NEWSLETTER No. 156    July 2003

St George, Vauxhall, and Brunswick House

In October 2002, St George South London Limited, developers of the Effra site at Vauxhall submitted a planning application to Lambeth Council for alterations to their St George Wharf development.

The changes include proposals for a 180 metre high 50-storey residential tower just behind the Grade II* listed Brunswick House which stands on the comer of Wandsworth Road and Nine Elms Lane. The Tower would be of a slender circular form and is designed to be energy efficient. The Vauxhall Society has objected to the proposal, which represents a substantial over-development of the site. Brunswick House, which is in a poor state of repair was used for many years as a social club by the Railway workers ' Union, but has recently been sold, and we understand that Lambeth Council has served a repairs notice on the new owners. We have also heard that a suggestion has been put forward that the building should be moved to a new site at Camberwell!

The Civic Trust

At a recent meeting of the Vauxhal1 Society's Executive Committee it was unanimously agreed that the Society would not renew its registration with the Civic Trust. Members of the Committee were concerned that the Civic Trust, which has just increased its registration fees by around 50%. is now receiving financial support from St George, the developers whose controversial proposals have been opposed by local residents.

The Society will, of course, continue to support the London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies and is also affiliated to the London branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and to the British Association for Local History. We have also recently agreed to join the West London River Group which campaigns to protect the banks of the Thames between Putney and Battersea from unsuitable development.

Texaco site

A Planning Application for redevelopment of the Texaco petrol station site at 38 Albert Embankment, including a 100 metre high 32-storey tower, is being made by Berwin Leighton Paisner and Assael Architecture. The plans which include a refurbished petrol station, will also provide a small supermarket. 800 square metres of office accommodation and 179 residential units, 48 of them affordable. Residential parking for 72 cars will be provided in a nine-level underground 'silo' with access by an automated lift.

68-78 Clapham Road

Saracen Investments have proposed the erection of a seven-storey residential building of 49 flats over the existing petrol station in Clapham Road There is local concern that the proposal represents excessive development of the site and also whether there is sufficient, or any, on-site parking, which could cause problems locally. The Fentiman Road Residents, Association have objected.

Vauxhall Cross Interchange

Changes to the road layout at Vauxhall Cross to accommodate the new transport interchange are now almost complete and work on the Bondway Bus Station has begun, together with improvements to pedestrian and cycle circulation, landscaping - including new trees - and improved street lighting. All bus routes will run through Bondway so that changes can be made without crossing a road.

Vision 4 Vauxhall and the Vauxhall Society have raised concerns with Transport for London about the loss of ramp access from the railway station to the Tube and about possible problems with shared use of crossings by pedestrians and cyclists.

405 Kennington Road

Developers CIBA have put forward proposals for the refurbishment of this 1960s office building with two additional floors together with a side extension fronting Stannary Street. The proposed development will include 14 residential apartments as well as office space.

Local History Group

The first meeting of the Vauxhall Society's new Local History group in October last year set off to an inauspicious start when we discovered that the Heritage Centre had been double-booked and we were sharing accommodation with a drumming work-shop! A quick decision shifted our group across the road to a local hostelry and the ensuing meeting agreed to the setting-up of a local history website which, thanks to the enthusiasm and expertise of Peter Reed, is now up and running with more than four hundred pages of biographical and topological information about the northern part of Lambeth.

In January many of our members joined the Friends of the Durning Library for two illustrated talks, by Graham Dawson. of I the Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Society, on the 1960s excavation of Kennington Palace, and by Elisabeth Stuart, archivist to the Duchy of Cornwall, on contemporary records of events at the Palace.

The Society's website can be reached at

Old Ordnance Survey Maps

There have been a number of additions to the excellent series of reproductions of Victorian and early 20th century Ordnance Survey maps published by Alan Godfrey since we last mentioned them. In the 25" series (reproduced at 15" to the mile) there are now three editions of both the 'Waterloo & Southwark' and 'Kennington & Walworth' maps (1871/2, 1894 & 1914) but the 'Stockwell & Camberwell ' map is still only available in the 1913 edition. The areas covered by these three maps are indicated below. Maps of the areas immediately to the west, covering 'Pimlico & Nine Elms' and 'Battersea & Clapham', are also available in the same three editions.

We also have stocks of the even more highly-detailed copies of the 60" series of 1872 (reproduced at 36" to the mile) covering 'Waterloo & Lower Marsh', 'Lambeth Road' and 'Elephant & Castle' (areas outlined below on the 'Waterloo & Southwark' map). These show virtually every house, complete track layouts of railways and tramways and even the interior plans of major public buildings such as Bethlehem Hospital, now the Imperial War Museum. Copies of all these maps are available from the Society at �2.10 each. (please add 30p per order to cover postage and packing)

The London Plan

The Vauxhall Society was one of a very small group of community-based voluntary organisations which were invited to give evidence at the Examination in Public of the Mayor for London, Ken Livingstone' s Draft Plan for the future of London

Vauxhall St Peter's Heritage Centre

At the May meeting of the Heritage Centre Board it was agreed to make a temporary appointment of a new manager for the Centre. Jenny Brown will take over the running of the Centre on 1st July.

Dates for your Diary

Listed are some of the meetings and events arranged by organisations and groups in and around Vauxhall: non-members are always welcome and admission is normally free unless otherwise stated

Until 3 Nov.
PEPYS' LONDON: Exhibition at the Museum of London, London Wall EC2Y 5HN: 10.0am-5.50pm Monday to Saturday, l2.0-5.5Opm Sunday.

Thu 3
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN: Walk with Tony Merrick Meet at Morley College, Westminster Bridge Road, at 6.45pm (Fee �6)

Tue 8

Thu 10
THE THAMES-SIDE PLFASURES OF THE SOUTH BANK: Meet at the South Bank Lion by Westminster Bridge at 6.45pm. (Fee �6) Morley College.

Sat 12
NORTH LAMBETH & CHARLIE CHAPLIN: Walk with Tony Merrick. Meet at Lambeth Palace main gate by Lambeth Bridge. 2.0pm. The Vauxhall Society.

Sat 19 & Sun 20
THE LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW: and Exhibitions and Demonstrations, stalls, crafts, traction engines, farm animals etc. Brockwell Park SE24

Tue 22

Sat 9
THE DUCHY OF CORNWALL ESTATE, KENNINGTON: walk with Nicholas Long. Meet outside St Anselm ' s Church, Kennington Cross at 2.3Opm. The Vauxhall Society

Tue 12

Sat 20 and Sun 21
LONDON OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND buildings all over London open their doors to the public. Guidebook available from local libraries. (details in our next newsletter)

Sat 27
LAMBETH ARCHIVES OPEN DAY: exhibitions, talks and information from local societies: at the Minet Library, Knatchbull Road SE5. 10.0am-5.0pm

Published by THE VAUXHALL SOCIETY: for further information, please apply to the Secretary, Mrs B.Nicolson, 20 Albert Square, LONDON SW8 1BS