SOS: Save Our South Bank

Infographic showing the size of the proposed development in comparison to other buildings along South Bank

SOS: Save Our South Bank! 

South Bank is a vibrant hub of culture and heritage in London, attracting millions of visitors every year. We must ensure it stays that way.

We acknowledge the need for redevelopment of this site. However, in such a treasured area of London for locals and tourists, neighboured by listed IBM and National Theatre buildings, the design must protect and enhance rather than dominate its surrounding.

We are urging decision makers to reject the current proposal for this development, in favour of a smaller design that complements the surrounding area and adds value, for the local community and London as a whole.

Proposals for the redevelopment of ITV’s former home on London’s South Bank are heavily criticised by its neighbours and the wider community, who have been campaigning against the scheme since 2021. 

The Secretary of State decided to exercise his powers in section 77 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act to determine the planning application for the former London Television Centre, 60-72 Upper Ground, London SE1 instead of London Borough of Lambeth.

A Public Inquiry opened on 6 December 2022 and concluded on 27 January 2023. This resulted in a report submitted by the designated Planning Inspector to Michael Gove MP, outlining the proposal, and arguments for and against its' acceptance.

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has stated that Michael Gove MP will make his decision on or before the 8 August 2023.

Make sure you check back in here and follow us on Twitter for updates of how the campaign progresses!

What can I do?

Please sign the SOS: Save Our South Bank petition and use #StopTheSlab in your social media to spread the word.

Donate: SOS: Save Our South Bank Action Group

All donations are managed by Waterloo Community Development Group (WCDG) to help #StopTheSlab.

CGI images showing the comparison of the building before and after development

72 Upper Ground Gallery

All CGIs and shadow diagrams (below) are taken from the Applicant’s planning application documents. They show the impact of shadowing

Donate here

See the 72 Upper Ground Gallery above. The supersizing images of shadow casting and the mass impact on surrounding buildings:

To the west of the site are the  National Theatre Grade 2* and  IBM Grade 2 listed buildings, both designed by Sir Denys Lasdun.

To the south are Coin Street’s Iroko and Mulberry Housing Co-operatives. To the east are Prince’s Wharf, Gabriel’s Wharf, and Bernie Spain Gardens.

All CGIs and shadow diagrams in the 72 Upper Ground Gallery are taken from the Applicant’s planning application documents. 



Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) and other neighbourhood stakeholders have been raising our objections since 2021.

Why do we object to this planning application?

Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) states in its advice to decision makers at Lambeth Council:

  • The scale, bulk and siting of the proposed development is excessive, overbearing and overly dominant.
  • The impact on daylight received by adjacent Coin Street housing co-operatives will be severe.
  • The riverside walkway to the north of the proposed development currently enjoys sunshine throughout the lunchtime peak but would be cast into shadow by the proposed development.
  • The development would also cast its shadow over most of nearby Bernie Spain Gardens, an essential public garden in an area starved of open space.
  • Instead of improving nearby public realm, the proposals significantly harm these spaces.
  • This is not just a local issue - it's a national issue: South Bank riverside walkway is currently one of the most visited areas of London. The proposed over-development of ITV’s former home threatens the special qualities and success of London’s Cultural Quarter on South Bank.

“The wanton disregard of the South Bank, one of London’s most popular amenities is unacceptable and short-sighted.”

  • The claimed ‘public’ benefits of the development, its expansive views and generous planted terraces, would only be enjoyed by its occupants. These do not justify the harm it will cause to the South Bank conservation area, adjacent housing, riverside and local views, and existing public amenities like the riverside walkway and Bernie Spain Gardens through impacts on daylight and views.
  • The existing ITV building is already one of the tallest in the Conservation Area, yet these proposals aim to increase the building on this site to 225% of its current size.

Press Release: 1 Dec 2021

Take a look at our full letter of objections

Secretary of State, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Michael Gove MP 

Secretary of State Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP issued a warning in November 2022 when he said his department would block new-build schemes that were not aesthetically ‘high quality’. 

‘We will use all the powers we have, including call-in powers, in order to make sure that developments which are not aesthetically of high quality don't go ahead,’ Gove was reported as saying at the time. 

On 4 November 2021, Gove told MPs “We want to have a planning system where people can feel confident that beauty is taken seriously, confident that the environment is benefiting, confident that the money will be there to support infrastructure; and confident that the Community has a role ultimately in determining what is right”. He added, “We want to be in a position where communities, accept and welcome knew development”. [Source: Planning Resource 12 November 2021].

Faced with opposition to house building elsewhere, the Government is looking for homes to be built on ‘brownfield’ sites wherever possible.   

What do other stakeholders say?

South Bank & Waterloo Neighbours (SoWN) was established under the above planning acts. SoWN states in its advice to decision makers at Lambeth Council “the mass of the proposed building would be overbearing when experienced from neighbouring streets and public spaces. The proposed building would dominate the local street scene and the conservation area to their detriment. The scale and form of the building would cause harm to important local heritage assets, such as the South Bank conservation area, IBM Building, National Theatre, and Roupell Street conservation area. The proposed building would result in a significant loss of daylight for a number of local residents. The proposed building would result in a very significant loss of sunlight across important public spaces, primarily the Queen’s Walk and Bernie Spain Gardens”.

SoWN is the community body that represents residents, workers, businesses of all sizes, and voluntary organisations in the South Bank & Waterloo Neighbourhood Plan, formally approved in February 2020. SoWN was responsible for the wide consultation involved in identifying the key issues, for writing the Plan and seeing it through to adoption. It represents the local community in monitoring how the plan is implemented, within the wider context of the Lambeth Local Plan and the London Plan.  SoWN objectives are 

  • To promote high standard of planning and architecture in or affecting the area of benefit.
  • To educate the public in the geography, history, natural history, culture and architecture of the area of benefit
  • To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of feature or areas of historic or public interest in the area of benefit.

National Theatre view: “The National Theatre is sited within the cultural quarter of the South Bank, established by a number of important post-war structures, including the Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery and Queen Elizabeth Hall. Together, they form a highly significant ensemble of mid-20th century cultural buildings which are characterised by a strong horizontal emphasis and high-level pedestrian connections. The National also has a strong compositional relationship with the Grade I and II* listed structures of Somerset House and Waterloo Bridge. The National’s siting on the South Bank as the river bends allows a panorama of the City of London that stretches from St Pauls round to Somerset House and onto Westminster Abbey. Its desirability as a location with uninterrupted views up and down the river will be severely impacted. The National considers the impact on the public's views of the National are also severely impacted by the proposed development.”

Historic England's view: “There would be harm to the Grade II listed IBM building and Grade II listed National Theatre because of the close proximity of the proposed buildings and their impact on the importance of these designated heritage assets in river views. We have identified further harm through the 26-storey tower on the Roupell Street Conservation Area, through an increase in height and massing which compete with and distract from the Georgian domestic architecture in views within the conservation area…We continue to encourage you to explore refinements to the design to minimise the harm identified, including careful consideration being given to a reduction in the height and massing of the proposed buildings.”

The Twentieth Century Society view: “considers the currently proposed new building to be an over-development of a site within a sensitive historic environment. Compared to the existing building, the massing of the proposed new building will be further forward on the riverfront side. The new development will impact close views of the listed buildings from the Queen’s Walk and it will also impede wide views, particularly views of the National Theatre from Blackfriars Bridge to the east…The Society’s Casework Committee believes the proposed new building in its current form would harm the setting of the listed buildings on the site and harm the special character and appearance of the riverfront site, which is both a designated conservation area and positive contributor to a strategic view in London. We therefore urge the local authority to refuse planning permission and encourage the applicant to revise the design to substantially reduce the building’s front massing.”

Who are the developers and architect?

The former London Television Centre site at 72 Upper Ground was secured by Mitsubishi Estate and CO-RE for £145.6m in November 2019. The scheme is designed by Make Architects.

The application for planning consent was submitted to Lambeth Council in July 2021.

You can take a look at a summary of the planning application and all associated documents here. 

You do have a say!

Neigbourhood planning (enshrined in the Planning Acts of 2012 and 2017) gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area.

Together we can stop this!!!

Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community’s needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area. 

What have other local people said?

The Planning Application and public responses where local people have shared their personal opinions and comments can be accessed at