Lambeth Council showcased the borough's offer – and what it is delivering in terms of development – at its summer party on 6 July.
Councillor Matthew Bennett, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and jobs
With over 121,000sq m (1.3m sq ft) of commercial space currently under construction, and 6,000 planning applications a year, a building frenzy is taking place in Lambeth.
But, the council is still keen on encouraging more developers and investors to come into the London borough.
Speaking to just under 120 key stakeholders from prominent developers to chartered surveyors, and investment analysts at the former Lambeth Fire Station on 8 Albert Embankment – itself earmarked for redevelopment – Matthew Bennett, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and jobs, said: “We are really enthusiastic about investment and growth in the borough and what development can do within Lambeth, and for Lambeth.”
Bennett, said potential development and investment “wasn’t just about high-profile areas up on the river, but what is happening, and what is possible across the borough as a whole. We have business growth here that is out performing the rest of London… also, Lambeth is very well-connected transport-wise.”
Developments, highlighted by Bennett, were South Bank Place - the former Shell Centre; 8 Albert Embankment, which includes the redevelopment of the Lambeth Fire Station; Keybridge House, and Pop Brixton.
Bennett also brought attention to recently completed developments such as artist Damien Hirt’s Newport Street Gallery opened in October 2015. “In opening his gallery, Damian Hirst is bringing down the cultural offer from the north of the borough,” said Bennett.
Developers were equally enthusiastic about the borough’s prospects.
Sean Ellis, chair of St James Group and the Berkeley Homes Eastern Countries Division, and is a main board director of the Berkeley Group, said: “Lambeth is a good place to invest because the council are very engaging. They are prepared to sit down and have the debate with the developer at a very early stage of the process and they have a very structured process that works well.”
Among its Lambeth developments, St James is helping to fund the regeneration of the Albert Embankment.
Jon Spring, land director for Mount Anvil, which is redeveloping Keybridge House – the former BT Interchange into 470 homes and 11,000sq m (100,000 sq ft) of commercial space, said “Lambeth is very open for business.”
Spring added: “With Lambeth council, you know where you stand… they are efficient and they encourage development.”
In 2013 Muse Developments was tasked with delivering the Town Hall scheme with the new 111 sq m (120,000 sq ft) Civic Centre, which sees the council consolidate from 14 buildings into two saving £4m a year. James Stockdale, senior development director for Muse, said: “Lambeth is a fantastic location. There’s a great evening economy, and a strong-demand day time economy. It ticks all the boxes for us in terms of [where to develop].
Stockdale added: “Lambeth are a council who are willing to assist where possible. They are very commercial. I would always recommend Lambeth as a destination to look out for opportunities.”
The summer event also saw the official launch of the inaugural Lambeth magazine, produced by 3Fox International. The publication features articles, analysis and interviews with key occupiers, local business people and developers and their developments, on what they mean to Lambeth.
"The advantage with the magazine is that it enables us to have a voice to the wider community as opposed to those we are working with locally in the borough," said Ellis.
Read more about regeneration in Lambeth in the first issue of Lambeth magazine: http://lambethmagazine.com/magazine
View pictures from the event: https://www.flickr.com/photos/61296550@N04/sets/72157683562695631