Westminster Bridge Road proposals would have been global operator’s fourth hotel in the Waterloo area

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands-designed proposals for a 15-storey hotel near Waterloo Station have been rejected by councillors despite a recommendation to approve the scheme from planning officers.

LDS’ vision for the 667 sq m corner site in Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, was created for Park Plaza Hotels, which operates a hotel in neighbouring Hercules Road and two others within 500m.

Lambeth Council planning officers had advised elected members to approve the 186-room development at their meeting last week.

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Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ Westminster Bridge Road hotel proposals, seen from Baylis Road

They said the proposals were “well designed”, would not harm any heritage assets or identified views, and used materials and design cues to “reflect the local context”.

A report to Wednesday’s meeting of Lambeth’s Planning Applications Committee said the statutory public consultation into the proposals received 20 responses, all but two of which were objecting to the scheme.

Concerns included overconcentration of hotels in the local area and the impact on heritage assets, including the grade II-listed Lincoln Memorial Tower and locally-listed North Lambeth Underground Station.

Officers said the site’s development as a hotel would not result in an “unacceptable overconcentration” of visitor rooms in the area. They acknowledged that the site was not designated for a tall building, but said it was considered that the location could accommodate the proposals.

But at the meeting, councillors echoed the sentiments voiced in the consultation. Green Party councillor Scott Ainslie said the area was suffering from an “oversaturation of hotel space” at a time when there was a greater need for additional housing.

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Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ Westminster Bridge Road hotel proposals, seen from the south. The Lincoln Memorial Tower is on the left

Committee chair Joanne Simpson, a Labour councillor, said the scheme should have contained a greater proportion of affordable office space.

Park Plaza Hotels Europe said it was “disappointed” with the decision and was reviewing its options.

The site, which is surrounded by advertising hoardings, was last used as a storage and maintenance base for the London Duck Tour company’s amphibious vehicles. It was acquired by Park Plaza in 2019 for £12m