Lambeth residents will get their first chance to have their say on plans to save millions of pounds by slashing the number of council office buildings in the borough.
Neighbourhood groups, businesses and the wider community will be invited to get involved in the design of the ‘Your New Town Hall’ scheme from later this month.
Lambeth say the YNTH project will:
Preserve the current, historic Town Hall and open up it up extensively for use by local people
Deliver a purpose-built, energy efficient, new council office
Create space for start-up businesses to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial spirit
Create new community spaces
Deliver c.275 much-needed new homes for the borough, of which the aim is to secure 40 per cent as ‘affordable’
Generate hundreds of construction jobs, including around 45 apprenticeships
Lambeth council and Muse Developments signed an agreement in April to develop the project, which will reduce the council’s core office buildings from 14 to 2, with claims there will be a saving of at least £4.5m a year.
A Lambeth council statement added: “Residents are being invited to participate now in early ‘Community Design’, the creative process of defining and improving the proposals for the town hall development, up to the detailed designs.
“In partnership with Muse, the council is holding a number of open consultation sessions where residents, businesses and community interest groups will be able to contribute to the design process.
“The extensive consultation process is being supported by information on the Lambeth website and a dedicated project website www.yournewtownhall.org . From July 14th a permanent exhibition will be available for the public to view in the town hall.
“The ‘Community Design’ round of engagement will include an initial series of workshops with immediate neighbours followed by workshops with community interest groups to consider the publicly accessible areas of the town hall.
“Public drop in sessions will also be held to gain feedback on how people would like to interact with and use the new town hall, and the whole borough will be invited to attend these as follows:
Wed July 16th Any time from 10am until 3pm The Brix St Matthews, Brixton Hill, SW2 1JF
Thurs July 17th Any time from 4pm until 8pm Karibu Education Centre, Gresham Road, SW9 7PH
“The feedback received during the various workshops, public drop in events and via the dedicated website www.yournewtownhall.orgwill all be considered by the Council and Muse’s design team as they work up the detail of the proposals.”
A further round of public consultation and engagement will then be undertaken on these in the autumn, adds the statement.
“The scheme will also create new jobs and homes, deliver a purpose-built new council office building and free up space in the town hall for business and community use.
“The development will pay for itself through the redevelopment of old office buildings that are increasingly expensive to run.
“The council has already begun to deliver on its pledge to open up the iconic building to the wider community, set out in the ‘Your New Town Hall’ strategy with Impact Hub Brixton, the new ‘hot-desking’ enterprise space for the borough’s fledgling businesses, opened in the town hall two months ago.”
Cllr Paul McGlone, deputy leader (finance and investment), at Lambeth council, said: “The needs of our residents, rather than politicians or council officers are driving this project, hence the name; ‘Your New Town Hall’.
“For the first time our residents and local businesses will have access to office and community space in line with our commitment to be a truly cooperative council.
“Your New Town Hall is a great deal for taxpayers and businesses, saving Lambeth £4.5million a year in running costs by cutting the number of council offices from 14 to 2. “The project will pay for itself and will deliver desperately needed new homes and new jobs for local people.”
The activity is being promoted across the borough, including by a flyer to all households, local businesses and community organisations, letters to immediate residents and an advert in Lambeth Talk.