In January 2005 the Lilian Baylis School moved from its Lambeth Walk site into a brand new building on Kennington Lane. The future of the old Lilian Baylis School site is therefore a key issue for reshaping the local area and how the needs and aspirations of local people will be met. It provides an opportunity for additional and improved services to people living on the local estates and community, and could help rejuvenate Lambeth Walk as a vibrant street.

The Riverside Community Development Trust considers that any new development on the site must be sensitive and respond to local community needs and aspirations. There should be:

  • proper community consultation
  • maximum community use

The Trust has indicated to the Council that it is interested in undertaking a community consultation.

There have been several developments relating to the site which indicate the lines on which the public debate in the future is likely to take place:

  • Opposition to the Council’s former wish to demolish the buildings as expressed in the draft Unitary Development Plan for the Borough published in
  • Proposals by local residents for the use of the buildings for a range of community uses
  • The rewording of the revised Unitary Development Plan to reflect the objections and proposals
  • The submission of a bid to the Council to buy the site by the All Nations Centre and Lighthouse Education for a variety of community uses and a church facility
  • The possibility of the Council seeking to lift the educational designation of the site and have the Grade II listing cancelled

The suggestions for community use made by objectors to the Council’s original proposals include:

  • Recreation/leisure facilities/centre
  • Educational use
  • Housing for the elderly/sheltered accommodation, inc. landscape gardening and plots for residents to grow vegetables;
  • Shelters for the homeless
  • Swimming pool
  • Recreation centre for school community
  • Community centre
  • Community use/facilities
  • Rebuilding, upgrading and incorporation into the University of South Bank
  • Holiday schemes
  • Sports
  • Public open space linked to Lambeth Walk Open Space

The Trust welcomes the revised wording by Lambeth Council.

Unitary Development Plan

In its proposals for the Lambeth Walk/Ethelred Estate area the Council originally proposed in (to be added):

‘appropriate proposals for the listed Lilian Baylis school, demolition supported (subject to PPG15 tests) as re use not practical (the building does not meet modern educational requirements) and replacement should be with a higher quality design.’

It has proposed the following amendment (April 2005):

‘appropriate proposals for the Grade II listed Lilian Baylis school and its grounds would be supported (subject to satisfying all statutory tests) to enable redevelopment if the site for a mix of uses, including a mixed tenure housing scheme, community and leisure uses.’

The final wording will await the outcome of the Public Local Inquiry.

May 2005