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London Road derelict buildings

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Thursday 17 February 2005 5.40pm
I just wondered if anyone knew what the recent discussions have been about with Simon Hughes regarding the future of the Duke of Clarence and the shops in London Rd. I have lived opposite the row for four years and at first quite liked the urban squalor, but it's becoming less and less appealing! I know various plans have come and gone in the past. Would be interested if anyone else had heard...
Thursday 17 February 2005 6.13pm
A jargon filled article that I found in LSBU's LSBulletin (October 2004) - nothing more recent seems to be on their website...

"A lot of behind-the-scenes work has gone on at the terraces since the last report on St
George's Circus (LSBulletin May, Issue 004) appeared. Work continues on developing the site's estate strategy and this builds on progress made during the initial part of the St
George's Circus Design Definition Phase. On the St George's Circus site itself considerable work has been going on to enable safe access for site visits to allow for necessary survey work on the terrace building, former pub and chapel.

"Creating an estates strategy for an organisation as large and complex as LSBU will always be involved. Consultation with HEFCE Estates and other institutions involved in major capital development has helped shape the approach. Through the different tasks within the project we are aiming to address both future demands on the estate, and deliver options about how best to meet these with a flexible and affordable space that best supports the University's activities well into the future.

Long-distance view

"On the demand side, you may have read in LSBUlletin (September, Issue 007, pg3 ‘2020 Vision') about the work that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is engaged in to help develop a range of likely scenarios of LSBU development over the next 16 years. This work takes the SDP and current five-year forecasts as its starting point and
challenges both, before extrapolating student number forecasts to LSBU 2020. It is
intended that the LSBU 2020 work, when complete, will inform the development of the
current SDP and future strategic planning, as well as develop the new estate strategy.
Alexi Marmot Associates (AMA), spatial planners, have been commissioned to lead the
production of an estates strategy, and associated business case for St George's
Circus. Their work to establish future space needs, in terms of capacity and type is
driven by:
• Information gathered during work to establish the need for, and potential of,
St George's Circus.
• Continued stakeholder consultation, both within and outside the University.

"On the supply side, Bernard Williams Associates (BWA) are generating costed
information on which to base scenarios for future estate planning. In order to establish
the true costs of meeting current and future estate liabilities, BWA have assessed all
buildings on the Southwark estate (including residences) to determine condition, value and costs. The resulting data set is being used to underpin analysis of future estate options.

"The initial phase revealed the scale of investment required for a large, high quality
building, sympathetic to heritage issues. Another part of BWA's remit is to identify possible funding solutions and compare and contrast these to arrive at recommendations, for the estate in general, and St George's Circus in particular, that will be financially sustainable in the long term.

"All of this activity is continuing as part of an overarching project to deliver both a
recommended estates strategy, and a business plan for the University's next major building development. As part of the process the Board of Governors will be holding a special meeting on 22 November to focus on the estate, prior to considering the formal
strategy and business case at its meeting on 16 December.

"Further updates on the St George's Circus project will be published in future editions of
Bulletin - and we plan to deliver a full update in the New Year. In the meantime, please
direct any questions you may have to Gail McCartan on e-mail to [email protected]
Friday 18 February 2005 12.13am
Thats an awful lot of words to say nothing at all.
Friday 18 February 2005 2.04am
A translation:

They've done some structural work to stop the place falling down.

They're still deciding exactly what they are going to do with it, depending on how many more students they expect to have in the future. Also deciding how this fits into the area, and what local residents and businesses can get from it.

They are still working out how much all this is could cost, and deciding if the cost is justified.

Whoever wrote all that must have a PhD in waffle.
Friday 18 February 2005 5.21pm
Thank you all for the detail and the translation! I just want a nice view out of my window for a change. Maybe I won't have to wait too much longer.
Sunday 20 February 2005 1.25am
Yes, thank-you for the translation. I got fed up reading it and didn't make it to the end. It seemed to go on endlessly about what would have to be considered before anything happenned, without saying anything about what was actually happenning.
Sunday 20 February 2005 1.37pm
I've just got around to reading a glossy bit of propaganda sent to me by English Heritage last week.

Capital Spaces: Transforming London

"What could London look like in 2012, the year of the Olympic Games? Could it be a city in which old and new buildings and public spaces, the historic and the contemporary, combine to create a world-class stage for the Olympics and a better place for its citizens?

English Heritage and the Royal Institute of British Architects have joined forces to publish a call to action to ensure London is fit for the spotlight of world attention. Capital Spaces: Transforming London was launched at Wellington Arch 8 February 2005, a week before the arrival of the International Olympic Committee in London."

St George's circus is mentioned (along with the Elephant & Castle plans) on page 19 (project 24). .

"Nearby, St George's Circus is to be restored. This once proud piece of Georgian town planning, where terraced houses raidate from a spacious circus, marks the meeting point of five routes. London South Bank University which owns most of the land in the area has a crucial role to play in the rejuvenation plans."

You can download a copy of Capital Spaces on the EH website at

There is a sketch birds eye view showing a number of planned new buildings around the Circus and along London Road. The Duke of Clarence and the terrace seem to be kept, but with a taller building occupying the block immediately behind them.

The plans also appear to include demolishing the 1960s office block on the north east corner (east side of Blackfriars Road) and building a twin for the student housing that went up a few years ago on the north west corner on the former eye hospital site.

They also appear to include a tall building (10 storeys +???) on the junction of London Road opposite St George's RC Cathedral, on the currently empty airspace above the Bakerloo line sidings.
This seems a bizarre proposal for EH to endorse, as surely it would dominate theCathedral. (Having said this, the current south facade is underwhelming - is the Roman Catholic Church ever going to find/encourage an ultra-conservative benefactor to pay for completing the tower to Pugin's design rather than some more obviously deserving charitable purpose)

(The sketch is credited to and copyright "Urban Practioners" - a firm of regeneration consultants who have apparently been appointed by English Heritage- see this earlier press release )

Monday 21 February 2005 10.13am
I heard that they were listed buildings and English Heritage would not allow SBU to knock them down as they would like to. So they have just left them standing empty and looking a complete mess.
Monday 21 February 2005 10.42am
Sorry , there were two geographical howlers in my last post:

should read:

...a number of planned new buildings around the Circus and along the south side of Lambeth Road. and
They also appear to include a tall building (10 storeys +???) on the junction of St George's Road and Lambeth Road opposite St George's RC Cathedral, on the currently empty airspace above the Bakerloo line sidings.

I hadn't realised my hangover from Saturday was that bad!

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