Home > Uncategorized > Vision: what will the neighbourhood be like in 15 years time?
SoWn together 2

Taken from a workshop on 23 April 2015, the following describes the characteristics, challenges and opportunities of the next 15 years – the life of the neighbourhood plan. This helps us to define the vision and aims for the neighbourhood plan.


Vision and aims


A neighbourhood plan to support the creation of an affordable, inclusive and authentic South Bank & Waterloo.


Aims of the neighbourhood plan

South Bank & Waterloo Neighbours was established by local residents, workers and community representatives to develop a 15 year vision for the development of the neighbourhood.  The plan identifies:

a)      the unique characteristics of the neighbourhood

b)      the long-term aspirations for its development

c)       the barriers to achieving these aspirations

d)      ways in which the plan can address these barriers

A combination of spatial planning policies, guidance and projects, the plan aims to provide a blueprint for developers, local authorities and others setting out the aspirations of the local community over the next fifteen years.  These aspirations include encouraging development which:

i)      celebrates the culture, character and people of the neighbourhood

ii)    incorporates an environmentally sustainable approach

iii)   minimises negative impact on the surrounding community

iv)  provides a  range of housing to support a diverse community

v)    allows for the proliferation of a range of economic activity, reflecting the locality

vi)  supports a network of facilities for local people with a range of needs

vii) contributes to a walkable, liveable, functional and authentic public realm


1. Diversity

  • Unique range of users in large numbers with competing needs
    • 100m commuters
    • 30m tourists
    • Significant numbers of visitors and patients to St Thomas’ Hospital
    • Significant student population
    • 55,000 workers
    • 12,000 residents
  • Unique range of activity – home to:
    • Busiest train station in UK
    • World class teaching hospital
    • Major corporate headquarters
    • Small businesses/independents
    • World class cultural centre
    • University ranked 16th best in the world
    • UKs most visited paid-for tourist attraction
    • Archbishop of Canterbury’s residence
  • Significant differences in the feel of the area/level of footfall at different times of the day, week and year
  • River Thames

2. Culture

LB Lambeth’s consultation for the cultural strategy is an opportunity to map and advocate for diverse range of activity carried out here, rather than attempt to deliver or replicate what is already being achieved:

  • Institutions such as National Theatre, Southbank Centre, BFI, London Studios, Old and Young Vic theatres
  • Supporting industries/supply chain including graphic design, set building, printing, costume
  • South Bank Mosaics, Make Space Studios, smaller galleries – local cultural bodies which may be more vulnerable to development or require support
  • Night time economy – bars, restaurants, venues
  • Heritage, architecture, history
  • Parks, sport and leisure provision e.g. at Archbishop’s Park
  • Community / language / faith as expressions of culture.
  • Location provides access to a variety of culture, supporting diversity of local population
  • Potential to develop separate cultural policy allowing for ‘pop-up’ cultural events and installations. (BS will organise stakeholder meeting)
  • Culture as an opportunity for growth and employment. Jobs for local people

3. Identity

  • ‘Urban village’ – unique sense of community. Unusual to find such cohesion in city centre locations including in London – area has maintained a stable residential population despite its location, perhaps in part due to poor reputation of ‘South of the river’ and nature/ownership of housing.
  • Over half of the congregation for St John’s Church walks, very unusual for an urban parish
  • Village identity intangible and unconnected with physical characteristics – Thames, iconic buildings, major roads and rail infrastructure advertising suggest ‘global destination’
  • Is it possible to separate Waterloo ‘village’ from South Bank ‘global destination’? What are the implications or disadvantages of making such a distinction?  Is there a need to rebalance South Bank and Waterloo, to redistribute footfall or ensure quiet residential areas?
  • Waterloo as both ‘South Bank fringe’ and ‘South Bank heart’


  • Retail caters for workers and commuters, rather than residents
  • Green space caters for tourists rather than workers or residents
  • Street design is suitable for residents rather than commuters on foot or cycling
  • Healthcare and library provision is inadequate
  • Office conversion to hotels and other uses puts pressure on available office space, catering for tourists rather than workers
  • Affordable housing is not adequate for low to middle income people employed in local sectors
  • No masterplan or single approach to the area. Multiple stakeholders with different priorities

Opportunities – the neighbourhood in 15 years time

1. Design, architecture and heritage

  • Apply a vision to public realm inclusive design which is appropriate to key user groups across the day, week and year
  • Map railway links and opportunities for permeability – embracing railway infrastructure and heritage
  • Understand opportunities for car-free walking and cycling
  • Waterloo station redevelopment as an opportunity for iconic architecture
  • Heritage pubs
  • Exemplary design of buildings, representing ‘future heritage assets’
  • Better consideration of buildings at ground level
  • Design to reflect raw, authentic characteristic – Lower Marsh, industry, music hall heritage, railway infrastructure, working river

2. Energy

  • Wind
  • Hydroelectric power
  • Solar energy
  • Combined heat and power networks.
  • Kinetic pavements

 3. Affordability

  • Enterprise and creativity – an affordable place for small businesses and start ups – microbrewery, creative industries, food, community owned businesses
  • Housing

4. Support

  • Jobs for locals
  • Mental health and isolation
  • A neighbourhood for elderly and young people
  • Relational connections and network

Thematic objectives

Green infrastructure, Open Space and Air Quality

  • Protecting and creating open space and green infrastructure
  • Minimising the impact of construction on open space
  • Reductions in air pollution, noise pollution, and other negative environmental effects

Development Management

  • Ensuring appropriate mitigation of development on the surrounding community
  • Aiming for a mix of development to suit the needs of a range of users
  • Respecting heritage and character


  • Responding to the demand for affordable housing among underrepresented groups
  • Encouraging innovation in form, design and management of local housing
  • Protecting those accommodated in the private rented sector from exploitation

Retail and Work

  • Supporting a mix of retail for a range of users including residents
  • Encouraging enterprise and start-up businesses
  • Resisting further loss of office space

Social Infrastructure

  • Supporting a range of facilities for the use of the community
  • Seeking revenue to sustain community activity
  • Improving the consultation between developers, Councils and communities

Streetscape and transport

  • Encouraging sustainable transport and reducing vehicular traffic through the neighbourhood
  • Supporting key public realm improvements which contribute to the sense of place
  • Reducing the potential for accidents caused by construction traffic
















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