8 Albert Embankment: new planning application 'by end of year'

A fresh planning application for the redevelopment of the former London Fire Brigade headquarters on Albert Embankment is due to be submitted to Lambeth Council this year, a deputy mayor of London has said.

8 Albert Embankment: new planning application 'by end of year'
Tom Copley (inset) spoke about plans for 8 Albert Embankment at a CIty Hall meeting this week

Tom Copley, deputy mayor for housing, was speaking at a meeting of the London Assembly's housing committee on Wednesday.

The 1930s landmark building at 8 Albert Embankment has been mostly disused for the last 16 years, although the ground floor remains in use by firefighters based at Lambeth Fire Station.

Ken Livingstone was still Mayor of London when the fire brigade relocated to Union Street in 2008.

Since then the fire brigade has tried - and failed - twice to gain approval for schemes for the long-term development of the site.

The most recent proposal was rejected by the Government in 2021, whilst earlier plans were blocked in 2013.

A year ago we reported on comments by London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe who admitted there had been "more than 10 years of planning failure" and that the brigade had failed to understand the needs of existing local residents when drawing up its schemes.

Conservative London Assembly member Tony Devenish pressed Mr Copley about the status of plans for the Albert Embankment site at Wednesday's City Hall meeting.

"I had a meeting with the commissioner only a matter of weeks ago to discuss 8 Albert Embankment," said Mr Copley.

"We're actually making some really good progress here, in spite of the best efforts of the Government of course ... as you know, Mr Jenrick [sic] rejected homes that could have been under way by now.

"But I just want to emphasise [that this is] a very good example of GLA group collaboration.

"A member, first of all, of the Places for London team was seconded over to the fire brigade to work on this. Now a member of the GLA land and development team is working on this. We've been making some very good progress lately.

"We expect to have a planning application in before the end of this year. I think that is the aim."

He added: "This is a really big priority for the fire brigade not least because of the presence of the fire station."

Earlier this month Mr Devenish had quizzed the London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe about the Albert Embankment site at a plenary meeting of the London Assembly.

Mr Roe said: "To be clear, I am very clear that my priority down there is to have an operating fire station because it is the single most important strategic fire station in the LFB.

"It covers the security zone [for the] Government. It has responded to almost every terror attack.

"I am immensely frustrated, through a variety of decisions taken outside of the LFB, that I have not been able to develop that site in a way I would like...

"Actually, what I would say is I require support across the planning environment and across every level of government to get that delivered because I am in a place where I am looking at a really important building for London with a really important community function.

"With the greatest of respect to everyone involved, I need the support of colleagues in almost every space to deliver that because I am concerned."

Tags: London Fire Brigade, Greater London Authority, Planning & Development, Lambeth, Vauxhall

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