For anyone who's interested there are some new blocks of flats proposed to be built on the coach park between Potters Fields and Tower Bridge Road.
It is quite a major high rise development that will have quite an impact on the immediate area, especially so close to Tower Bridge. The proposals are going on show this afternoon (3rd april) between 3 and 7pm, 10am - 6pm tomorrow and 10am - 1pm on Saturday at Lambeth College on Tooley St by Potters Fields.
Go and take a look if you can and see what you think, I'm a bit apprehensive about the impact these plans are going to have on the bridge, the artists impressions make the 7 or 8 blocks look very imposing and out of character (think City Hall but vertical cylinders).
All I've seen is a brochure for it but I'm going along tonight to find out more detail, seems a bit vague at the moment.
From what I have seen of this proposal - IT IS GHASTLY AND MUST BE REJECTED IN ITS ENTIRITY.
The river frontage next to Tower Bridge should be designated for a important public buliding, not some horrific development of yuppie apartments which will overpower the bridge and its environs.
London Borough of Southwark must use common sense and redesignate this plot of land for public/entertainment/tourism use. This is potentially the last link in the chain which connects Westminster to the Tower via the south bank of the Thames and is an important tourit pedestrian route.
The artists impressions give a wholly distorted image of the scale of the development - believe me it will overwhelm and ruin views of the bridge from the Tower.
Or don't believe me and go and see it for yourself.
One of the things I noticed at the exhibition was the big thing they made of this development extending the park by 40%. It looked like there wasn't any grass, just concreted areas. My flatmate went to a meeting on thursday night where Berkeley Homes did a presentation and they refused to answer how much of this extra parkland was to be concrete and how much grass. Doesn't look hopeful, they seem to be a bit economical with details.
The taller two of the eight towers are taller than City Hall and Tower Bridge and twice the height of Devon Mansions, overlooking the park from Tooley Street. Lambeth College will be dwarfed to toytown proportions, the only nearby building this development works harmoniously with is City Hall and though it's got a fun jaunty shape it still looks like a 70s prefab comprehensive school in Harlow.
Also they don't seem to have any takers contracted for the shop units on street level, where on earth are they going to find them? It'll be competing with a fair few other empty units as well as the ones being built in to More London.
Before we all get too excited and in the interest of balance, it's not all high cost flats. In line with Ken's directive, a percentage of the property has to be affordable homes for "key workers". That said, I too think it's gargantuan proportions and approx. 200 car parking spaces are wholly inappropriate for the location. The design is a matter of opinion, the scale of it is a matter of fact. It only seems five minutes since we got rid of that ridiculous balloon and now we have this to contend with and unlike the balloon it won't escape and fly away, we'll be stuck with it. Bottom line is, if anyone has strong feelings make them known, don't just moan. Constructive objection, rather than "nimbyism" worked for the Coin Street project. It can work here too. Otherwise our business biased, rather than community focused council will just wave it through unchanged. The architect responsible (same people that designed Bermondsey tube station) said the design could be "tweaked" if they were made to so let's make them tweak it!
The planning application statement which I read in Southwark News indicates UP TO 19 storeys! When I visited the exhibition, neither the model or the computer graphics gave the indication that the tallest tower(s) would be so high. It will be interesting to see whether Southwark capitulate to a range of "sweeteners" and settle for a compromise solution or show some real strength and hold their nerve and reject what is an appalling scheme and not worthy of serious debate.
My letter of objection went off yesterday. I was mailshotted with a brochure that does show a computer visual of 18 or 19 storeys which is ridiculous.
If you follow Scamps link to the Potter's Field planning brief you'll find it's a comprehensive document that Berkeley Homes have ignored, especially in their request for respect of height of existing buildings (Bridgemaster's House, the bank, the existing College etc).
I actually don't have an objection to a mixed residential/retail development, although that would be a missed opportunity for this South Bank site. I do have an objection to the blatant disregard for existing building scale/height.