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Tower Block Horror to go ahead

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Tuesday 26 September 2006 10.52am
I have just come down Tower Bridge Road and noticed hoarding going up around the College Site on the corner of Tooley Street. On making enquiries from sources who I cannot name at present I understand Berkeley Homes are now commencing building three of the tower blocks on their site. Can anyone confirm if this is so. If it is true something has to be done about it.
Tuesday 26 September 2006 12.17pm
if the hoarding is already up the chances of actually being able to 'do something about it' are incredibly slim...
Tuesday 26 September 2006 12.20pm
Good point! Maybe I should get resigned to it but it's going to block my view of the Shard!
Tuesday 26 September 2006 12.48pm
and that's a bad thing...?!
Tuesday 26 September 2006 1.49pm
I am disappointed, and a little surprised, to hear this. I had understood that the planning permission was on an "all or nothing basis" i.e. unless they built all the towers they coulkd not go ahead. As Southwark owns a third of the land and did not want to participate I thought this gave them an effective veto?

Can someone remind me of the ownership. I thought Berkeley owned the front two-thirds of the site meaning they could try to build the six smaller towers and that Southwark owned the rear third where the three tallest towers were to go?

I have seen the hoardings now. Is that jot where the six storey corner building is being built?

My fear is this: once Berkeley have built the first three or six towers, the resultanat increase in the land values will make it too expensive for Southwark Council to compensate Berkeley if they do not allow the remaining three towers to be built.

That said, short of a serious sit-in on the site I suspect it is too late to do anything about it now. I would, however, be very interested if anyone knew what Southwark's plans for their third of the site are?
Tuesday 26 September 2006 2.02pm
I was under the impression it was all-or-nothing too.

I can't get out of the office this afternoon to have a look, but which part of the site exactly is being boarded up? Is it just the college building as Alan suggests in his opening message, or part of the coach park too?

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Tuesday 26 September 2006 2.24pm
The hoarding starts at the old balloon site and runs up Tower Bridge Approach. It does not go in front of the college.
As far as land ownership goes I understand that the three towers (which are the highest) are on the southernmost part of the site which is the part Berkeley Homes owns.
Their original plans can be seen on our website .
Tuesday 26 September 2006 7.41pm
I spoke to a friend of mine who is involved in planning law this afternoon. Apparently any developer in London who has a development issue that is 50/50 is now going ahead safe in the knowledge that Ruth Kelly will back them to the hilt if the local council tries to resist. I don't know if that is true but if so perhaps Berkeley have decided to build and be damned on the basis they do not believe the council has the resources or the support to contest this.

How can we find out what the exact situation is? Wasn't Karen O'Toole involved in this? Alan or James - can you find out more on an official basis?
Tuesday 26 September 2006 8.14pm
I've made various enquiries today but no (on-the-record) answers as yet. I will chase up tomorrow if I don't hear anything in the morning.

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Tuesday 26 September 2006 8.28pm
Gosh, thought once we'd got rid of John Prescott, someone more normal would take over. I'm horrified.
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