Frustratingly, we had chopped our opposition message down to under five minutes, only to find out on the night that both sides would now get 10 minutes. We reiterated our points including harm to heritage, unsustainability and poor consultation.
After the decision to refuse, the reasons were established between the Officer and the Councillors ( source: meeting minutes - PDF ):
- The proposed 12 storey element of the scheme located between the two onsite Grade II Listed Buildings would cause harm to the setting of the former Exchange Listed Building due to its height, incongruous and unsympathetic form and design in this sensitive location. It would thereby be contrary to Policy CS8 (Character, Design and Heritage), Policy DM10 (Design Requirements for New Developments), DM12 (Development in Conservation Areas and Affecting Heritage Assets) of the Council’s Core Strategy (adopted April 2012), Policy 7.7 (Location and Design of Tall Buildings) and Policy 7.8 (Heritage Assets and Archaeology) of the London Plan (adopted March 2015), Paragraphs 64, 129 and 132 of the National Planning Policy Framework (adopted March 2012) and would exceed the “Guidance on building heights within the Eden Quarter” (Figure 8) of the Council’s Eden Quarter Development Brief Supplementary Planning Document (adopted March 2015).
- The proposed development does not provide a minimum of 30% of dwellings as 3 or more bedroom units and would not therefore provide an acceptable dwelling mix for the development. It has not been robustly demonstrated that it would be unsuitable or unviable to achieve this percentage on this site. This would thereby be contrary to Policy DM13 (Housing Quality and Mix) of the Council’s Core Strategy (adopted April 2012).
- The proposed 16 storey element of the scheme would not relate well to the form, proportion, composition, scale and character of surrounding buildings. It would thereby be contrary to Policy CS8 (Character, Design and Heritage) and Policy DM10 (Design Requirements for New Developments) of the Council’s Core Strategy (adopted April 2012), Policy 7.7 (Location and Design of Tall Buildings) of the London Plan (adopted March 2015) and Paragraph 64 of the National Planning Policy Framework (adopted March 2012).
> Download the meeting minutes - pdf
> Click here for the audio recording of the meeting
Many residents came along to show their steadfast opposition. It was again a boisterous Guildhall, with standing room only in the public gallery.
Members of the local press attended and filmed the event, provided a live stream of online updates and tweets. Over 400 people tuned in to follow on-line.
Thank you to everyone who came; and for doing what you can either visibly or behind the scenes to oppose this current scheme.
Its not over - we want to see this site developed, but not in the way this scheme proposes.