Elizabeth House scheme approved by Lambeth for second time

A controversial 29-storey mixed-use development next to London's Waterloo station has been given the go-ahead for the second time following a failed legal challenge.

Elizabeth House: second application approved
Elizabeth House: second application approved

The London Borough of Lambeth’s planning committee this week granted full planning permission and conservation area consent for the Elizabeth House development, subject to its referral to London mayor Boris Johnson and communities secretary Eric Pickles.

The scheme would provide 142 new homes and 88,648 square metres of office space, in two buildings, one up to 29 storeys tall, the other 11 storeys.

Originally given conditional approval by Lambeth in November 2012, the proposal faced a judicial review challenge by Westminster City Council and government conservation body English Heritage.

Both bodies claimed the scheme would harm the setting and views of nearby historic buildings, including the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey World Heritage sites.

They launched a legal challenge to the decision by ex-planning minister Nick Boles not to call in the application.

In March, High Court judge Mr Justice Andrew Collins, rejected the claim.

According to a report for the planning committee, the number of homes provided remains unchanged since 2012 but more affordable housing is proposed, rising from 28 to 35 units. Of this, 23 would be provided off-site in a scheme that was granted a separate planning permission.

The proposal would also deliver 6,810 extra new jobs above the existing 2,480, it added.

Both Westminster Council and English Heritage have maintained their objections to the scheme, according to the document.

In a statement, Lambeth Council said it decided to reconsider the application following a suggestion by Collins that the council "should carefully consider the concerns raised" by the two bodies.

The committee report said the scheme "would deliver a wide ranging package of economic, social and environmental public benefits".

john.geoghegan@haymarket.com


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