Developer U+I, in joint venture with the London Fire Commissioner, wants to redevelop the old London Fire Brigade building at 8 Albert Embankment to create 145,000 sq ft of office, hotel and retail space, as well as 443 new homes, a new fire station and a London Fire Brigade museum. Architect is Pilbrow & Partners.
The existing building on the river front would be retained. Behind it, old fire brigade workshop and offices would be demolished and replaced with seven new buildings ranging in height from five to 15 storeys.
The London Borough of Lambeth planning committee passed a resolution to grant planning permission in December 2019.
However, the secretary of state has now intervened to consider the merits of the development and called in the planning application.
A U+I spokesperson said: “We are disappointed to learn that our plans to transform 8 Albert Embankment have been called in by the Secretary of State. The decision means that the delivery of a new fire station for the London Fire Brigade, a new permanent home for the London Fire Brigade Museum, along with 443 much-needed homes, 40% of which will be affordable, as well as 100,000 sq ft of workspace and new public spaces could now be significantly delayed. The plans, which received the backing of the London Borough of Lambeth and followed extensive consultation with the local community, will positively transform a site that has lain vacant for almost ten years. We remain committed to delivering great places in order to create positive social and economic change and will consider our position in light of our determination to deliver on both fronts.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson also expressed disappointment, adding: “Lambeth Fire Station responds to fires and other major emergencies in Lambeth and across London and is an important strategic location for emergency response in the capital. Originally built in 1937, the station requires significant modernisation to maintain high operational standards. These plans deliver improved training facilities, new accommodation for a diverse workforce and a new community space. The development will also include a permanent home for the LFB Museum in a restored 8 Albert Embankment, our former headquarters building. Sited next to the working fire station this will maintain a vital link between our historic collection and the modern service and will welcome tens of thousands of visitors a year. This development will also release capital funds to invest in our stations, training and equipment across the capital. We remain committed to this scheme which is an important part of our future.”