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Lambeth council rebuts 'inaccurate journalism'

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An article in last week's AJ cast doubt upon Lambeth council's attitude towards the South Bank Centre redevelopment (Lambeth: Mather's South Bank plan 'effectively dead', AJ 13.9.01) This inaccurate and irresponsible piece of journalism extensively misquotes one of my officers.

I wish to make clear that Lambeth council strongly supports the redevelopment of the South Bank Centre and the production of a comprehensive and deliverable masterplan.

Lambeth has not yet received a full copy of the Mather masterplan and so has not expressed a firm or settled view.

However, some aspects of the plan that we have seen do cause some concern, including the potential raising of Jubilee Gardens. Lambeth council is therefore ready to work with both the South Bank Centre and the local community to ensure that any future planning application addresses these concerns and has the best chance of success.

The article also fails to mention the central role of the mayor of London, who is able to veto any planning application for the South Bank redevelopment, although the secretary of state retains the power to approve the application on appeal. Recent correspondence from the mayor indicates that he shares many of Lambeth's concerns.

Lambeth will be finalising its policy on the South Bank Centre in December prior to the first draft of its new UDP going on deposit. This policy will be based on the results of a threemonth consultation on the contents of a 'Key Issues Paper', which made clear the range of development issues currently facing the South Bank. Any successful masterplan will need to meet the requirements of both the draft UDP and the policies of London's mayor.

Lambeth is also in discussion with Shell/Lend Lease about their adjacent application.

Although there are differences in approach to the South Bank masterplan, Lambeth expects to resolve these in negotiation.

London's South Bank is an area of huge potential and we need to make sure that future development is right both for local people and for London.

There are complex issues to be worked through, but these can be resolved through a true partnership between Lambeth, the GLA, local landowners, English Heritage and CABE.

Councillor Kirsty McHugh Executive member for regeneration, London Borough of Lambeth

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