A World War Two shelter near Clapham South Tube station is to be turned into a a new restaurant or café after Lambeth Council granted Transport for London permission to bring the building back into public use.
The rotunda is located on the south eastern corner of Clapham Common and sits above eight deep-level air-raid shelters which shielded London’s population from Germany’s V-1 and V-2 bombs.
The site was also used to house some of the migrants who arrived from Jamaica on the HMT Empire Windrush as well as tourists and school children who visited the capital for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
TfL will lease the café/restaurant space to a private company as part of its plans to maximise income from its estate.
The site will also be used by the London Transport Museum which will hold pre-booked tours of the deep-level shelters and display an exhibition telling their history.
Graeme Craig, TfL’s Director of Commercial Development, said: “Clapham South’s deep-level shelters have played an important role in shaping the London that we know today.
“The planning approval that we have received from Lambeth Council means that this structure can once again be brought back to life.
“Linking the new restaurant or café above ground with the historic shelters below ground showcases how we are opening up our assets to Londoners and delivering value for fare payers.
Sam Mullins, Director for London Transport Museum, commented: “We’re really excited about the transformation of the Rotunda into a new restaurant or café on Clapham Common.
“We look forward to working with the new tenants to create a very special visitor experience about this piece of hidden London history.
“This new exhibition space will add an interesting element to our already popular Hidden London tours.”