No recommendation is made to the committee for Pre-application Development Presentations. Matters arising from discussions during the item will be minuted; any matters discussed will not be binding on the eventual decision-maker.
(Agenda item 3, page 25 of the agenda pack, page 11 of the first addendum)
Councillor Seedat joined the meeting at 7.04pm.
The officer started the presentation and noted that:
- The site was located in Waterloo opposite Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. The pre-application proposal was for a redevelopment which would provide offices, residential units, retail and community uses.
- Lambeth Officers had been in pre-application discussions with the applicant under a Planning Performance Agreement using the Enhanced Engagement Service, which included a meeting with Ward Members, local representatives and a presentation to the Planning Applications Committee. The project had also been to the Design Review Panel on multiple occasions.
- The applicant had undertaken their own public consultation.
- The main planning issues were land use, townscape, heritage, transport, sustainability and employment and skills.
The developers started their presentation and noted:
- The GST Foundation were working with Stanhope on the development and would sell a 150-year lease to Stanhope and retain a financial interest in the development.
- The proposal would provide 35% affordable housing and sought to deliver positive outcomes on employment, air quality and public realm.
- It was intended that the GST NHS Foundation Trust would occupy Plot A of the development, but they had not been given approval by HM Treasury to do this. However, they maintained a long-term intention to move into the development sometime in the future.
- The first phase of public consultation occurred in September 2021 and the second phase would commence in late November 2021. During the consultation, the developers contacted 30 community groups and organisations, circulated approximately 2,000 newsletters and promoted the consultation through social media.
- Feedback from the consultation focused on the future of the existing uses including the importance of affordable workspace, a request for clarity on building height, more information on the new public spaces, and a desire for improved local connections.
- The applicant was aiming to submit a Planning Application in late February 2022 with a start on site in 2024.
- The proposal would include a MedTech hub with office space and lab-enabled space as well as affordable workspace.
- The proposal would be sustainable, using all electric measures and with no fossil fuel consumption on site. It would be car free and use freight consolidation. The developers would attempt to achieve a net zero whole life carbon.
- They would deliver flexible workspaces for the community to use, without competing with or undermining the surrounding community spaces.
- Building B was a residential building and would replace the 129 existing apartments with 132 new homes, of which 35% would be affordable.
- Buildings A, C, D, E were commercial buildings of which a third or 300,000 sq ft would be lab enabled space (approximately three times the size of the Lambeth Civic Centre).
- Each building would have dedicated cycle hubs and extensive cycle parking in the public realm.
- There would be cafes, restaurants, shops and co-working space at ground floor.
- Building F was under the railway and would form part of the affordable workspace offer.
- Building E would retain and extend the existing structure to Beckett House, which reduces the embodied carbon.
- Building D had been reduced in height by three floors during pre-application discussions.
- The existing Eastern entrance to the park would be enhanced and a new park entrance was also proposed.
- Existing parking on Royal Street would be removed and replaced with dedicated accessible spaces and the road would be redesigned to provide more pavement space.
- A Walled Garden would provide amenity for the residential building.
- The buildings’ heights are similar to the height of Urbanest of around 60m.
The developers then provided the following information in response to questions from Members:
- Regarding the Tall Buildings Policy, the proposed buildings had been designed so that there were three buildings of a similar height to the Urbanest Building and a step down in height towards the park.
- Historic England had been consulted on the development as part of the pre-application process. They were conscious of the Houses of Parliament and ensured that the buildings would not project above the roofline; the views from Lambeth Palace and Archbishop’s Park; and the views from Lower Marsh. There was an existing former school on the site, and it was considered of some merit locally, however it was not considered of listable quality. They believed that the benefits of the proposal would outweigh the harm to the heritage assets.
- 75% of the Walled Garden within the site would be dedicated to residential amenity which would include a play space for younger children. It was confirmed that there would be a garden space and the public would not have access.
- The development wanted to achieve zero carbon and move to an all-electric scheme. They would need to offset some of this carbon by buying in green energy. They were also seeking to reduce the amount of embodied carbon using low carbon material and reusing the existing structure of Beckett House.
- The amount of cycle parking provision would meet Greater London Authority standards, including shower facilities and there would be 142 short stay cycle spaces in the public realm.
- The proposal would deliver affordable workspace and would be able to accommodate start-up organisations as well as mature businesses across the scheme.
- The developers had not explored the notion of the proposal committing to the London Living Wage for the end users. Stanhope were a London Living Wage employer and would enforce that in their direct contracts such as the construction and Estate Management activities.
- The ground floor of the buildings would include retail, food and beverage as well as a flexible space similar to a community hall facility. Building users could use the space for events or conferences.
- There would be a commitment to employment and training for both construction and beyond construction for the end users, to be secured by a s106 agreement. This could be targeted at the life sciences imitative to help support long-term jobs in Lambeth.
- The NHS had not yet secured consent from the Treasury for the site to be an outpatient facility. The building footprint was still appropriate for use by the NHS but would require some amendments if they were to move in.
- The building was proposed as a commercial building and the lower three floors would be laboratory enabled floors in line with the NHS requirements. There would be remain an opportunity for the NHS to move into the development in the future, either in Building A or another building.