- UPDATE -
The Southbank Centre publish a video to promote their "Festival Wing" plan:
Our responses to this video:
1: Mr. McCart states there are "TWO reasons the undercroft has to be relocated", yet includes a third reason at the end about it being important "financially" in a way as to make it seem like it is not as significant as the other points. Make no mistake, this is the MAIN reason they want the space. His body language and speaking appears to give it away too.
2: Emotionally blackmailing viewers by saying that if they don't replace the undercroft with cafes and restaurants they "won't be able to have a children's and family's art centre, a youth space, a heritage centre and an education centre" is misleading. Out of this £120 million scheme of theirs, only £10 million would be generated by the undercroft retail units over a number of years. It is ridiculous to suggest that the whole plan depends on this single factor.
3: The proposed relocation site under Hungerford Bridge is not equal in size or visibility. Furthermore, the bridge is owned by Network Rail, which means planning permission being granted by Lambeth Council is in no way guaranteed anyway.
4: They've "kept it absolutely raw"? Everything that made it "raw" and a "found space" suitable for skateboarding was removed by the Southbank Centre in 2004 to stop skaters using it. Besides, it was nicknamed "Bird Shit Banks" by skaters for an obviously negative reason.
5: A designed skate park is not the same as a found space. It defeats the whole philosophy at the heart of street-skating which sets out to interpret and adapt to an urban environment. If the Southbank Centre are going to talk about a subject with authority, they should at least do their research.
6: No skaters who use the undercroft have been in discussions with the Southbank Centre regarding co-designing a new skating area. This is either a lie, or they have been in talks with skaters from elsewhere who do not care about saving the Southbank skatepark.
7: There was no consultation process. The Southbank Centre unveiled their "Festival Wing" plan just a couple of months before submitting it to Lambeth Council's planning department on May 13th 2013. The only form of "consultation" was a very biased online survey that they conducted which did not even mention the loss of the undercroft skating area....the results of which have never been disclosed, apart from a few pie charts.
8: A heritage and archive centre in the undercroft which tells the story of its skateboarding history is highly insensitive and deeply insulting. It's like shooting someone's parents and then offering to compensate the loss by buying the gravestones.