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Waterloo 'to become major cultural destination'

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London Mayor Ken Livingstone has published a plan to transform London's Waterloo.

London’s Waterloo is in line for a dramatic makeover following the publication of Mayor Ken Livingstone’s planning guidelines for the area.

The Waterloo Opportunity Area Planning Framework, published last week, looks at transforming one of the capital’s major transport hubs into one of the ‘world’s leading cultural destinations’.

According to Livingstone, the result of ‘poor planning and design over many decades’ has allowed the popular and culturally rich area of Waterloo to developed without ‘proper co-ordination’.

The mayor’s office hopes the planning framework will become the blueprint for ‘sustainable regeneration in the coming decades to bring thousands of new homes and jobs’, while placing an emphasis on ‘outstanding design’.

The area covered by the framework includes Waterloo station and the South Bank from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital to Gabriel’s Wharf.

The proposals include reworking the IMAX roundabout, and creating a new city square to allow people to gather.

New buildings around the station will be encouraged, and Waterloo’s major transport interchange will be improved.

Livingstone said: ‘Waterloo welcomes millions of people to London every year. It is also the gateway to the South Bank, one of the world’s leading cultural centres. It is vital that we improve the attractiveness of the station and its surroundings, making the most of the whole neighbourhood and stitching all of its individual parts together.
‘We can only achieve this through careful planning over the next generation. If we can do this, the prize will be thousands of new homes and jobs for Waterloo and great improvements to its layout and public space, making it more attractive, vibrant and easier to get around.’

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