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SoWN News Sept 2023 - news about Waterloo Health Centre and more....

Next South Bank and Waterloo Forum

The next South Bank and Waterloo Forum will be at Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre on Thursday 21st Sept at 7pm. The focus will be on health. There will be a full agenda, as usual. It will include an update on progress on the Waterloo Health Centre relocation. Nic Durston will present the South Bank Manifesto and ask what we can do to make this area an even better place to live and work. Update on the Net Zero project and more! Refreshments included.

The December South Bank and Waterloo Forum will be on Thursday 14th December.

Future Neighbourhoods 2030; We're helping recruit a net zero project leader

We're excited that the strategy for making this part of London a cleaner greener neighbourhood by 2030 - the Future Neighbourhoods 2030 strategy - is taking a big step forward. South Bank and WeAreWaterloo BIDs, Lambeth Council and SoWN have come together to create the new role of Progamme Lead.

Are you passionate about mitigating climate change and delivering an ambitious net zero programme? If so, join us to lead and champion achieving net zero emissions for Waterloo and South Bank by 2030. It's an exciting post and we're hoping for strong applicants so that we can move forward quickly.


News from SoWN Planning Group

Decisions decisions

Michael Gove, Secretary of State, has postponed a decision on the monster slab proposed for 72 Upper Ground which was the subject of a public inquiry last Dec/Jan. He received the Inspector’s report in May and was scheduled to take a final decision in July, then August, now postponed to October.

But he has issued an Article 31 holding directive preventing Lambeth from approving the plans for 5 tall buildings at Royal St, adjacent to Archbishops Park - this allows him time to consider calling in the application for a public inquiry, following objections from Historic England, ICOMOS, Westminster council, 20th Century Society, and 44,000 people who have signed a petition. The application is supported by Lambeth Council and many local stakeholders including both BIDs and St Thomas’ Hospital.

Another hotel? Lambeth councillors support SOWN objections

SOWN objected to a tall hotel - and although Lambeth’s planning officers still recommended approval, councillors on the planning committee supported the objections and refused the application.

During the lockdown there was a flurry of planning applications, and the SOWN planning group met regularly on-line, meeting developers and making comments. A 15-storey hotel was proposed for the vacant site opposite Lambeth North tube station: SOWN objected to the out-of-scale height and mass of the proposal, as well as the use of the site for another hotel - albeit was proposed by Park Plaza, a hotel group which has demonstrated its support for SOWN and the local community.

The application was held up for over two years, but finally went to Lambeth’s planning committee in July - where councillors voted 4-3 to refuse it. There is a likely chance the decision will be appealed, so watch this space.

Even taller tall buildings at 18 Blackfriars!

An application for the tallest building on the South Bank after the Shard has been submitted to Southwark Council and will be determined in the autumn.

The site has been vacant since the turn of the century, although permission was granted for 300 flats and an office block in two tall towers in 2009, and in even taller towers in 2017 - neither of which was built out. Now three towers are proposed of 22, 40 and 45 floors over a podium, with 1m sq ft of offices and over 400 flats (40% affordable).

You can see and comment on the application here 18 Blackfriars Road


News from SoWN members


Waterloo Action Centre

WAC is now back to being very busy again after the Covid period. Many of the regular activities during the 85+ hours a week it is open are on the website .

However that means even more need for community and volunteer help - some of current opportunities are on the website.


Coin Street Community Builders

Celebrate London Design Festival at Oxo Tower Wharf

16-24 September 2023

From millinery to ceramics, weaving to leatherworking and much more, a haven for the design and craft-curious is waiting to be discovered at Oxo Tower Wharf.

The creative community of studio showrooms on the first and second floors is open to browse, buy, commission and learn with special demos and workshops.

You'll also find design fair Material Matters, taking over Bargehouse with installations, talks and more, as well as The Wood Awards at gallery@oxo.


Waterloo Local History Society

Information about REEL Waterloo -  walk visiting Waterloo film locations. Tuesday 19th and Sunday 24th Sept, 10.30 a.m, start at BFI Southbank. Book by visiting Eventbrite and searching Reel Waterloo


Celebrating St George's Cathedral 175th year

To mark the 175th Anniversary of the opening of St George's in 1848 a walk has been organised for

anyone who is interested in the history of the Cathedral and the surrounding area of Southwark

Bankside, The walk will start at St George's Cathedral and end at St George the Martyr in Borough High


The walk will start at 2pm on Saturday 30 September outside the Cathedral. This History Tour will be led by Jenny Rossiter of The Lambeth Tour Guide Association. The Tour is free. However, all donations are welcome for the nominated charity: The Archbishop Romero Trust


Lambeth Heritage Festival

Lambeth Heritage Festival seeks to celebrate the extraordinary diverse history of Lambeth. It runs through September and has an amazing range of events. It is coordinated by Lambeth Archives and the Lambeth Local History Forum


Morley College

Morley College Studio Show, 6 - 28 Sept, 5.30 to 8 pm, Barry Till Gallery, 61 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7HT


Webber Street Day Centre needs clothes

The Webber Street Day Centre provides huge support to homeless people in and around Waterloo - breakfast, showers, advice, medical help and more. They are now fully reopen after lockdown, and are very short of men's clothes to give out. They would welcome donations of all kinds of men's clothes. Please take them to the Centre, between 9 and 5 - ring the bell if it's closed.


A word about us

When SoWN Together was launched in April, the idea was to experiment in filling the need for independent local news. SoWN itself is not impartial; it takes stances and as a neighbourhood charity relies on Lambeth Council and others for funding and support. There have been tensions and conflicts of interest, and we've concluded that it’s only really possible to publish news and views from SoWN and its members and partners, so we want to be clear that's what you will now be reading.

We aim to publish our next newsletter in mid October. Items to be included should be sent to

If you would like to volunteer to be part of editorial team please email


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