Skater protests force review of Southbank development plans
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Thursday 04 July 2013
The Southbank Centre has been forced to review plans for a £120m redevelopment of its site, following a campaign orchestrated by London’s skateboarders to save their “spiritual home”.
The organisation had hoped Lambeth Council would consider its application for planning permission in the autumn. However, yesterday it withdrew the request and asked for more time to consult with those who use the historic skate-park on the site known as the Undercroft.
The skateboarders have opposed the redevelopment since it was first announced in March as the Undercroft, which has hosted skaters for over 40 years, would have been scrapped as part of the plans.
On Wednesday, it emerged that Sir Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre, had sent an unrelated submission to Lambeth Council saying the proposals would cause “irreparable harm” to the theatre.
A spokeswoman for the Southbank Centre said the project “has huge potential... but we also want our skateboarders, street writers and BMXers to continue to think of this as their home.”
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