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Livingstone facing rough ride over South Bank revamp


London mayor Ken Livingstone is set to come under fire from GLA member for Lambeth and Southwark Valerie Shawcross for flouting 'protocols' and conducting 'secret' meetings with the South Bank Centre over its proposals to develop Jubilee Gardens.

Shawcross told the AJ she will air her frustration about both the meetings and a restricted report into Rick Mather's masterplan for the site at next week's mayor's question time (18 July). She is furious that, as a community representative, she has been denied information concerning the talks. 'I'm very concerned with the way the mayor is dealing with the issue, ' she told the AJ. 'I wrote Livingstone a letter over a month ago and I haven't had a reply - there should be a balanced approach and I've invited him to talk to the community. I feel that Jubilee Gardens should be protected as an open space and as an appropriate setting for the Eye and County Hall.'

The AJ also understands from GLA sources that Livingstone is at odds with his planning advisors and deputy mayor Nicky Gavron over the issue of building on Jubilee Gardens, designated as Metropolitan Open Land and almost on a footing with Green Belt. It is understood he has rejected a report which recommended that the raised park idea proposed by Mather's indicative scheme was unwise.

The SBC has opted to delay until September making a choice between Rafael Vinoly Architects and Foreign Office Architects to redevelop the site.

It is waiting to see if David Chipperfield, a jury member for the wider competition, beats Erick van Egeraat and Panter Hudspith to win the competition to design a new headquarters for the BFI next month before proceeding.

The SBC work could even go to Vinoly and FOA, but it is unclear how it would be split.

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