Nearly a thousand people have signed a petition opposing a 70-metre tower included in redevelopment plans for Lambeth College, while the neighbouring council has also objected.  

Lambeth College, together with developers Carillion and Arlington Real Estate, previously submitted a planning application for the site by Belmore Street in Nine Elms, which included plans for a 26-storey tower. 

They withdrew the application in 2017 after spending more than £3 million.  

But the college by Clapham Common has since been taken on by South Bank Colleges (SBC) and has submitted a new application, with plans for buildings that vary from seven to 20 storeys in height.

According to the masterplan, the proposals include “new build teaching and learning space to support skills development in construction, engineering, science and dental technology, IT, digital and creative” as well as English and maths space.    

Up to 272 student accommodation units are also proposed. 

But nearly 1,000 people have signed a petition – both in person and online – opposing the height of the tower.  

Wandsworth Council, which objected to the height of the tower in 2016, has reiterated its objection which describes the 20-storey tower as an “incongruous and obstructive development […] without robust justification”.  

The council also said the current proposals “would still be contrary to the London Plan” and the tall building strategy in the Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area.

 Most residents have not raised problems with the redevelopment of the college, but take issue with “grotesquely disproportionate” 70-metre tower.

A resident-led organisation that manages the Patmore estate, which lies on the boundary of both boroughs, said the plans were “appalling”.  

John Osbaldeston, vice chair of the Patmore Cooperative, submitted an objection saying Lambeth Council made “zero contact” with the Coop.  

He said: “This development has enormous consequences for hundreds of residents on Patmore Estate.  

“As Patmore Cooperative are the largest stakeholders in the affected area and are Managing Agents and community advocates for residents and their homes, I find it incredible that Lambeth Council has had zero contact with the Coop and never once included us in what seems to be an inadequate (at best), consultation process.   

“Lambeth Council’s own planning report into this development concludes ‘there are significant reductions in daylight’ to some of the blocks on Patmore; in some cases figures of 48 to 54 per cent less daylight.  

“The council’s officers appear to think this is acceptable, adopting a Marie Antoinette attitude of ‘they don’t have a lot of light anyway so it doesn’t matter if we take even more away’; not so much ‘let them eat cake’ as ‘let them live in the dark’.  

 “I believe that if Lambeth Council votes to approve this development in its’ current form they will be wilfully and knowingly consigning hundreds of Patmore Estate residents to quite literally live in the shadows. Appalling.” 

A spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said it had concerns about the “lack of detail surrounding the type of construction materials” that will be used to build the tower. 

He said: “We have formally objected to Lambeth Council about this application.  

“We are concerned about the height of this tower which we believe is incongruous and overly obtrusive, which if approved, would have a detrimental effect on the local community.  

“There are also concerns about the lack of detail surrounding the type of construction materials that would be used for such a conspicuous and overbearing tall tower.  

“We think the applicants need to come back with fuller and more detailed plans and have better engagement with local people.” 

A Lambeth Council spokesperson said: “A planning application in relation to this site was submitted in July and has been subject to consultation in line with all requirements.  

“Representations that have been formally submitted to the council through its website, by email or in writing are being assessed by the council, which includes any objections in relation to height and design. 

“The application is likely to be reported to Lambeth’s planning applications committee for consideration before the end of the year.  

“Everyone who has made a representation directly to the council will be notified of the committee date in advance of the meeting.”   

The planning committee will decide on the application on Tuesday (November 26).