Skaters today won a key victory in their battle to save the South Bank undercroft after a London council upheld its decision to list it as an Asset of Community Value.
The Southbank Centre wants to develop new shops and restaurants on the eastern part of the site where the undercroft is and challenged its community status.
But Lambeth Council today revealed it disagreed with the Centre’s claims it is the equivalent of a “children’s play area in the beer garden of a pub”, saying this showed “a total lack of understanding” of its community role.
A review instead opted to maintain its Asset of Community Value status, granted in July 2013, paving the way for another appeal.
Campaigner Ben Stewart, of the Long Live Southbank group, said: “We applaud Lambeth for upholding their initial decision to recognise Southbank undercroft as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act.
“But we are, however, very disappointed that the Southbank Centre CEO, Alan Bishop, has indicated that they will again be appealing Lambeth’s decision and that, unlike hundreds of thousands of people including the Mayor of London, the Southbank Centre does not recognise the significance of the undercroft and its importance to the local and wider community.”
Boris Johnson, who has the final say in the planning process, has backed skateboarders fighting to stay in the undercroft on the edge of the site
However, Long Live Southbank from tomorrow will argue for two days at the High Court that the undercroft should be granted Village Green status, in a bid to stop it being developed.
The case revolves around the legal interpretation of restrictions introduced by the Government last year on the right to apply to register village greens.