top of page

SoWN News 15 February 2024

Welcome to your South Bank and Waterloo Neighbours newsletter.

This newsletter contains:

  • The Secretary of State approves former ITV studios development

  • Last chance to vote on Mural design - deadline Tuesday 20 February

  • Mini Filmmakers Club - free spaces for local children

  • Oceandiva scraps plans for London

  • SoWN meeting Thursday 21 March at Urbanest

  • South Bank Partnership

  • Deadline for Health and Wellbeing Grant Applications - Monday 26 February

  • Tai Chi class at Waterloo Action Centre

  • New 100m native Beech and Hornbeam hedgerow in Jubilee Gardens

The Secretary of State approves former ITV studios development

Despite considerable community opposition, Michael Gove granted planning permission for Mitsubishi to demolish the former ITV building to build an enormous office block which campaigners argue will spoil the character of the South Bank, overshadow neighbouring homes and businesses and does not provide a single new home for people in housing need.

For three years, the community campaign, led by dedicated residents, volunteers, and allies, has passionately opposed these plans because we all care deeply about our neighbourhood. The campaign group will work to make sure the wellbeing of our community is considered as this development progresses and continue to fight for the soul of our neighbourhood.


Last chance to vote for the new Sandell Street mural

Voting for the design on the new Sandell Street mural closes on closes at midnight on Tuesday 20 February.

You can see the proposals here and you can cast your vote here.  

Mini Filmmakers Club

Saturdays 24 February to 23 March 2024 (5 sessions)

10:30am to 12:30pm

The BFI are offering free places (worth £110) for local children for the mini filmmakers club which will be held over five Saturdays in February and March.

This term, the theme is ‘Sensations’ and they'll explore how filmmakers capture human senses on film.

Sign up here. Promocode: MINIFREE


Oceandiva announces it's scrapping plans to operate on the Thames

Operators of the Oceandiva party boat have announced that they are scrapping plans to operate on the Thames.

Local residents and representatives opposed the plan due to the impact it would have on the lives of those living along the riverside.


South Bank and Waterloo Forum Thursday 21 March at Urbanest

The next Forum will be held on Thursday 21 March between 7 and 8.30pm followed by drinks.

The meeting will be held at Urbanest, 203 Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7FR and the agenda will include the Waterloo Station Development Plan. Further details to follow.


South Bank Partnership

A good meeting of the South Bank Partnership was held on Friday 2nd February, chaired by Claire Holland, Leader of Lambeth Council. As well as reports back from Lambeth and Southwark, the meeting focused on local safety and security. South Bank and Waterloo experience very high levels of certain types of crime, especially theft, burglary and violence against the person. There are close links between the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, South Bank Patrol and other local security networks. The intention is to focus more on prevention, to reduce the circumstances in which crime can occur, rather than firefighting. This will involve improving the use of data analysis and sharing information, to improve the likelihood of offenders being apprehended and to decrease opportunistic crime.

The Partnership also received a report on the Net Zero Strategy for a cleaner, greener South Bank and Waterloo, which aims for the goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.

The combination of South Bank and Waterloo's 2030 Vision, the net zero strategy, the work of the Net Zero Steering Group, and the focus of Jackson Bylett, the new Programme Lead is powerful.

The Steering Group is are focusing on the five areas highlighted in the FN2030 strategy - Retrofitting homes, commercial and public buildings, creating a decarbonised, smart and integrated energy system, improving air quality and creating zero emission zones, climate adapted, resilient and green neighbourhoods and a zero waste circular economy.

With funding from the Community Investment Levy allocated to SoWN, it is hoped that some projects will start soon:

Carbon literacy and engagement - this project aims to increase awareness and understanding among stakeholders about reducing climate change impact and protecting health against air pollution. It includes developing an e-learning module for business employees, producing information guides for residents, whilst integrating with and signposting to other existing environmental initiatives.

Tree planting acceleration - this project aims to increase tree canopy cover in South Bank and Waterloo. It involves planting trees along footways and kerbsides, accompanied by informative boards about the environmental benefits. The project will support the acceleration of Council planting programmes and engage private landowners to participate in planting.

Sustainable drainage project - sustainable drainage systems are green features, replacing pavement or road space, designed to manage rainwater runoff, reduce flooding, and support natural habitats. This project focuses on designing a sustainable drainage feature locally which also enhances walking and cycling connectivity and resident health and wellbeing.

The Steering Group are looking at longer term major gains, potentially by improving the support for local green spaces, and by identifying ways of providing a low-carbon heat network for the area.

The Partnership also heard of the other priorities for the allocation of the Neighbourhood Community Investment Levy by SoWN - reflecting the priorities in Lambeth’s vision for 2030.

Making Lambeth Neighbourhoods Fit for the Future: SoWN is reflecting this objective by expecting to allocate some of the funding to projects which will enhance climate resilience and help us to achieve the 2030 target.

Making Lambeth One of The Safest Boroughs in London - SoWN is contributing to this target in several ways. We have contributed fully to the engagement around the Master Plan for Waterloo Station, which will impact the area fundamentally. We are also engaging with the strategy to revitalise and support businesses and residents who are based in or come to Lower Marsh, and we are working closely with the Emma Cons Steering Group to help move forward the vision for transforming Emma Cons Gardens opposite the Old Vic Theatre.

Making Lambeth A Place We Can All Call Home - We plan that some of the NCiL funding will be allocated to a joint project between the major community organisations in the area - Coin Street, St John’s Waterloo, Oasis, and Bright Futures - to support the recruitment and deployment of volunteers across these projects and Waterloo Action Centre. All these organisations have extensive community projects which are dependent on volunteers, and better coordination will enable them to provide better services for local residents.


Deadline for Health and Wellbeing Grant Applications

The deadline is approaching for final submissions to the Waterloo and South Bank Health and Wellbeing Grants Fund 2024. Applications need to be submitted by midnight on Monday 26 February.

Grants of between £500 and £8,000 will be made to projects that in some way promote the health and wellbeing of people living in the Waterloo and South Bank Ward.

The fund is managed by SoWN and funded by Lambeth Together. For full details and to make an application, visit the website.


Tai Chi class at Waterloo Action Centre

The Tai Chi class at Waterloo Action Centre ( Wednesdays 2.15 - 3.15pm) sends greetings for the Chinese New Year. The year of the Green Dragon began on 10th February.

This is a great time to make a favourable change in your life. Tai Chi classes at the Waterloo Action Centre are £5 a session. You can try one session with no obligation to sign up.

For more information about Tai Chi and other local classes, contact Laura


New 100m native Beech and Hornbeam hedgerow in Jubilee Gardens

A new 100m native Beech and Hornbeam hedgerow is thriving in Jubilee Gardens thanks to funding from The London Eye. This replaced the damaged and depleted hedge along the boundary at the County Hall/London Eye side of Jubilee Gardens.

While these new trees arrived just in time to provide some spectacular autumn colour and some winter foliage, they will also provide year-round shelter, roosting, nesting and foraging opportunities for birds and small mammals as well as habitats for insects, boosting biodiversity on this side of the Gardens. The hedge when planted was already a substantial size so the impact is impressive and will only improve year on year as our new native hedge settles and establishes itself.

Look out for some spring foliage and blossoms coming soon!


We're always looking for community news for the SoWN newsletter. If you have anything to be included, please email

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


bottom of page