Decision day for plans to build a major development with a huge impact on Brixton is tomorrow …
Plans for a building that would bring radical change to both the look and feel of Brixton are due to be considered tomorrow (Tuesday 3 November) by Lambeth council’s planning committee.
Its members will be looking at thousands of pages of detailed proposals in 175 separate documents submitted by the applicant, AG Hondo Popes Road BV, a company registered in Amsterdam and controlled by a New York finance house which already owns Brixton’s covered markets and other local properties.
The online meeting of seven councillors will also consider many hundreds of comments on the proposal, most of them against it.
The councillors have already spent four hours in August discussing the plans for a 20-storey tower on Pope’s Road that would loom over Brixton’s conservation area, provide a new frontage for Brixton Village, and be connected to other tall buildings running along Brixton Station Road as far as Valentia Place.
They agreed to defer consideration for four weeks, but discussion of and changes to the plans have taken much longer than that.
The plans, created by the firm of a leading international architect, Sir David Adjaye OBE, who will next year receive the Royal Gold Medal for architecture, have already been changed twice in response to criticism of the sheer size of the building as well as its design.
Lambeth council planning officers are backing the plans because of hoped-for economic benefits. These could take the form of increased business rate receipts; an upsurge in demand for the local businesses that would cater for hundreds of new office workers; and the promise of “affordable” space for community groups and start-ups.
Against the plans is a wide spectrum of opinion, including the local MP, the Brixton Society, a rock star, community leaders, Historic England, and nearby residents whose homes will be overlooked and overshadowed.
More than 7,250 people have signed an online petition against the plans, many citing the effect the buildings would have on Brixton’s architecture and atmosphere.