The 157m tall proposal affects the backdrop of St Paul’s as seen from Parliament Hill (a key view in the ‘London Views Management Framework’) to a much greater extent than did the previous “Quill” permission.
The proposed tower would have a significant and harmful impact on views from within the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area and protected views from within the Tower of London because of its height/massing as well as its detailed design.
The height of the building would be excessive, particularly in views westwards along St Thomas’s Street whereby the building would be oppressive and overly dominant as a direct result of the excessive height. The tower’s complete domination of its context will effectively destroy the character of the surrounding area and its rich local heritage settings.
NO ON-SITE AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The application proposes 0% on-site affordable housing. This is contrary to both local planning policy and the London Plan. The questionable argument and associated evidence (that the proper functioning of the proposed Migration Museum makes it impossible to provide entrances at ground level for anything other than 1028 student rooms) has been omitted from the application - along with (crucially) a full Viability Assessment - as was specifically requested by the council in their pre-application advice.
SERIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
At 45 storeys the proposal is 4 times the height of the existing building while being just 5m from the nearest neighbours. This insensitive over-development of the site will cause overshadowing, wind-tunnel and noise-canyon issues that will have significant negative affects on residents, businesses and pedestrians on St Thomas Street, Weston Street and Melior Place. There is also a severe lack of onsite outdoor amenity provided along with insufficient cycle storage for the proposed student and museum uses.
POOR AND MISLEADING CONSULTATION
This is the first piece of a (not yet public) highrise-masterplan for St Thomas Street which the council have been cooking up with developers for over a year. Applications like this which set a precedent for driving a highrise wall of glass between the conservation area and the listed railway arches must be rejected until the council are willing to publish their masterplan and properly consult upon it with the local community and the general public. The consultation events carried out by the developer were vague, misleading and have been exploited in the submitted SCI which is misrepresentative of the views of the locality.