Waterloo sits in a strategic location at the centre of London, yet since the early 1980s the area has lost around 7,000 jobs, while in Southwark, jobs have grown by nearly 16,000.
This lack of comparative growth is down to the shortage of appropriate types of office accommodation, resulting in some businesses once based in Waterloo moving eastwards. The current Elizabeth House offices contribute to this problem.
All these points have been recognised by policy makers. Waterloo is an identified 'Opportunity Area' in the Mayor’s London Plan, with the Elizabeth House site specifically identified by Lambeth Council as a ‘Major Development Opportunity’ suitable for commercial and residential development.
The ‘Waterloo Opportunity Area Planning Framework’ identifies the site as suitable for a tall building, while Lambeth Council’s ‘Waterloo Development Framework’ sets out a new vision for Waterloo:
"To give Waterloo a new 'Town Square' that also serves as a public transport interchange space; to improve permeability to and within the area and provide new development, principally in the area around and above Waterloo station."