WRITE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, MICHAEL GOVE
The Secretary of State has the power to overturn Lambeth Council's and Sadiq Khan's
outrageous decision to approve
the Developers' Planning Application.
We need him to act!
Please use (or adapt) the template below to write to
the Secretary of State and tell him how you feel.
You can use or amend this wording for your email to the Secretary of State
Email address for Secretary of State:
Subject of email:
PLEASE CALL IN the proposed development of Royal Street Site, South Bank - Lambeth Application Reference 22/01206/EIAFUL
Text of email:
Dear Mr Gove
I am writing to urge you to call in and refuse this Application so that the more sustainable option already on the table can be adopted.
The Application would damage national heritage assets, vital public resources and the environment. Many respected national and international institutions have objected to the Application, together with over 100 local residents and over 44,000 petition signatories (https://www.change.org/p/save-waterloo-paradise).
The Developers propose five huge tower blocks, 1.6 million sq ft in total: the largest single office development ever seen in Lambeth. These would blight the Westminster World Heritage Site, Lambeth Palace and Archbishop’s Park.
The site got permission for 641 homes in 2008, with 225 (35%) of them affordable, which the local community supported; but the landowner didn’t proceed. Waterloo and London struggle to meet the desperate housing need but we don’t need more speculative offices: other major office permissions in Waterloo are on hold because of the office glut. These central sites should be addressing the urgent housing need.
The proposed development would harm the physical and especially mental wellbeing of residents and other Londoners arising from the degradation and loss of precious heritage assets, public green spaces, and the opportunities for education and recreation in the unique space of Old Paradise Yard, in a collection of 1847 school buildings which would be destroyed.
The Developers plan to demolish and rebuild – rather than re-purpose – most of the existing buildings, releasing a tsunami of carbon into the environment.
Lambeth claim the Application would provide 'Med-Tech' facilities and employment for local people. But Med-Tech would only occupy a small proportion of the space at most and there is no guarantee that any would actually be provided. And the employment is mainly short-term, in the construction phase, with no evidence that there would be long-term, well-paid jobs for local people. These alleged and non-guaranteed 'benefits' don't outweigh the many, serious and guaranteed harms that this Application would cause.
In approving this Application, Lambeth ignored a less harmful and more sustainable alternative (supported by the local community) proposed by their own Planning Dept in their January 2022 Site Allocations report. And to cap it all, Lambeth waved through no fewer than ten breaches of Local and London Planning Policy and, as Historic England pointed out, the Application “does not meet the requirements of the NPPF [the National Planning Policy Framework 2021]". The Kinks sang “As long as I gaze on Waterloo Sunset I am in paradise”. Please call in and refuse this unnecessarily damaging Application and give the more sustainable alternative a chance to Save Waterloo’s Paradise.
Sign-off: please include your name and your postcode, especially if you are in Lambeth