• key objections

    Below is a summary of the key reasons why Roupell Street and LERA residents object to the EF Language School development plans. If you would like join the campaign then feel free to consult these reasons when outlining your objections to Lambeth Council.

    REASON 1 - Harm caused to the fabric, character and setting of a Grade II listed building.

    The old school is Grade II listed. The point of listing a building is to maintain the fabric, character and setting of the building. Any change to this should be prohibited under the Grade II listing and Lambeth Planning have a responsibility to protect the building.

    REASON 2 - The proposed development is against the National Planning Policy Framework (Section 12, paragraphs 128-138)

    In particular, paragraph 134 states that there should be “less than substantial harm” which needs to be weighed against any public benefits arising from the development. Lambeth Planning would need go against National Planning Policy if they were to pass this proposed development.

    REASON 3 - Lambeth Council’s legal duty to heritage.

    The council has a duty under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (section s66(1) listed buildings and s72 (1) conservation areas) to place considerable weight and importance on the preservation or enhancement of affected heritage assets; there is a presumption against development which harms the significance of heritage assets.

    REASON 4 - Making a Grade II listed building no longer viewable to the public

    The EF School are proposing to knock down the wall that backs onto Roupell Street. The wall itself is listed and therefore protected from development. The modern building would then completely close off the courtyard meaning the general public can no longer see the original school. This essentially would mean Lambeth would be giving permission for a Grade II listed building to be made private.

    REASON 5 - No public benefit to local people or business

    The school will argue that public benefit will increase under the new scheme. In fact with improved on site catering facilities the students are less likely to use the local shops and eateries. Numbers of students they argue will stay the same, so no increase apparently. Furthermore the proposed catering plans will exacerbate the problem of smooth deliveries of goods and effective removal of rubbish.

    REASON 6 - The original building DID NOT have a building where this proposed development will be

    EF Language School have tried to argue the school courtyard was originally closed off. This is an outright lie, it was built years later. Either way, this is irrelevant as there was no building there when the following happened:

    • when the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 first came into force
    • when the Roupell Street Conservation Area was designated in 1976
    • when the old school was Grade II listed in 1979, as it stands now
    • when the Waterloo Conservation Area was designated in 1980


    The point of listings is to conserve from the date they are established, not to go back to some previous existence.

    REASON 7 - The Waterloo Conservation Area Statement protects open spaces

    The courtyard provides relief in the streetscape and the only trees visible from the street, enjoyed by residents and pedestrians. The Waterloo Conservation Area Statement (paragraph 2.15) says: “Private open space in the form of private gardens or communal gardens is very limited within the conservation area and it is thus a scarce resource which should be retained, not just for the well-being of residents but also for the character of the conservation area. The Lambeth Plan Core Strategy includes strategic policy S5 Open Spaces, which seeks to safeguard existing open spaces both publicly owned and privately owned with public access.

    REASON 8 - Modern Development is jarring to historic nature of the street.

    People may love (or in most cases), hate the proposed design. One thing is clear is that whilst there’s some attempt to provide a modern interpretation of a gothic façade, the proposed development is a jarring addition, completely at odds with its setting.


    The best way to stop EF Language School 'modernising' Roupell Street then lodge your objection on the Lambeth Planning site - the button below is a direct link to Lambeth Council / EF Language School Planning Application