The future’s looking a bit dimmer for the residents of Whitgift House

On Saturday Cllr Amos and I, accompanied by local resident Visakha Chandrasekera, visited residents of Whitgift House, one of the properties affected by the proposals to develop the 8 Albert Embankment/Fire station site (see previous posts).

Thanks to everyone who was so hospitable despite being a bit sleepy or on their way to the shops etc.

I am not a technical genius but here are some photos that I changed to give some idea of how these homes will be affected if big tower blocks are built close-by. Cllr Amos and I support calls for the size of the scheme to be reduced.


More worrying is the effect this will  have on the indoor daylight available. These flats all have their living rooms and main bedrooms facing the proposed site of the new blocks. Figures obtained by the local resident’s group indicate that the loss of light will be significant.

This is how bright one room is at the height of summer on a sunny day – imagine if it was to lose another 30%+ of its daylight? These pictures are not scientific, unlike the surveys that are bing carried out, but we are very concerned that this new scheme is taking little account of existing residents.

To learn more about the scheme go to our previous blog.

Cllr. Jon Davies


Visit with GLA members to the Albert Embankment Fire station

OK not such great photos but this afternoon I visited the fire station at 8 Albert Embankment. This was once the proud headquarters of the London Fire Brigade but now a site about to be developed.

I visited with, amongst many others, Florence Eshalomi, the London Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark and Deputy Mayor Fiona Twycross, who leads on the Fire Brigade.

The site, which contains extensive workshops at the back, is up for planning permission as I speak. On the plus side there will still be a fire station with four bays and a minimum of two appliances plus a new home for the Fire Brigade Museum.

On the more contentious side (see mock-up from the developers below) are:

  • Building a two story glass box (the yellow blob) on the roof of the fire station for a restaurant.
  • Blocking of the rear aspect of the fire station building with a hotel (the pink blob)
  • Two very tall blocks for flats that local residents fear will block a significant part of their natural daylight (the blue towers)
  • Compromises on developing a site that is intended solely for jobs in Lambeth’s plans.
  • Only 35% of the new homes to be ‘affordable’ as opposed to the Mayor’s target of 50% for land that has come from public ownership.

If you want to know more (and there are 519 documents to read) go HERE.

If you would like to make a comment please do so on the Lambeth Council planning portal HERE

There is a local petition objecting to aspects of the scheme which you can find HERE


Cllr. Jon Davies


Graphite Square – the saga continues…

A quick reminder – Graphite Square, between Worgan Street and Vauxhall Walk on Vauxhall Gardens Estate has been bought by a developer.  They want to build some tall buildings. They have been refused planning permission twice. Local people are very concerned about loss of light and Lambeth’s Planning Committee agreed with their concerns.

Here is a community poster advertising the Planning Inspector’s enquiry.

Screenshot 2019-07-26 at 11.26.29

Cllr. Jon Davies

Saving lives – but not as expected…

Screenshot 2019-07-25 at 08.30.12

From Cllr. Jon Davies

The experimental traffic barrier on Dante Road, now celebrating its first birthday, was expected to calm traffic on Dante Road and Brook Drive and prevent accidents. Although highly controversial at first it seems to have settled down although one incident of it being illegally opened was reported last week. However here is a report from a local constituent that I put down to heat-induced road rage but thought-provoking nonetheless:

I thought you may be interested to hear that the Dante Road vehicle filter is officially now a lifesaving piece of equipment.

Last night around 10.30pm, an angry driver attempted to run over a cyclist whom he appears to have had a disagreement with. Myself and many other residents of the flats in Dante Road, upon hearing wheel screeching and angry shouting outside on our usually quiet road, went outside to investigate.

We saw a car being driven at high speed towards a cyclist, who had filtered through the barrier to prevent the car reaching him. The driver shouted at the cyclist but could not reach him due to the barrier at the Brook Drive end of Dante Road. I have no doubt that the cyclist was in danger of being injured by this driver had the barrier not been there, and for that reason I am very glad that it is there, that the cyclist is safe, and I hope that the barrier remains in place for the foreseeable future.

Tesco/Gasholder site news

I attended a meeting for local councillors today.

Headlines –

  • Vauxhall Street road works – removing old cycle lane and replacing it with new one (possibly some greening) over next month. The developers claim most of this part of Vauxhall Street and the road round the Oval will only be used for site traffic in exceptional circumstances. Let you ward councillors know if this is NOT the case.
  • New bus stop/shelter being built outside Pilgrim 28th onwards.
  • Demolition of the old Tesco starts 5th August.
  • Removal of the gasholders starting soon – and this is what they look like from the top of the new building site office:


Cllr. Jon Davies.

Local news

Welcome back Tescos. How DID we survive without you?

Here’s a glimpse of the splendour that once was ‘ Big Tesco’s’


The new one is going to take some getting used to but at least the Foodbank box is back and in a prominent place. All in all just a bit smaller than before and it will take some time working out a. where everything is and b. what we won’t be able to get anymore. One plus the trolleys are not free now – I wonder if this will stop the wandering trolley syndrome of Kennington. And where are the cash machines?

Meanwhile another ‘shop’ bites the dust. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a betting shop but our Kennington Lane one is the latest victim of the internet. I suppose the Fun stopped! Wouldn’t this make an excellent bakery?

And finally one of the lovely sunsets we get at this time of year:


Cllr Jon Davies on behalf of Cllrs Amos and Simpson.


Thanks Kennington

Our Treasure Hunt on the 13th raised £126.58 for the Oasis Foodbank. Thanks to the prize sponsors, Amici’s and the Cinema Museum, and to everyone who took part.

Here are a few photos.

Thanks also to DA and DA (weird coincidence) who did the scoring. To be honest  they missed a few points and gave a few points that should not have been given… Did not affect the result.

Also I created two impossible clues – a blurry photo that nobody could make out and an anagram ‘Eat Vein Street’ that should have become ‘Aveline Street’. Well done to the team who tried ‘Venetia Street’. If I ever become Prime Minister I pledge I will create a new street with this name.

I have tweeted a link to the answers but here it is again:

Cllr. Jon Davies – Prime Minister in waiting.

Exhibition at the foundry of unusual power and relevance

The Foundry, a centre for organisations working around human rights at 17 Oval Way SE11 5RR, has a lovely gallery open to the public. (The building itself is worth a visit).

A new exhibition opened on the 10th of July featuring work by Alison Lochhead called ‘Layered Memories of Conflict and Abandonment’.

If you like abstract art and challenging ideas pop along Open 9-5 weekdays.

New business in the area – a breath of fresh air?

I was wandering around the railway arches near Black Prince Road on another errand last week when I chanced upon Matthew Quitter at London Electric Cars. The future does seem to be electric, at least according to him. If you have a beloved vintage car his company will rip out the petrol engine and replace it with an electric one! Fascinating. Those predictions of an electric vehicle future seem to be coming true. I wonder if this is what the transition from horses to motor vehicles felt like?

If you have a beloved vehicle, want to save the planet (a bit), and have a healthy bank balance get in touch with him.

07966 806 727
Cllr. Jon Davies

…the children lived happily ever after…

We hope so – after the mega mess earlier this year of children being prevented from sharing play space on a housing development this afternoon peace, sun, bouncy castles and free ice cream broke out on Lollard Street  with families from both parts of the development enjoying the sunshine and letting their kids get wet and exhausted.

Lessons have been learnt (we hope) and thanks to some spirited parent action other developers might not make a similar mistake on new schemes.

These two photos don’t do any justice to how much fun everyone was having – well done all the organisers and thanks to Henley Homes for picking up the tab. Christmas party next?

Cllr. Jon Davies.