Waterloo won’t be getting an Abba-themed restaurant

It’s been a bad week for Abba fans hoping to get their fix of 70s uber-pop, as the band’s co-founder Bjorn Ulvaeus has reportedly pulled the plug on a planned Mamma Mia-themed restaurant in Waterloo following protests from local residents.

The restaurant would have seen 520 visitors nightly for a meal at a Greek taverna-style dining area while the Mamma Mia musical plays out around them.

Proposals for Mamma Mia! The Party, an immersive theatre and restaurant experience from the Swedish superstar, were submitted to the local authority’s planning committee last year, who gave it conditional planning permission.

The restaurant, which was planned for a sit on Stamford Street, near to the South Bank, is part of  a chain that already operates in Stockholm, and was expected to welcome 520 visitors a night for a meal at a Greek taverna-style dining area while the Mamma Mia musical is played out around them.

However the concept was met with anger from local residents, who staged a protest on the vacant land ahead of a key planning meeting in November. Lambeth Council received 198 objections to the plans, and a petition with more than 700 signatures was presented to the council in October.

Stop Mamma Mia Party signs were also posted around the area by the Waterloo Residents’ Alliance.

They argued that the restaurant would encourage late night disturbances and that the site, which has been vacant since 1985, should instead be turned into affordable housing.

This week, Ulvaeus confirmed that he would not be moving forward with plans for the development, as reported by the Evening Standard. 

He said: “I have reached the conclusion that the party should not open on the South Bank near Waterloo.

“Despite being granted planning permission in November 2017, I’ve taken seriously the concerns expressed by some local residents living around Stamford Street and so have decided not to go ahead with our plans on this site.

“We have been looking at some equally exciting alternatives in London and expect to announce a new location shortly.”

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