CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVES
The Elizabeth House site had a number of unsuccessful attempts at redevelopment, with plans turned down after an inquiry in 2009 due to impact on views from the Palace of Westminster, despite support from the borough and the Greater London Authority. It was therefore already an extremely sensitive site of national significance when LCA was appointed by Chelsfield and London & Regional Properties to handle media relations and support the planning process for a new £600m development designed by Sir David Chipperfield.
THE LCA ROLE
LCA prepared a detailed briefing note to explain the proposals and their benefits and secured prominent, positive coverage for the designs, starting with an exclusive article in the Sunday Times. We then supported the push to the planning committee including the preparation of a brochure for councillors, the site visit and thorough rehearsal for the crucial committee meeting itself. We also helped co-ordinate responses from a wide group of key stakeholders to ensure the scheme was not called in by the Secretary of State. We developed strong relations with Lambeth Council throughout and then helped to fight a further legal challenge by Westminster Council and English Heritage, managing significant media interest over a two-year period.
This controversial scheme eventually went through the planning committee of Lambeth Council twice due to the legal challenges it faced. Finally, with the support of the GLA, the Secretary of State, local residents, and business groups, consent was given and work can now begin.