Following widespread criticism, developer Hammerson may rethink its plans to construct a 15-storey office building and adjacent residential tower block in Shoreditch, which would involve demolition of Victorian railway arches.
However, The Victorian Society has called for any revised designs to seriously address the concerns raised by objectors and not just “tinker at the edges” of the existing design.
Although he welcomed Hammerson’s move, Victorian Society Director Christopher Costelloe, dismissed the developer’s assertion that the towers were the only option for the site.
“Let’s hope these comments signal a serious rethink and are not just paying lip service to listening to the community. Our letter makes several suggestions which could easily be incorporated in to the site design to better connect it with its heritage,” he said.
In a letter to Hackney and Tower Hamlets Councils, the Victorian Society recommends that the existing refused as it represents “gross over-development” that would harm the setting of a number of listed buildings and conservation areas.
It argued that the proposed buildings do not reflect the quality of the surrounding historic buildings, and specifically objected to the demolition of much of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard’s vaults and of nearby Victorian residential buildings.
It comes as the Spitalfields Trust launches a campaign to stop the redevelopment of neighbouring Norton Folgate. Plans by British Land and Corporation Of London involve the destruction of 70% of buildings within the Elder Street Conservation Area, which include distinctive Georgian Terraces, to make way for high rise offices.
Read the full Victorian Society objection here.
Learn more about the Spiralfields Trust campaign here.
Image: Copyright Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic: R~P~M, Arched Windows, The northern wing wall of the former Great Eastern Railway Bishopsgate Goods Depot, Shoreditch, London. 14 October 2011.