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South Bank & Waterloo Forum

16 July 2020

The Forum, chaired by Florence Eshalomi, MP for Vauxhall, was held by Zoom for the first time, with around 60 people logging in from their homes. 

There was a presentation by Nic Durston (CEO South Bank Employers' Group) of The Covid-19 Recovery Plan, prepared by the South Bank and Waterloo Management Group, which represents the local Council, Businesses and the Community. It outlines short, medium and long terms plans for recovery in every aspect of the community, from the arts organisations and business to the needs of local residents. Nic emphasised that this would be an evolving plan, given the levels of continuing uncertainty. To see the plan, click here... Future Forums will be updated on its progress.

The other main item was un update on the activities of South Bank & Waterloo Neighbours (SoWN) since the Neighbourhood Plan was adopted by Lambeth (December 2019) and Southwark (March 2020). Since then it has been registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and has restructured itself. General membership is free to anyone who lives or works in the area, and the Steering Group is open to anyone interested in getting involved. Emphasis was particularly put on the importance and value of making SoWN a gender-balanced and BAME representative organisation, to reflect the community.  

A number of working groups have also been set up and reported on Planning, the Environment and use of funds from major developments.:

  • Planning: Several recent planning applications in Lower Marsh have emphasised the need to protect it as a thriving local shopping area, Two new hotel/workspace developments are planned around Lambeth North, one on the vacant site on the corner of Hercules Road, the other in the adjacent Edwardian bank building (with closure of the bank). The potential for significant construction traffic along Upper Ground in coming years was also highlighted, given plans coming forward for the IBM Building, the ITV Tower and the vacant Doon Street car park.

  • Ted Inman, who chairs the working group looking at projects that might be funded by receipts from planning gain, reported that the list in the Neighbourhood Plan is already needing updating.  This is being worked on. He asked for suggestions to be added to the list (Click here to see list). There will be further consultation on this.

  • Environment SoWN has formed an Environment Group to monitor and progress the initiatives in the Neighbourhood Plan. Given the wide interest in this, future Forums will receive regular updates.

Community updates:

  • The issue was raised of plans to allow some pubs and restaurants to expand their outdoor eating areas to meet social distancing requirements. Consultation with residents is essential. Everyone understands the economic imperatives to allow outdoor eating and drinking, but there also needs additional focus on the risks of anti-social behaviour.

  • Mention was made of plans to improve Hatfields Green.

  • Concern was expressed about the working hours of a proposed printing operation in Wootton/Brad Street, which would contravene the early morning permitted hours of delivery close to homes.

The next Forum will be in September, and is likely to be by Zoom again.

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