We can today announce that Lambeth Council has exchanged contracts to sell the Beaufoy Building and surrounding land.
As you may know the council owns the car park which is being sold to Bellway Homes. The Beaufoy Building and space around it is owned by the Beaufoy Trust and that will be sold to the Tibetan Buddhist Charity, Diamond Way Buddhism.
The sale of both sites will generate around £9 million. Around £7.5m will go to the council and will contribute towards the Council's Capital Programme that is used to fund housing, roads, schools, leisure centres etc. About £1.5m will go to the Beaufoy Trust. After years of having all their money tied up in an unused building and, therefore, not actually helping anyone they will finally have the money to fulfill their objectives;
“The object of the [Beaufoy Trust] charity is the promotion of the education for the public benefit of persons under the age of 25 who are in need of financial assistance and resident in the area of benefit, with a preference for the promotion of vocational training.”
On top of this 40% of all the homes that Bellway will build on the site will be affordable.
Finally, a sum of £200,000 has been ring fenced and will be spent in Kennington on local projects. Your three councillors will be making the decision on what to spend the money on and we shall be back in touch with everyone in the near future in order to get ideas of what to spend the money on.
Buddhist Centre Scheme
The Beaufoy is an iconic local building and a lot of residents will want to know what plans there are for its future. The scheme proposes a mixed-use building which has three predominant functions:
1) Community facility
2) Place for meditation and education
3) Residential accommodation
The building would be occupied by Diamond Way Buddhism, a registered charity centred on Buddhist philosophy in the Tibetan tradition. They intend to offer a facility which would primarily be used by the Buddhist community but would also seek to engage with and benefit local communities.
At the heart of the building, largely within the historic Grade II listed section, the facility would offer a large meditation/teaching space within the existing lecture/assembly hall. There would also be a library, exhibition space, seminar room, meeting rooms, offices and a general welcome area. These areas and rooms would all be at ground and first floor levels and would form the primary location for the charity's work in terms of its public activity.
The refurbished buildings and the proposed extensions would also provide various types of residential accommodation at ground, first and second floor levels of the building which would support a community of permanent residents and guests.
As you may be keen to meet the prospective new owners and find out more about who they are and what there plans are, public meetings are planned with Diamond Way Buddhism and Bellway Homes.
This will be where the planning application will be presented and discussed so that the local community will be able to give their views on what is proposed. Both Bellway and Diamond Way are introducing themselves at tonight’s KOV meeting.
Diamond Way Buddhism is holding a drop-in session 6pm-9pm, next Thursday 2 February at the Tea House Theatre, 139 Vauxhall Walk, SE11 5HL. This is in advance of their submitting their planning application as they seek your contribution and input to the renovation of the Beaufoy Institute whilst the project is still in its early stages.
At this stage we have exchanged contracts with the two groups. We will not complete the sale until they have both received planning permission for their schemes.
Everyone will have an opportunity to view the plans and comment on them when they are submitted to the planning department.
If, and when, planning permission is granted, we shall be in touch with all residents and community groups to discuss what projects you would like to spend our £200,000 windfall on.
We hope to see you at the meetings.