Brixton’s International House planning permission granted despite residents’ objections

By Kate Dennett
October 2 2019, 17.15

A timber and glass ‘crown’ will be built on top of the 11-storey International House despite opposition from Brixton residents. 

Residents from Brixton Road, Canterbury Crescent and Chartham Court worry that sound will carry from top-floor dining and the temporary four year structure will bring more disruption to the already busy area. 

A consultation regarding the development of International House took place on May 16 and residents were given the chance to submit further comments to Lambeth Council. 

One resident said: “I am already facing noise nuisance from Pop Brixton Thursdays to Sundays. I don’t see why this should go ahead when it will have a detrimental effect on the surrounding community who are already strained by noise nuisance from Pop Brixton.

“There are enough bars and restaurants in Brixton, we don’t need another one. And if there is really a ‘need’, then it should be situated in an area that minimises impact on the wellbeing of the community. 

“Clearly the people supporting this application just care about their convenience more than anything else. Respect the community.”

The plans are still set to go ahead as part of the Brixton Central masterplan, with further expansion still to take place. 

Another resident said: “A three-storey rooftop venue is not fair on local residents and will impose more cost in terms the council, rate payers in terms of enforcement, environmental management, community safety.

“The proposed opening hours are outrageous (which extend to even exceed nightclubs on the main Brixton Road).

“Brixton’s existing bars and venues are struggling and the council is struggling to cope.”

The block is owned by Lambeth Council and run by 3Space, a company which aims to drive regeneration in communities. 

International House was honoured as the UK’s first Living Wage Building in 2018 and West Architecture has won planning permission for its expansion.

The architect for West Architecture Graham West said: “It will have a really positive impact on the area and we are really happy to be involved. I think it is going to be a great project and I can’t wait to see it opened later in the year!”

It was the first building to meet Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage Places criteria.

Councillor Matthew Bennett, cabinet member for planning, investment and new homes, said: “This is now one of London’s biggest affordable workspaces, and being named as the UK’s first Living Wage Building really cements the significance of this project.

“We have a really ambitious programme of delivering more affordable workspace and creating more high-quality jobs for local people. We hope this will be the first of many accredited Living Wage Buildings in the borough.”

All tenants, contractors and employees must be paid living wage – as stated in their tenancy agreements.

It already supports 850 jobs and will now be adding a 200m² ‘crown’ to house shops, late-night dining, community space and a bar.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Lambeth Council has shown real leadership in asking businesses based within its buildings to pay the London Living Wage.

“We know the huge impact that supportive local authorities like Lambeth can have in driving Living Wage take-up. Across the UK many councils are now not only accrediting as Living Wage employers but also using their convening power to help spread Living Wage accreditation through local businesses and supply chains.”

Lambeth now has six affordable work spaces including Tripod, event venue Pop Brixton and LJ Works.

One floor of the block is completely rent free for to community and not-for-profit organisations.

Feature image credit: West Architecture.

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