The government’s Building Back Beautiful agenda is about to be tested by a massive building proposed for one of the UK’s most visited areas.
Proposals by Mitsubishi to demolish ITV’s London Studios and replace them with a mountain of office blocks more than double their size have drawn furious criticism from local community organisations and wider interests.
Historic England, the Twentieth Century Society, and many others have raised concerns about views of St Paul’s Cathedral and impacts on Somerset House, the National Theatre and other listed buildings. Now local organisations are also raising concerns about impacts on daylight, sunlight, and the whole character of the South Bank.
Iain Tuckett, Coin Street Community Builders, says; “The scale, bulk and siting of the proposed development is excessive, overbearing and overly dominant. The impacts on daylight received by adjacent Coin Street housing co-operatives will be severe. The riverside walkway and gardens to the north of the proposed development currently enjoy sunshine throughout the lunchtime peak and afternoon but would be cast into shadow by this development. The wanton disregard of the South Bank, one of London’s most popular amenities, is unacceptable and short-sighted!”
Michael Ball, Waterloo Community Development Group, who led the campaign against the Garden Bridge, said: “The government’s Building Beautiful Commission called for an overt focus on beauty and refusing ugliness as a primary purpose of the planning system. National planning policy puts the creation of beautiful and sustainable buildings and places at the heart of the planning process. These proposals are grotesquery on steroids, a swollen deformity for the South Bank.”