Will the London Fire Brigade make itself accountable for the disastrous community engagement efforts carried out by their partner, U+I, as well as the impacts their 8 Albert Embankment proposal on local people?
In July we started directly emailing Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade (the public body responsible for the U+I planning application ), asking her to review the public consultation and meet directly with the local community. We felt it was important that, as the accountable public official who commissioned the proposed development she engage directly with us, rather than through the filter of her deputies or co-developer U+I, whom we have already met.
We want Dany Cotton to review the public consultation and to hear directly about the impacts of the development on the local community. She will not get this from her staff.
It is now August 19th and what we have had back from Cotton so far have been:
However in this period, Cotton found the time to write a publicity piece about the development for the OnLondon website, espousing the virtues of the proposal, without even giving a nod to the public opposition that has been building around it.
What we have not yet had, is a commitment from her to meet those of us most impacted by the development. So while Cotton can sit at a keyboard and espouse the supposed virtues of her legacy project, she seems considerably more reluctant to come and meet the people who will live with it’s consequences and have legitimate challenges to both the consultation process and outcome.
We appreciate that committing to come out to listen to a group of frustrated residents is not likely to be anyone’s first choice for a summer evening in London, but unfortunately, that is a part of some people’s jobs. Cotton is one of those people.
We are still waiting for that commitment…
Thanks to all the supporters of the campaign to ‘stop the towers’ and ‘save our sunlight’ we currently have 250 objections on the Lambeth Planning Portal, many have thoughtful and detailed comments for the Lambeth planners to consider.
We also have over 2000 signatures on our petition see here http://chng.it/nBgGFFCnsc
This is an amazing and overwhelming response from local people and supporters.
The South London Press has run with the story of U+I’s shocking nomination for an award and our opposition to their development!
Residents are furious that plans to build luxury flats that they have opposed have been nominated for an award…
Local people wrote to Ocean Media the organisers of the Festival of Place to object to U+I being shortlisted for a Festival of Place award, the ‘Future Place’ award for 8 Albert Embankment.
We said they did not deserve an award when they had failed to design their development with the community most impacted by their proposals.
Our objections went to the judges prior to their decision and U+I did not win an award.
Below is content contained in the email to the Whitgift Estate:
Date: Wed, Jul 10, 2019 at 12:09 PM
Subject: Re: Pineapple Awards – Shortlisting of 8 Albert Embankment – Press Interest
To: Whitgift Estate <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter.
The Pineapples awards were presented last night and 8 Albert Embankment was not among the winners.
We are considering how to engage with communities as part of the judging process going forward.
Your letter was shared with the judges prior to them making their decision.
Please use the link below to go to our petition, which has further information laying out why we are objecting to this planning application:
Many thanks for your support and if you want more information explore the website or contact Lambethvillage@gmail.com
There are 173 objections on the main planning application 19/01304/FUL – it’s not just numbers it’s also the detailed understanding of the implications of the application as a whole, which comes across.
Lots and lots of people were trying to use the Lambeth Planning Portal last weekend to get their objections on before the deadline of Monday 3rd June and we had reports that it was very slow, then on Tuesday 4th June the site crashed.
The site came back up at the end of the week but as of today Sunday 9th June many comments are not yet loaded on the website.
What to do if you can’t see your objection on the Lambeth Planning Portal:
Please email your objection to all of the following email@example.com, RBristow@lambeth.gov.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org
What to do if you didn’t get your objection on the Lambeth Planning Portal:
The site is back up and running now, so you can load your objection on, but it may take a while to appear in the comments list – check in a week.
The link is:
Remember the broad themes of the objections are:
The 8 Albert Embankment planning application (19/01304/FUL & 19/01305/LB) is submitted and objections can now be lodged on the planning portal. Please support us by making objections on the link below:
Use your own words – in broad terms the objections are:
U+I submitted their planning application on 29th March 2019 and it has recently become visible on the Lambeth Planning Portal. There are actually two applications, one for the proposed development and one for listed building consent. While the main application number is 19/01304/FUL, you need to go to 19/01305/LB to access all the documents (this is going to cause confusion!).
‘This application is a DEPARTURE APPLICATION: The proposed development is a departure from site allocation “Site 10 – 8 Albert Embankment and land to the rear bounded by Lambeth High Street, Whitgift Street, the railway viaduct and Southbank House SE1” of the Lambeth Local Plan (2015).’
There are 513 documents but many are plans. A good place to start is the Non-Technical Summary of the Environmental Statement, then look for further detail in the supporting documentation.
This application is a departure from Lambeth planning policy, so take a look at the Planning Statement to see why.
Spot something in the application – tell us at Lambethvillage@gmail.com
Historic England issued pre-application advice to the developer U+I in November 2018 and we now have a copy!
They said they were concerned about:
‘… the impact of the proposals on the setting of the listed building and the wider conservation area …’
They also said:
‘The fire station building currently visually dominates this stretch of the Albert Embankment and the presence of tall buildings in the backdrop will reduce this dominance.’
‘….we would encourage you to consider ways of reducing the height of the towers so they do not encroach upon’ the view of the Victoria Tower ‘and remain visually subservient.’
With reference to the impact on Lambeth Palace they said it will cause ‘..harm to the setting of these highly designated heritage assets’.
We say the proposed towers behind 8 Albert Embankment are harmful to the heritage of Lambeth Village and these statements from Historic England support our view.