Town Hall campus plans ‘bulky and overdeveloped’ says Brixton Society

Artists impression of new Town Hall campus, with a new civic centre on Brixton Hill. Taken from proposal by Muse developers
Artists impression of new Town Hall campus, with a new civic centre on Brixton Hill. Taken from proposal by Muse developers

Brixton residents have expressed doubts about the appointment of Muse as the preferred developer of the new ‘town hall campus’ in a scheme that will see council-owned buildings replaced by office space, new housing and an enterprise centre around the existing town hall.

The appointment was made in a meeting of the council’s cabinet on November 4 but cannot be finalised until 10 days of legal standstill after the meeting.

Last month the council was criticised for the lack of consultationof the public for the three potential redevelopment plans for the town hall area.

Alan Piper, secretary of Brixton Society, said: “The good news is that this is the one developer who took the trouble to show their proposals for all of the sites in the package, so at least we know what we are likely to get.

“The bad news is that most of them are overdeveloped – the buildings tend to be too big and bulky for their sites, compared with their surroundings.”

Artists impression of new housing at current site of Olive Morris House building
‘Overdeveloped’: Artists impression of new housing at current site of Olive Morris House building

Residents agree with him, with one calling Muse’s planned new town hall area “too big and totally lacking imagination.”

The council’s aim to adhere to the London wide target to turn 40 per cent of all new housing developments into affordable accommodation is also being questioned.

One Brixton Blog reader, Mike Marsden , said: “I can’t see how Muse will get planning consent for their designs. It’s massive overdevelopment on each site. I also think their ideas for the Town Hall are a missed opportunity. The Kajima designs show a much more radical rethink of that building, which is probably why their design for the new offices looks less dominant than the Muse design.”

Another reader, George Turner, commented: “There is just no way this scheme is going to produce 40% affordable housing. The council papers say they will ‘aspire’ to the target, it does not commit, and at this stage they should know what they can get.”

The council insists the scheme is “a good deal for Lambeth”. Cllr Paul McGlone, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “It will save at least £4.5 million a year, deliver new affordable homes as well as jobs for local people.

“It’s a smart deal too because by selling off our old and expensive office buildings we can make the development pay for itself.”


  1. When did Lambeth decide it was a good idea to sell off Olive Morris House and when are we going to be consulted about the idea? Olive Morris House wasn’t mentioned during the “Your New Town Hall” consultation at the end of last year and is hardly mentioned in the Lambeth Plan either.

    I accept that some of the other council buildings in the area are past their sell-by date, but Olive Morris House is a relatively modern, solid brick building which had a whole ton of money invested in it two years ago when the new customer service centre was created. I can’t see the sense in Lambeth vacating it and then spending millions on a new office building to house the same staff and council services a 100 metres away.

    Why not keep Olive Morris House as it is and save a ton of money?

  2. Dear Squirrel (Mr of Ms?)
    Thanks for your comments.
    It is one of the aims of the project to allow better use by the community and residents of the civic Town Hall, including for weddings, civil partnerships, other social events as well as by community groups. That is why we have called the project ‘Your new Town Hall’. We want as part of the council’s transition into a coopertative council working in partnership with residents to ‘give the town hall back to the people’. This will take many forms, but your suggestion is one of them.

  3. if you are going to build housing on the site of the council offices PLEASE REMEMBER TO BUILD A SCHOOL AND HAVE MORE DOCTORS . Classrooms and the surgery are at breaking point. did the person who designed this live nearby? doubt it. And dont for one minute think there is any parking. AND WHILE I HAVE THE ATTENTION OF A FEW. Can we please use the entrance of the town hall for weddings rather than council staff? weddings happen in a side door often filled with rubbish> Can anyone see how easy and celebratory it would be to have weddings on the steps of the town hall – look to Chelsea…

Comments are closed.