Sadiq Khan can’t save the South Bank

Sunset with a lifebelt on a deserted beach

London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan has declined calls to step-in and halt plans for a hulking development known as ‘The Slab’ on the South Bank.

Flanked by the much-loved Oxo Tower and National Theatre, ‘The Slab’ will blight London’s skyline for generations, leaving little benefit for residents and visitors. It has been criticised by commentators from The Times to The Guardian. Michael Gove MP stepped in whilst Secretary of State and issued a ‘holding directive’ threatening a public inquiry.

Despite this, and a spirited grass-roots campaign gathering over 4,000 signatures, and gaining the backing of local MP, Florence Eshalomi, Khan has chosen not to block the Mitsubishi development. This is based on a flawed report, which doesn’t acknowledge the strong objections of the National Theatre, Historic England, or the Twentieth Century Society. It justifies heritage harm and failings on CO2 emissions on a purported existing permission expired in 2021. The report completely fails to consider the major impact to strategic views protected by his own guidance or the impact of overshadowing, daylight and sunlight.

Local resident and SOS Save Our South Back Action Group Chair, Jenny O’Neill said: “The Mayor’s mistakes only illustrate further the need for a public inquiry. This is a very prominent strategic site, and this scheme will blight the South Bank, with social housing residents enduring health issues with the huge daylight losses. Sadiq has failed to act strategically or protect the rights of residents”.

Mark Potter, Coin Street, said: “Although the Mayor’s failure to act has come as a surprise, we are renewing our calls to Londoners to get behind the ‘Save Our South Bank’ campaign, as we prepare to take our campaign to the Secretary of State, Greg Clark MP”.

Michael Ball, WCDG, said: “Sadiq Khan has made so many errors in this decision, he needs to urgently reconsider. He fails to consider his own strategic views guidance and uses excuses for massive CO2 emissions. He is oblivious or misadvised on the huge objections from the National Theatre, Twentieth Century Society, and Historic England, and hasn’t the grace to receive a 4,000-signature petition before making his decision. He had a chance to act but has buried it in the August silly season”.

Coin Street and WCDG are calling on the Secretary of State, Greg Clark MP to join thousands of residents, heritage, and South Bank institutions refusing this scheme by calling it in for a public inquiry. Please join the campaign by signing the petition.

Sign the Petition