Historic Royal Palaces
The applicant has been involved in on-going discussion with Historic Royal Palaces
(HRP) throughout the course of the application, but has not been able to address its concerns.
HRP is concerned with the cumulative impact of incremental growth in the scale and visual
dominance of new development surrounding the Tower of London. In particular, HRP considers that the proposed development would continue the detrimental visual impact of the Tower Place
scheme, when the proposed scheme is viewed from within the Tower grounds. HRP considers that the only way to avoid the adverse visual impact would be the reduction in height (by at least 2 storeys) of the eastern elevation of the building. HRP also have concerns regarding the impact of the development on views of the World Heritage Site, stating that views as a whole “from London Bridge would be more constrained, with the proposed ‘bookend’ building particularly prominent.”
Local planning authority’s position
The Corporation of London case officer’s recommendation will be for approval.
Under the arrangements set out in article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (Mayor of
London) Order 2000 the Mayor has an opportunity to make representations to the Corporation
at this stage. If the Corporation subsequently resolves to grant planning permission, it must allow the Mayor an opportunity to decide whether to direct it to refuse planning permission. There is no obligation at this present stage for the Mayor to indicate his intentions regarding a possible direction, and no such decision should be inferred from the Mayor’s comments unless specifically stated.
There are no financial considerations at this stage.
The proposal is considered to deliver good quality architecture, which will positively
contribute to London’s World City image and will generate improvements within the public realm through the continuation of the Riverside walkway and the creation of an additional area of public open space surrounded by active retail frontage. However, further justification should be provided to demonstrate why the plant at ground floor level within the south-western corner of the building cannot be accommodated elsewhere to ensure that the entire river front of the building is ‘active’ space. Additional information should also be submitted regarding how the proposed water feature would work. The proposal is not considered to harm the World Heritage
site. The density of the development has been suitably maximised given the sensitive historic riverside context of the site and the proximity and scale of adjacent buildings.
The provision of residential units (as part of a mixed use scheme) is beneficial and is
consistent with London Plan policy, which seeks to increase housing provision to sustain
economic development. An adequate level of affordable housing must be guaranteed through a legal agreement requiring payment of a sizeable off-site contribution. This should be calculated
on the basis of being equivalent to 50% on site affordable provision. Any variation from this would need to be justified by a financial appraisal. Further details are also required in relation to the off site proposal, in terms of the site and the host borough agreement.