Lambeth college plans expansion with hundreds of new homes at Clapham and Vauxhall campuses

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A new college and hundreds of homes will be built in Lambeth despite concerns about the pressure extra residents will put on the Northern line. 

Councillors approved Lambeth College’s latest redevelopment plans for its Clapham and Vauxhall campuses at a meeting on Tuesday evening, despite opposition from residents.

In Clapham, 529 homes will be constructed alongside a new smaller college building. Existing structures on the site will be bulldozed, including a £20 million building completed just 15 years ago. 

At the college’s campus in Vauxhall a total of 262 homes will be constructed in a huge 24-storey tower. The block will replace previously approved plans to build 272 rooms for students on the site as part of the campus’s wider redevelopment, which is already under way. 

The new London South Bank Technical College based on the site was finished in 2023. 

Ben Oates, the council’s planning officer for both schemes, admitted that plans for hundreds of new homes on the Clapham campus would “add further pressure” to Clapham Common Tube station, despite it already being at capacity on weekday mornings. 

But he said Transport for London (TfL) had told the council it was ‘not feasible’ to remodel the station to accommodate more passengers or increase the frequency of trains on the Northern line. 

Speaking against the Clapham campus plans, resident Bruno Almeida Santos, an architect, questioned the decision to demolish a £20 million building on the site built just 15 years ago.

He said: “The retention of this asset would still enable the development of the site and would then meet the principles of circular economy and sustainability and, more importantly, not waste £20 million.” 

A CGI of the planned Vauxhall development from Deeley Road (Picture: Lambeth council)

Mr Oates said the buildings on the site were ‘not designed for residential conversion’ and said works to preserve them would come with ‘significant costs’.

Residents speaking against the Vauxhall campus plans expressed concerns about the height and design of the proposed 24-storey tower, and loss of light to nearby properties.

But Henry Squire, from Squire and Partners, the architects behind the proposed tower, dismissed concerns about its design. He said: “I respectfully say that in this instance the views and sunlight and daylight to all of these apartments, given the nature of the building and its height, will be fantastic and I wouldn’t mind having one view out of one side or one view out of the other for my flat.”

Of the 529 homes planned for the Clapham site, 377 will be at market rents, 45 will be shared ownership, where a person buys a share of a property and pays rent to a housing association on the remainder, and 107 will be at the cheapest social-type rents.

In Vauxhall, of the 262 homes planned, 183 will be at market rents, 53 will be at the cheapest social rents and 26 will be at London Living Rent, which is usually around a third of local incomes. 

Professor David Phoenix OBE, vice chancellor of London South Bank University, which owns Lambeth College, said the two projects would allow the college to improve its educational offer in the borough.

Pictured top: A CGI of the new planned Lambeth College building in Clapham (Picture: Lambeth council)

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