A very tall building is planned exactly where you see plants…

On Tuesday 3 December, Lambeth Planning Committee may make a decision to allow skyscrapers in the immediate vicinity of Beaconsfield. Such a decision would completely erase any view of the original, intact side of Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, a building of key historic importance for the area as the philanthropic project of the former Lambeth Ragged School (built 1851):


…block daylight to the main gallery and green garden yard – where many of you enjoy your food and drinks from the Ragged Canteen.

Not only that

…but the proposed wider development will rob many residents in the surrounding streets of their right to daylight! (find out more here)

If you can spend a few minutes this weekend objecting to this planning proposal please click on the follow link (via Lambeth Village) here:


Lambeth Planning Applications Committee, 6.45 for 7pm start at Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RW.

Please sign the petition


Democracy in Action!

Thank you so much.


Open letter sent to Lambeth Planning Committee:

Dear Planning Committee member

Ref: 8 Albert Embankment, London SE1.

We write concerning the above development as representatives of the arts organisation Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall.

We would like to bring some important issues to your attention that you may or may not be aware of. We believe that you should be cognisant of these factors before making any decision on this planning application. 

Beaconsfield is a charity that has provided a public facing gallery for 25 years in Vauxhall;  to the local community, to Londoners, and to national and international visitors. Prior to restoring the former Lambeth Ragged School and opening it as an arts centre in 1995, the founding directors provided monthly arts events in Vauxhall between 1991-94.

We are:

outraged that we as a neighbouring venue of significant community impact and historical interest have not been directly consulted on the 8 Albert Embankment developments: especially regarding that on the corner of Newport Street and Black Prince road. U+I’s proposed building will block the existing view of our historic, neo classical, Victorian building that currently has a sight-line extending from Vauxhall Spring Gardens, coming into view at Walker Books. The proposed U+I tower block will completely erase any view of the original, intact side of our building which is of key historic importance for the area as the philanthropic project of the former Lambeth Ragged School (built 1851);

angered that U+I’s proposals include rhetoric about building on the arts heritage of the area. This is a legacy that has been largely pioneered by Beaconsfield’s founders and yet our organisation’s operations would be severely blighted by the U+I proposals;

objecting to the building of towers in a conservation area and on a site that has been designated not to have tall buildings (in Lambeth’s Local Plan 2015) due to the heritage sensitivity of the location;

objecting to the loss of sun and daylight to all the surrounding communities and businesses and particularly to Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, which requires light for its operation as a free, public art gallery and café;

shocked by the loss of sun and daylight that would result from the building of a tower on the corner of Blackprince Road and Newport Street: the building will block light to the windows of the Upper Gallery and Lower gallery/café space. This will severely impact both exhibitions and community use of the café, causing substantial adverse harm to the amenity we provide, the catering business that we support and therefore to the public;

astounded that the developer extensively referred to Beaconsfield in their development plan. They use our name and history as a cultural provider and mention our ‘cultural quarter’ in their literature, to conceptualise and sell their scheme. Whilst presenting themselves as a culturally engaged developer, they have not once visited the gallery to speak to us in person, or consulted us in any way about their plans.

This we believe reveals a lack of integrity. U+I neither support nor respect local cultural provision, such as Beaconsfield, or, for that matter, care about improving quality of life for existing residents. 

Just look at what they propose to build next door to us, without consultation: a building that towers above the galley and obliterates light to both indoor space (via the only side windows in the building) and outdoor public entrance and yard, inhibiting the green lung provided by Beaconsfield’s garden! This is unacceptable.

The scheme represents a bitter pill that the community should not be made to swallow. If these proposals go ahead, there will be damaging ramifications for the sustainability of this longstanding arts organisation and the general well-being of its immediate community, not to mention the enjoyment of its national and international visitors. 

Historically, serious planning mistakes have been made in Vauxhall and the promise has been that they will never happen again. We urge you to use your good judgement and influence to ensure that history does not repeat itself.

Yours faithfully

David Crawforth and Naomi Siderfin

Founding directors


22 Newport Street

London  SE11 6AY

+44 (0) 20 75826465

Current exhibition:

Erika Winstone

The Duration

Beaconsfield Upper space

30 October-1 December

Artist’s talk Sunday 17 November at 3pm