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Where have all Lambeth's jobs gone?

WCDG has been going through the records and discovered that Lambeth has lost huge swathes of land and buildings which were used for employment-generating uses, mainly to swanky flats.

       

Westminster Tower, 12 floors of offices permitted for housing; the 20 towers permitted for Vauxhall, with very little office space; and Hercules House, the government's Central Office of Information from the war until 2012, now being converted to a hotel

Space for up to 12,000 jobs has been lost in Waterloo and along the Albert Embankment over the past decade, despite having targets of providing 40,000 jobs in Vauxhall and Waterloo. Recent losses include 69-71 Bondway, Hercules House, Westminster Tower (3 Albert Embankment) and a number of sites along Waterloo Road. An application to turn the British Pharmaceutical Society HQ near Lambeth Bridge into flats is currently with planners. You can see a full table of employment sites lost below.

Over the past decade Lambeth has seen a net loss of 167,000m2 of B1 office space in the Vauxhall and Waterloo Opportunity Areas alone, which would be capable of sustaining between 8,800 and 13,400 jobs, depending on the methodology used to calculate employment densities. Examples of office space lost in Waterloo since 2004 include the full range from large offices and purpose-built HQ buildings to smaller serviced offices. The loss is mainly to residential development, but also to student accommodation and to hotels. The losses at Waterloo and Vauxhall far exceed the targets for new jobs.

There are two big new office schemes in the system, at Shell and Elizabeth House, but the Shell Centre scheme does not produce a significant net increase in B1 office space. Were Elizabeth House to be permitted and then implemented it would provide a net increase on the site of 46,000m2. Were this to be included, the overall net loss would still stand at 121,000m2 or between 6,400 and 9,700 jobs. But there are no other comparable sites available in Waterloo or Vauxhall capable of providing any additional such large scale office development, and smaller office sites like 10 Leake St are also being lost.

Waterloo is one of the best-connected transport nodes in the country, with capacity for 100 million train users and 4 underground lines, plus 35 bus routes. It was zoned for City office overspill in the Greater London Development Plan and accommodated the largest single office development in Europe at Shell. Being close to Parliament the area is home to many third sector organisations, large and small. This use continues along the Albert Embankment down to Vauxhall, but is being completely washed away by the redevelopment into housing, hotels and student accommodation.

Lambeth has clear planning policies designed to protect existing employment sites. These require developers to provide evidence that offices are no longer suitable for employment use; or that the site is vacant and there is no reasonable prospect of re-use, including evidence of marketing; exceptionally a change of use to Central London Activities is permissible if there is compensation for the loss of employment.

And as a result of lobbying the Council received a government dispensation from permitted development rights of change of use from office to residential for Waterloo and VNEB. This protection does not pertain in the rest of Lambeth and London outside the CAZ. But Lambeth does not appear to be taking advantage of it.

Around 40,000 Lambeth residents are defined as ‘economically inactive’, which amounts to 18% of the potential workforce. In parts of Lambeth including Brixton there are around 40 jobseekers per vacancy. It is the second-highest level in the country, behind only Hackney North & Stoke Newington in east London.

 

WATERLOO SITES

SITE

PREVIOUS employment use

PREVIOUS OCCUPANT

NEW

Employment B1

STATUS

County Hall Island site

22,800m2

GLC offices

 

Permitted 2008: complete

Addington Street

5,436m2

Serviced offices

 

Permitted 2006: complete

General Lying-In Hospital

1,191m2

St Thomas’ Hospital

 

Permitted 2009: completed

75 Westminster Bridge Rd

6,000m2

third sector

 

Permitted 2013: completed

Doon St

vacant

n/a

5,415m2

Permitted 2008

157 Waterloo Rd

4,100m2

Church offices

 

Permitted 2008: completed

Hercules House

12,189m2

Govt + SMEs

 

Permitted 2013: on site

111 Westminster Bridge Rd

7,803m2

Costain HQ

683m2

Permitted 2011: on site

199 Westminster Bridge Rd

8,864 sqm

offices

384m2

Permitted 2013: on site

118-120 Westminster Bridge

3,768m2

Lambeth Building Society

 

Permitted 2009; completed

TOTAL

72,151m2

 

6,482m2

 

 

VAUXHALL SITES

SITE

PREVIOUS employment B1 use

PREVIOUS occupant

NEW

employment B1

STATUS

Vauxhall Sq

14,876m2 B1

Cap Gemini

22,732m2

Permitted 2011

Keybridge Hse

70,000m2 B1

BT

2,835m2

Permitted 2014

Sky Gardens

2,240m2 B1

 

4,722m2

Permitted 2010: on site

1-9 Bondway

2,640m2 B1

Office and retail

-

Permitted 2011: on site

69-71 Bondway

8,597m2 B1, B8

Office and storage

6,023m2

Permitted 2014

Vauxhall Cross

vacant

 

2,192m2

Permitted 2012

Sainsbury’s 9 Elms

8,000m2 A1

Sainsburys

1,860m2

Permitted: on site

30-60 South Lambeth Rd

vacant

 

 

Permitted 2012

TOTAL

98,393m2

 

40,334m2

 

 

ALBERT EMBANKMENT SITES

SITE

PREVIOUS employment B1 use

PREVIOUS occupant

NEW

employment B1

STATUS

3 Albert Embk

6,083m2

Various SME

1,441m2

Permitted 2014

8 Albert Embk

21,097m2

London Fire Brigade HQ

3,785m2

Refused 2013

9 Albert Embk

6,500m2

British Steel

 

Permitted 2001: built

10 Albert Embk

6,070m2

Wah Kwong House

 

Permitted 2013: on site

12-18 Albert Emb

12,000m2

Govt offices

 

Permitted 2001: built

20-26 Albert Emb

16, 400m2

Govt offices

1,272m2

Permitted 2011: on site

27-9 Albert Embk

3,700m2

 

932m2

Permitted 2012

TOTAL

47,053m2

 

3,645m2

 

 

Comments

We have objected to the Garden Bridge to the Lambeth Assets manager

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