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Approved: KPF succeeds where Make failed with Bondway skyscraper

KPF has won approval for a 169m-tall tower on the south London site previously earmarked for Make’s rejected 42-storey Bondway skyscraper

On Tuesday night (5 August) Lambeth Council’s planning committee waved through the 60,400m2 scheme for site McLaren Property and Citygrove which will house 450 flats, 3,700m2 of offices and 1,000m² of shops.

The proposal had attracted a number of objections, most notably from English Heritage and Westminster Council. Both parties feared the development could have a ‘the negative visual impact on designated views and the outstanding universal value of the Westminster World Heritage Site’.

Local residents had also raised concerns about the development with its main 50-storey tower – housing 360 private flats – and a linked 25-storey block on the southern part of the site housing 90 affordable homes.

According to the Evening Standard, one local resident complained that the skyscraper would leave around 70 people in darkness ‘during winter afternoons’. He said: ‘The lack of direct sunlight will affect us quite badly. This will stop 40 per cent of daylight we would get during afternoons in winter and autumn.’

Make’s earlier proposal for the plot – a 149 metre-tall ‘zig-zag-shaped’ tower – was rejected by Eric Pickles in early 2011 following an appeal. The secretary of state said the scheme, dubbed the Octave, lacked open space and had an ‘overbearing’ impact on the area.

Responding to the KPF planning application, another local resident added: ‘One of the reasons the Octave was turned down [by Pickles] was because it was overbearing in relation to the local surroundings. As this is bigger and uglier one would assume the same logic must apply.’

However the planning committee agreed with the council officers’ recommendation to approve the project and with their conclusions that the KPF scheme had responded ‘positively and appropriately to the appeal inspector’s decision and to the planning context’.

Previous story (AJ 25.11.13)

KPF reveals replacement for Make’s Bondway tower

The original proposal for a 149m-high ‘zig-zag-shaped’ tower next to Vauxhall transport interchange was thrown out at public inquiry in early 2011 (AJ 14.02.11).

The 60,400m2 scheme for new owners McLaren Property and Citygrove will house 450 flats, 3,700m2 of offices and 1,000m² of shops.

The New Bondway tower features ‘three distinct elements’: a 50-storey private residential tower; a 23-storey residential block on the southern part of the site; and a four storey horizontal office element linking the two buildings and intersecting the main tower.

According to the developers ‘this balanced composition creates impressive views from every aspect of the development, delivering light and public realm at ground level and offers exciting opportunities for incorporating significant areas of amenity space for users of the building’.

KPF landed the £350million project following a competition this summer, beating the likes of SOM. The designs were revealed at a public exhibition in Vauxhall last Thursday (21 November).

John Gatley, managing director of construction company McLaren Property said: ‘The Bondway site is the last key development site in the Vauxhall tall buildings cluster and offers us an opportunity to deliver a world class building combining high quality residential and office space.’

A planning application is expected to be submitted early next year (2014). Subject to planning work is expected to start on site in early 2015 and complete during 2018.

The architect’s view - John Bushell of KPF

‘Our design is a fresh approach and distinctive building for the emerging urban village at Vauxhall.  Each part of the brief finds its natural place in the composition of articulated elements.  An expansive roof garden for residents lies over large office floor plates; which are themselves lifted high above the ground by one of the building’s various residential components.  The mixed-use building has a significant affordable housing provision on site.

‘The composition creates a route through the middle of the site, while retail units grant access at every frontage.  We hope the project will be the catalyst for development in its immediate context, helping to integrate new and existing communities and reflect the client and team’s passion and energy to create a successful mixed-use place.’  

Previous story (AJ 14.02.11)

Make’s Bondway tower vetoed at inquiry

Make’s 42-storey Bondway skyscraper in Vauxhall, south London, has been rejected following a public inquiry

Communities secretary Eric Pickles followed the planning inspectorate’s advice that the proposed tower’s site was inappropriate for a tall building.

The project went to inquiry after Lambeth Council’s planning committee rejected the 149m-tall scheme next to Vauxhall transport interchange on the grounds of ‘height, bulk and mass’ and the lack of green space provided.

The 149 metre-tall ‘zig-zag-shaped’ tower had been recommended for approval by planning officers.

In justifying the veto, the secretary of state said the scheme lacked open space and had an ‘overbearing’ impact on the area.

Retired town planner and local resident David Boardman thought it was unlikely the developer Vauxhall Bondway would ask Make to rework its designs for the tower.

He said: ‘[Unless the developer] can fill it with offices, or find a decent chunk of new open space at Vauxhall to mitigate the deficiency and improve the public realm [there is not a chance it could be approved] - and this would apply to a redesigned tower on the same site as well.’

A spokesperson for Make said: ‘We are naturally disappointed, but cannot comment further to add at this stage.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • - a 60% reduction in employment floorspace on existing, and less than the refused MAKE scheme
    - only 90 affordable housing units (20%) where MAKE's scheme (at the bottom of the market in 2010) offered 111 (29%), despite the fact that this scheme had 70 more flats than MAKEs
    - density 5 times the recommended maximum for anywhere in London
    - virtually no complementary open space, albeit 149m more than the MAKE scheme (wow!) - this was the issue Pickles rejected MAKE

    So a worse scheme in terms of outputs (unless you're a speculative residential property speculator). And 30m taller, way above the 150m height restriction for the cluster before it pops up in the WHS view... given UNESCO's most recent threat, prepare for the call in.

    BTW it doesn't 'pop up' in the view from Lambeth, more slaps you in the face

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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