Kylun Towers Public Inquiry: Two skyscrapers too many? Time to speak up

Kylun: there’ll be a site visit by the public inquiry to the ‘handkerchief of green’ in the week beginning 27 February.

The Kylun Inquiry opens on 6 March, is scheduled to close on 21 March and the Inspector is due to report to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by 25 May. After that, it’s politics.

The developer Kylun’s appeal opens in Stockwell on 6 March against Lambeth’s unwillingness to see two skyscrapers of 41 and 32 storeys plonked down on the  handkerchief-sized plot of grass that is Vauxhall Cross’s last-discernible green space.

Such is local opposition to the Kylun’s plans for ‘the Vauxhall Island Site’ – a traffic island next to Vauxhall Bus Station – that the inquiry could take two weeks.

The Vauxhall Society has objected to the Kylun proposals as too big and too people- and traffic-generating for such a small, crowded and congested place.

One form the TVS objection takes is to suggest how, for or against, you can have your say at the inquiry.  We also outline some of the arguments against the development that could resonate with the inquiry chairman, Ava Wood. Mrs Wood is an architect and chartered town planner.

  • The inquiry starts at 10 am on Tuesday 6 March at The Conference Room, Stockwell YMCA, King George’s House, 40-46 Stockwell Road, London SW9 9ES.
  • The Government’s Planning Inspectorate runs the Inquiry, and if you would like to speak at it let the inquiry team know right away, giving dates on which you’re free. You can also nominate somebody to speak for you. If you do want to speak, you should give the Inspectorate a written statement of your case, plus two copies, one for Kylun and one for Lambeth Council. It would be helpful to send the Planning Inspectorate your stuff in electronic form as well.
  • In any correspondence, quote Appeal Reference No.  APP/N5660/A/11/2157961
  • Who to ask for advice from and send written statements/copies to:
    Leanne Palmer
    The Planning Inspectorate
    4/02 Kite Wing
    Temple Quay House
    The Square
    Bristol BS1 6PNYou can telephone Leanne on 0117 372 8577, and her email is
  •  You can also ask Lambeth Planning, Tel:  020 7926 1256, for a free copy of the Planning Inspectorate’s July 2009 Guide to taking part in planning appeals proceeding by an inquiry – England
  • Individuals or community groups can get free advice from:
    National Planning Aid
    Royal Town Planning Institute
    6th Floor, Newater House
    11 New Hall Street
    Birmingham B3 3NY
    Phone/fax: 0121 693 1201

Objections to Kylun: a selection

  • The Mayor’s London Plan and Opportunity Area and Planning Framework (OAPF) for density guidance suggest 650 to -1,100 habitable rooms per hectare; Kylun is 1,721 rooms, 621 to 1,071 rooms per hectare more
  • The proposed density would be at expense of high-quality ‘public realm’ land, and flies in the face of London Plan and OAPF policy as well as of Policy 50 of Lambeth’s Unitary Development Plan, a commitment to historic parks and gardens.
  • Inappropriate spot for residential development, difficult to reach surrounding land, dangerous for pedestrians.
  • Poorly-connected to river, surrounding land and local communities; especially Vauxhall Park, which Kylun will shade.
  • No overall plan for development in area, no study of wind-tunnel effect of clustering buildings at Vauxhall cross or of worsening of already-poor air quality.

Lambeth proposals:

Vauxhall Nine Elms OAPF: