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Appeal victory for Ben Adams’ Vauxhall housing scheme

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Ben Adams Architects has won approval on appeal for a long-delayed, mixed-use scheme in south London that has twice been turned down by planners

The proposed residential and office scheme at Graphite Square between Worgan Street and Jonathan Street in Vauxhall, Lambeth, involves demolishing a Methodist church and redeveloping a derelict site.

The plans, for developers Angelo Gordon and Bmor, is Ben Adams Architects’ first large-scale residential building.

The scheme was refused by Lambeth’s planning committee in 2017 and again in late 2018 over fears it would restrict daylight to nearby housing.

The practice appealed against both decisions. The appeals were then ‘co-joined’ and assessed and inspected together in August. News that the inspector had allowed both appeals was received last month.

Rising from four to 10 storeys, the scheme will provide 160 new homes, two public spaces and 5,000m² of offices.

Ben Adams, founder of Ben Adams Architects, said the design was based on Lambeth’s history of manufacturing. He said: ‘We’ve ended up with strong brickwork and deep reveals, with the predominant colours of the brick being red, shading towards grey and blue.’

1608 graphite sqaure view 03 courtyard rev f

1608 graphite sqaure view 03 courtyard rev f

According to the firm, the design attempts to maximise public space across the site and to connect up the disjointed urban streetscape. It includes two landscaped pocket parks to the back of the site which connect to the borough’s ‘green spine’, linking all the local outdoor spaces.

All the site’s housing units have a recessed winter garden with views across the neighbourhood and flats are aimed at a mid-market budget. All residential blocks have green roofs with bat boxes, water management and varied outdoor spaces to provide ecological niches and enhance biodiversity. The scheme replaces four buildings, including a local eyesore which has been dilapidated for decades.

Work on site is expected to start in March 2020 and to be completed by March 2023.

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Readers' comments (2)

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  • Impossible to relate the design to the previous (2014) concept, but at least Studio Egret West created some real character, whereas the current approved scheme is really rather banal.
    There's .no proper site plan to relate the Adams design to the caption on the Studio Egret West image of their 2014 concept design - how does the current proposal relate to the buildings in the foreground of the 2014 concept?

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