Brixton Rec users warn of Hondo tower impact

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The new plans show the diagonal “strapping” features of the tower have been thinned. The Rec can be seen on the left of the image

Brixton Rec Users Group (BRUG) has complained that it was not consulted about plans for a20-storey office tower on Pope’s Road and says Lambeth council planners have overlooked the Rec’s listed building status.

And one of Brixton’s longest established and most respected community groups, Afewee, has questioned the impact on local residents’ access to the Rec of the sudden arrival of 2,000 office workers.

Plans for the proposed tower have been revised for a second time after a meeting of the council’s planning sub-committee deferred a decision.

The new changes are largely cosmetic and do not affect the height of the 20-storey tower in central Brixton.

BRUG says the proposed tower is only 70 metres from the Grade II listed Rec and that this has been overlooked by council planners, who have backed the office tower. It was listed by Historic England as “a building of architectural and historic interest”.

BRUG says that, although it is recognised by the council as “the authentic voice of Rec users”, it was not directly consulted by the council. building in the urban 

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The new plans indicate that live music would be a feature of the development – unusual for an office block and unwelcome for Brixton’s established but now endangered venues

It adds that there is no evidence that any analysis of the impact of the tower on the Rec, and the 2,000 people a day who use it, has been conducted – neither by AG Hondo BV, the Amsterdam-based company applying for planning permission, even though it does not own the site, nor by the council.

Steadman Scott, founder of Afewee, the sport charity based in the Rec, asked: ”How will this office tower help the young Black people who use the Rec? Will the 2,000 office workers want to use the Rec end up excluding the local community, like Pop Brixton and Brixton Village have done?”

The second revision of the plans for the tower’s appearance came after a meeting of Lambeth council planning sub-committee at which objections to them came from many local representatives, including a councillor and an MP.

The Brixton Society continues to oppose plans for the tower.

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A new computer generated image of the planned appearance of the interior of the development

petition calling on the council not to approve plans for the tower gained more than 4,300 signatures in 11 days.

new consultation on the plans closes on Thursday 22 October. There are now more than 1,000 comments about the plan on the official Lambeth council website , the vast majority of them opposed to it.

Hondo has also recently applied to extend the mezzanine floor, housing the Lost bar, it created in Brixton Village above Pope’s Road, around the corner and into arches on Valentia Place.

Local residents have expressed concern that the noise from the exiting bar is already well above the “ambient” level set by its licensing agreement.

This post was amended on 17 October to make it clear that BRUG is complaining about not being consulted and the lack of analysis of the impact of the proposed development on the Rec, and is not necessarily opposed to the development