Friday, 16 October 2009

Bendy bus accident at Vauxhall station

I was travelling home on a bus last night that passed through Vauxhall, but did not use the bus station.  The Twittersphere had rumours that this was due to a bendy bus having an accident with a bollard.  See here and here, but I can't find any reports from non-Twitter sources.

Does anybody have any more information about this accident in Vauxhall, SE11?  Was anybody on the bendy bus that crashed into the bollard?  Or was the bus impaled on a bollard?  Did it delay your journey? 

Kennington scaffolding and Kennington Tandoori

One (or several) commentators have asked whether I know why various shops/flats on Kennington Road are covered in scaffolding.  I've made a few enquiries amongst local people in the know, and the answer seems to be that the shops/flats on Kennington Road are having external decoration renewed (paintwork and parapets).  Nothing more exciting than that. 

Also, I've noticed that Kennington Tandoori are gutting the restaurant for a refurbishment.  I haven't had a chance to look at the notice to see how long that will take, but the rumour-mill suggets that they have exciting plans to develop "outside eating" (hopefully not in November!!).  And excitingly, a week ago, I saw workmen in the now-defunct Franklins.  It would be great to hear what the plans are for that location (and whether it's true that the KT emporium will expand there), if anybody has more info.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

81 Black Prince Road and other tall building updates

Sorry for abandoning you all for a while, but it sometimes gets exhausting and then overwhelming to keep up with the volume of local news at the same time as being involved in various local projects. I'm going to try and do a catchup.

In the meantime, there are a few big building updates that you should know about. You might remember that I posted a summary of these back in June. Here is an update:

1. 8 Albert Embankment - This is actually a series of buildings on 3 different sites and would involve the redevelopment of the London Firebrigade HQ. There was a consultation that I reported back in late June here (along with photos of the exhibition). There has recently been a second exhibition/consultation that I was unable to attend. One person that I know did attend, but said it was very much a repeat of the first exhibition. If readers have further information, I'd be delighted to receive it. Rumour has it that part of the site is due to receive a 29 storey building, which won't be popular with residents who are beginning to feel that they are being pushed away from the river, but I've not got the height confirmed in writing. Since both consultations have been performed, I imagine that we're waiting for planning permission to be submitted. There's nothing in the Lambeth planning database at present.  Ed:  Fortunately, London-SE1 seem to have been present at the second consultation and they have an article here.

2. 69-71 Bondway - I've checked the Viva Vauxhall website and the latest update is here. They report that Lambeth Planning Committee will meet twice (which is unusual) to decide whether the basic design of the tower is acceptable for the officers to make a decision about whether they think the building is proceedable. Amusingly, they note that a police station might be included as part of the building, which would undoubtedly make the siren problem worse (yes, the one that made Hazel Blears move house). I have little info. on 69-71 Bondway as it's further down in SE11 than I am and is covered very well by Viva Vauxhall, but leave comments if I've missed anything.

3. 38-46 Albert Embankment - This one is on the site of the Texaco garage, not far from Vauxhall itself. It was refused by the councilors, but the developers appealed to the Planning Inspectorate. However, interestingly, the appeal was withdrawn before there was a chance to hold a public hearing. Consequently, the proposed building will not proceed.

4.  81 Black Prince Road - Even if you only half heartedly keep up with local Planning news, you must have heard by now that on the 15th September, the Planning Inspectorate overturned the council's objections to building 81 Black Prince Road.  This is very bad news for those of us who were at all concerned by very tall buildings on the river as it will be 23 storeys high.  Sadly, it appears that the Salamanca Tower must have set a precedent.  Unfortunately, it's likely that 81 Black Prince Road will set a precedent for 8 Albert Embankment (see above) and the unattractive and tall buildings will continue to abound. 

The Prince's Ward Labour blog wrote a post to indicate that they do not agree with the Inspectorate, but as far as I'm concerned, the Council has not set out a sensible plan re. tall buildings in Vauxhall (especially considering that the Vauxhall Supplementary Planning document cannot be approved until the Mayor comes back with his own revised plan for London).  Various tall buildings are being pushed through in the interim before we have an SPD for Vauxhall that can be used to even set a sensible plan for the area.  I am somewhat at a loss to know how local residents can, with local councillors, strengthen their voices against the continual encroachment and "pushing back" of Vauxhall and Kennington residents from the river.  However, in order not to burst blood vessels of frustation, I merely content myself with making sarcastic blog posts on the matter.

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