A 70-metre tower is set to be built by the border of Wandsworth and Lambeth despite objections.
Lambeth College was given the go-ahead by a planning committee – three in favour and two against – after three hours of input from officers, councillors, members of the community, and the school’s representatives.
The proposals include “new build teaching and learning space to support skills development in construction, engineering, science and dental technology, IT, digital and creative” as well as English and maths space.
Up to 272 student ‘bed spaces’ are also planned for Block C, a 20-storey tower.
Nearly 1,000 people signed a petition opposing the height of the tower, while three residents implored the committee to reject the plans.
Residents in Lambeth left for years without social housing
A severe housing shortage in Lambeth is leaving people waiting for a council home for years, with one resident joining the list in 1975.
According to a Freedom of Information request, someone joined the list 46 years ago and has yet to be given social housing.
Lambeth Council said the oldest applications “include people who are adequately housed and therefore have no priority for social housing, and who are not actively seeking rehousing but remain on the list at their own request.”
Nearly 30,000 people are waiting for a council home in the borough.
The newly obtained figures revealed that nearly one third of households (10,009) have been waiting for a permanent home for between five and nine years – more than 5,000 have been waiting for more than 10 years.
Lambeth Council said it faces a “severe and serious housing crisis” and that between 40 and 60 people join the list every week, while only 20 homes become available.
A spokesperson said there is a “critical shortage of available properties” in the borough and that homes are allocated on the basis of need rather than waiting times.
He said: “The properties that do become available are allocated to the highest priority households – for example, people who are homeless, who live in cramped conditions, or who have a medical condition made worse by their current home.
“Applicants in a lower priority band are not in such immediate housing need and so have less chance of being allocated a council house.”
Set of classic 1980s' film could be demolished for flats
The set of a critically acclaimed British film starring Daniel Day-Lewis is set to be demolished if plans for 22 flats in Vauxhall go ahead tonight.
Lambeth councillors are set to decide on the fate of the buildings from 3 to 27 Wilcox Road, which includes ‘Taste of the Mediterranean restaurant’ – the set of the ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ film from 1985.
The British Film Institute ranked the film, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis and Gordon Warnecke, as the the 50th greatest British film of the 20th century.
‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ will also be demolished if the plans go ahead, although the unit it occupies is not the specific unit of the laundrette in the film.
Set in London during the Thatcher years, the comedy/drama focuses on the relationships between Pakistani and English communities.
The gay love story follows Omar, played by Warnecke, and Johnny, played by Day-Lewis, who become caretakers of a laundrette originally owned by Omar’s uncle.
Lambeth Council’s cabinet will consider extending its redress scheme for victims of abuse at its former children’s homes for en extra two years next week.
The Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme is compensating survivors of Shirley Oaks in Croydon, homes which were open from the 1930s until the 1980s and 1990s.
It was launched in January last year when it was expected that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), public hearings into children in the care of Lambeth, would have taken place before the scheme’s scheduled closing date, on 2 January, 2020.
But the Lambeth hearings are now scheduled to take place between April and November next year, with a report expected in 2021.
And more people are expected to come forward as a result of the hearings, a Lambeth Council spokesman said.
The scheme is already estimated to have cost £53million, with 1,250 compensation applications received by the council.
Bumper grant for Lambeth's Black Cultural Archives
Lambeth Council has pledged more than half a million pounds to the Black Cultural Archives to refurbish its building, with hopes to make the institution less reliant on grants or subsidies.
The authority is expected to approve a conditional grant of £621,960 to refurbish grade II listed Raleigh Hall – where the institution has called home for the last five years.
This follows a £250,000 council grant in 2018 to support its transition to a more “sustainable operating model.”
Since then the institution has introduced charges to key exhibitions and events, and reviewed its cafe and shop hires.
“The Black Cultural Archives has also sought to improve the visitor experience and improve its programming and reconfigure the ground floor spaces
of the building to support the future potential of commercial income generation and additional grant funding from non-council sources,” a council report said.
“They are now developing a new five year business plan to move the organisation into a position where they become less reliant on public funding sources by 2023-2024.”
The archives, established in 1981, are a national institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of diverse people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain.
Lambeth Council will borrow a futher £20 million as part of its buy-back scheme for properties it plans to demolish to make way for regeneration on six estates.
Almost 1,400 homes across Central Hill, Cressingham Gardens, Fenwick, Knight’s Walk, South Lambeth and Westbury estates will be bulldozed and replaced.
Of these, 450 are leasehold properties which the authority wants to buy.
The £20m is on top of the £39.74m borrowed to purchase homes in Central Hill, Cressingham Gardens and Fenwick Estate Hello - £20.32 of which has been used to buy 88 homes so far, with a number of purchases in progress, a council report said.
“Initially these properties will be acquired on an ad-hoc basis, as and when
homeowners wish to sell their property to the Council; as projects progress through planning, a more concerted effort will be made to seek to acquire the properties required to enable the rebuilding of the estates,” the report said.
Homes for Lambeth, the authority’s house building company, plans to rent the homes on the open market to generate an income which will go toward’s the interest on the loans.
Multi-million pound investment in Brixton's Rec Quarter
Lambeth Council will invest £4.5 million into new workspaces, street improvements and street market infrastructure at Brixton’s Rec Quarter, which includes Brixton Market and the grade II listed Recreation Centre.
The Greater London Authority granted the council £2.17m to
invest in the area around the Brixton Rec.
But the council had to match the GLA funding.
The council has allocated £825,000 of Community Infrastructure Levy money towards improvements to Brixton Station Road and Beehive Place, and has approved plans to borrow £700,000 to convert storage space at the Rec into workspace.
The matching also includes a further £800,000 of capital investment made in to International House, an affordable workspace, by operator 3Space and their tenants.
Brixton is an area of high deprivation where the number of out of work benefit claimants is significantly higher than the London wide figure of 11.6%, including 18.4% of Coldharbour residents, 16.5% in Tulse Hill and 12.4% in Brixton Hill.
It is hoped the investment will create more employment opportunities and attract more businesses to the area, the council report explains.
Controversial second Southwark Station entrance approved
A controversial new entrance to Southwark Tube station has been given the green light amid concerns the Greet Street entrance will disrupt the quiet, residential area.
Lambeth Council’s planning committee approved the Transport for London (TfL) development for the second entrance to the Tube by four votes to three.
It will also see the pavement of Greet Street widened to accommodate more people, landscaping and five cycle stands.
A 2009 application for the scheme was withdrawn after officers made it clear its design would harm the local amenities.
But council officers said the new proposal’s design, which will see an open staircase directly into the railway viaduct, would not be unduly harmful to the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers, when conditions about noise and lighting were applied.
Officers also found the new station would benefit local cultural activities and businesses and provide faster access to the area.
The site is in the Waterloo Opportunity Area, where at least 2,500 new homes and 15,000 new jobs are expected over the next decade – which could add pressure on transport links.
But among those speaking against the development was Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey, who said Southwark tube station was not overly congested.
“When you compare it with Tube stations all over london, how it can be seen as being hugely congested? This is just not neccessary,” she said.
Lambeth Local Assembly member Florence Eshalomi also objected to the scheme and said it would change Greet Street “dramatically” with increased traffic and pedestrian footfall.
The entrance will be open from from 05:30 to 01:00 from Sunday to Thursday, and from 05:30 to 00:30 on Fridays and Saturdays, with conditions to limit lighting and noise from the station.