Lambeth Council has given the go-ahead for a £600 million redevelopment of Elizabeth House in Waterloo.
The existing 1960s building sits between The Shell Centre and the former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo and is a critical site for the successful regeneration of the whole Waterloo area. The scheme, which was approved by the council’s planning committee last night (6 November), is for two new buildings (11 storey and up to 29 storey) which will include new office accommodation, 142 homes, retail space and substantial improvements to the public realm. It will also see the removal of the high level footbridge to Waterloo Station, which would be replaced with escalators and lifts within the station building.
Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the scheme has sparked a lively debate. It has support from the Centre for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).
Agreeing with the South Bank Employers’ Group, the council did not think the new buildings would harm the Westminster World Heritage Site views significantly and thought this scheme was an improvement on one that had been rejected on appeal in 2009.
Furthermore the council felt the substantial benefits for the area and the local economy made this scheme impossible to refuse. Lambeth Council supports growth in Waterloo, which is part of the Central Activities Zone in London and a designated opportunity area, and is currently consulting on a revised supplementary planning document for the area.
Cllr Lib Peck, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategic Housing said:
“We feel the scheme supports our vision for the regeneration of Waterloo – new jobs, affordable homes, a greater variety of shops and substantial public realm improvements. Better access to the train and tube will improve the interchange; a new Central Square, re-landscaping Victory Arch Square and a new pedestrian-only public space in front of the former Eurostar terminal will open up the area making it an exciting destination.
“This scheme can unlock regeneration in this run down area of central London, including the international terminal, and is a stone’s throw from the South Bank. It can restore Waterloo’s status as an employment centre and encourage further investment in the area – which is good for Waterloo, good for Lambeth and good for London as a whole.”
A minimum of 20% affordable housing would be provided both within the scheme and on a separate adjacent site in Leake Street. In addition, at least 100 apprenticeships and 150 local jobs would be created during the construction.
The full planning application can be viewed at the following link: http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=600&MId=8123