogmore were to be open about their plans.
The problems with Archbishops (no lease, plus a very valuable 10 acres adds up to a lot of threats) means that I or others in our group have had to engage proactively in Waterloo community fora. My guess is that everyone wants to see a resolution to the mess that is currently the island block. But there were real concerns about the previous plans with huge 'bridges' across the street that would provide dark and discouraging routes south of railway line. Which would exacerbate the sense that the South Bank is an island and that the rest of the area is losing, not gaining, from development.

It is easy to forget that this area is still very poor. My health visitor tells me that 90% of the under fives she sees live in social housing. If you are living on benefits with a weekly family income of 70 a week even ice creams along the South Bank are inaccessible. Plus the new populations in County Hall and Westminster Bridge Road are good at writing letters, and will actively oppose anything that does not enhance their lives.

There are always outcomes which provide gain for all parties. As long as developers such as Frogmore are prepared to look constructively. Which does involve them listening to local views and trying their best to minimise negative benefits (such as loss of light to local residents, or St Thomas's having ambulance access to the lying in hospital so that it could be used for medical purposes) and maximise potential benefits, such as improving pedestrian access north and south of the railway line by making the whole thing more inviting.

So frustrating. The Frogmore development will be huge and remove one of London's biggest eyesores. But currently there does not seem to be any mechanism to Balance community need and ensure an all-win outcome. Without this the danger is that the current stand off continues, with the 'community' having the power to continue to block things but unable to feed through constructive suggestions that would allow a good compromise to be reached.

If Frogmore were willing to buy me, James, Natalie, and the lady from the tan shop dinner at Champor-Champor perhaps we could resolve it all. (James and the lady from the tan shop .....worth a thought. Perhaps they are one and the same. And maybe James is Rosie Posie, Christian, David and more.)

PS the thread thing is still not working.
Saturday 24 August 2002 2.49pm

Frogmore has, at last, been given consent for its 39,019 sq m (420,000 sq ft), One Westminster Bridge office scheme in SE1. The scheme, designed by architect Gensler, will include demolition of the vacant former ILEA island block and replacing it with a nine-storey building of 26,013 sq m (280,000 sq ft). Frogmore will also redevelop the adjacent vacant Addington Street site with an 11-storey office building of 13,006 sq m (140,000 sq ft). The building has been linked with pre-lets from various potential occupiers. - (19-08-2002)
Tuesday 27 August 2002 9.25am
I was just about to ask if anyone knew why scaffolding was going up around the old lying-in hospital. I guess this is the answer. Thanks James.
Tuesday 27 August 2002 9.31am
No, it's being refurbished by the hospital trust for a training centre

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