OCTAVE TOWER/ Bondway Commercial Centre

At a Planning meeting at Brixton Town Hall on Wednesday 24th March  the Council agreed that they would not recommend that planning permission should be granted for the tower in its present form.
Permission had been sought for a 149 Metre tower.  Many locals  effected by this development do not have seem to have been aware of the nature of the development.
About 20+ locals attended the meeting to protest and  about 10 of those whom had  applied to speak were given the opportunity to do so. Some who spoke were passionately opposed. Vauxhall Park representatives were extremely concerned about the shadow that would be cast over the park after 4 pm when  summer peak time use  happens. Children after school and residents relaxing would have their light obstructed.
Michael Ball, Director  of Waterloo Community Development Group and David Boardman of the Kennington Association  had considerable knowledge and had  put in immense research and thought to their representations which concentrated on the areas where the proposed development deviated from planning policy.
This  all was no doubt highly influential on the final decision  and the Councillors’ decided NOT to follow the  recommendation  that  the Council should  grant permission (subject to conditions and Section 106 Agreement.).

Some of the reasons for refusing  were:

  • That the building was too wide and too tall and detrimental to the Public Realm
  • That there is insufficent floor space for employment. The intention is that  1/3 of floor space within the Major Development Opportunity area should  be given over whereas Octave Tower is  probably less than 10%
  • That the Development is too dense-  ( By probably around X3) This density breaches good quality building policies
  • That there is insufficient amenity space and a lack of public space.

Additionally the adverse effect on local conservation areas was noted. In particular St Marks, Landsdowne Gardens, Vauxhall Conservation Area and our own in  Albert  Square.

The developers of the Octave Tower had actually have actually appealed against Lambeth for non determination prior to the planning meeting in any event. This matter will therefore be decided upon at appeal and there is still much to play for.

ASSA will make representations and if you would like to discuss the issues over this then please contact Rosemary Ellis ( 0207 793 9538)

The pictures above is from a collection available on our Flickr page – all photos are accessible by clicking on the ‘Neighbourhood Photos’ box on the right hand menu (you might need to scroll down a bit to find it).

The photos show the Bondway development from different angles and perspectives. It should be noted that they are the developers computer generated images and that the trees are generally in full leaf and therefore do cover up considerable amounts of the Building that will be visible through the Winter. In some cases the outlines of Bondway and other skyscrapers are all shown.  Ssme of the images seem to be slightly “overexposed” so that the upper outlines are  perhaps not as dominant as the Building  would be in reality.

The images  should be viewed and assessed for information or illustrative purposes only and not to form part of any future formal application submitted by a third party without the consent of consultant who was commissioned by the applicant for this Bondway application.

One comment

  1. I am pleased the application was rejected, as the Octave is too tall and broad for the site. However the role of council officers in leading to this design needs to be explored. They requested the developed to put more social housing in the development, which led to the scheme growing wider from the original design ideas.

    Bondway are bound to try again and at present community engagement appears quite fragmented. The fact that Vauxhall Skygardens was approved the week before, shows that when a development affects a social housing estate and not owner occupiers there is less community activity and opposition.

    There are also three more skyscrapers planned for the New Covent Garden Market site, designed by Lord Foster. We need a cohesive platform for for residents of Lambeth and Wandsworth to oversee the development in Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battesea. A fragmented voice of local people will only mean less influence and power.

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