London SE1 community website

Plans for South Bank ABBA-themed venue meet their Waterloo

London SE1 website team

Controversial proposals for an ABBA-themed entertainment venue on Stamford Street have been abandoned after a vociferous campaign by Waterloo residents.

Plans for South Bank ABBA-themed venue meet their Waterloo

Lambeth's planning application committee approved the proposals for Mamma Mia! The Party – based on a similar venue in Stockholm – last year.

The "immersive experience" would have occupied a temporary building on land at the corner of Stamford Street and Cornwall Road owned by Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB).

Under the deal, CSCB was in line to receive £500,000 a year plus a percentage of the show's turnover.

ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus said on Friday: "I have reached the conclusion that the party should not open on the South Bank near Waterloo.

"Despite being granted planning permission in November 2017, I've taken seriously the concerns expressed by some local residents living around Stamford Street and so have decided not to go ahead with our plans on this site.

"We have been looking at some equally exciting alternatives in London and expect to announce a new location shortly."

The Waterloo Residents' Alliance had mounted a strong campaign against the scheme, with local residents also seeking judicial review of the council's decision-making.

On its Facebook page, the Waterloo Residents' Alliance described the cancellation of the project as "a fantastic victory for the local community who campaigned hard against this ill-placed proposal".

Campaigners argue that the land is ringfenced for social housing under the terms of the deal that saw the plot transferred to CSCB in the 1980s, although Coin Street denies that this is the case.

The Mamma Mia! controversy – coming hard on the heels of the Garden Bridge campaign – has further soured relationships between CSCB and nearby residents, including tenants of some of its own housing co-operatives.

In a statement expressing "great regret" at the cancellation of the project, CSCB said: "This would have been an interesting and exciting temporary use for an unused site and a positive addition to the mix within the neighbourhood.

"The proposal included jobs for local people, community access to the space and training opportunities. The income generated from the rent would stay in the neighbourhood and be reinvested into the local and wider community."

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.