Skateboarders await final decision on Southbank park after delivering petition to Lambeth Town Hall


24 boxes of objection forms were carried from the skate park.


By Ellie Pipe

Southbank’s skating community are awaiting a decision on their park’s fate after delivering over 20,000 objection forms to Lambeth Town Hall last week.

More than 100 skaters carried 30 boxes three miles from Southbank Undercroft last Thursday in a historical show of support for the campaign to save the iconic skate park from redevelopment.

The Long Live Southbank campaign culminated in a total of 27,286 online and paper objections that were presented to Lambeth Council.

Skater and LLSB campaigner, Louis Woodhead said: “Long Live Southbank and the creative communities of Southbank Undercroft are overwhelmed by the immense support we have received by people from all walks of life.”

The Southbank Centre’s £120 million redevelopment plans now include a commitment to open new skate facilities underneath the Hungerford Bridge, but campaigners say the skate park’s home in the Undercroft must be preserved.

“Taking it away and transforming the place will rip the heart out of it,” said campaign member Jason Caines.

The Undercroft is recognised as the birthplace of British skating and has been a daily haunt of skateboarders, BMX riders and graffiti artists since the 1970s.

Long Live Southbank members are committed to preserving the skate park in its current form, and their campaign calls for ‘preservation not relocation’.

A Lambeth Council spokesman confirmed that they are taking all views into consideration.

“The applications are due to be considered by Lambeth council’s planning committee at the end of February,” he said.

Mr Woodhead confirmed plans to continue campaigning on a daily basis.

“We hope that the immense public opinion supporting our campaign for preservation of culture over the unjustified need for commercialism and consumerism will be listened to by those that can ensure one of London’s most loved cultural landmarks does not get destroyed, he said.

Long Live Southbank has attracted support from high profile figures across the arts including Lauren Lavern, Arlene Phillips CBE and Tony Hawk.

David Holloway OBE also lent his support to the Long Live Southbank Campaign.

“The Undercroft is a territory hard won and will be hard lost,” he said in a blog post.

“It is a matter of cultural disenfranchisement of young people already politically, economically and educationally marginalised and excluded.”

Photo courtesy of StephYo, with thanks.

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