Decision due on 53-storey ‘Jenga Tower’

Admin (19 July, 2017)

Historic England fears the giant Blackfriars tower could affect views of St James’s Park

15726Artist's impression of how the development would look

A decision on whether to give the go-ahead to proposals to build a 53-storey skyscraper in Blackfriars is set to be made.

A planning committee is expected to vote on whether to wave through plans for a 183.5-metre high residential block – dubbed the ‘Jenga Tower’ – at a meeting today.

Concerns were raised by Historic England, which claimed the giant tower, expected to be built in Stamford Street, could affect views of St James’s Park.

In a letter to the council, Michael Dunn, Historic England’s principal inspector of historic buildings and areas, said they should “consider very carefully the extent of this harm, and whether it is necessary to deliver the potential public benefits”.

“The increased height of the residential tower, however, means that this building will have a significant impact on London’s historic environment including the Grade I-registered St James’s Park when viewed from the bridge,” he wrote.

The planning committee was set to decide on proposals put forward by Black Pearl Ltd and Wilkinson Eyre for the six-building development which would include both private and affordable housing, a hotel, office space, and a music venue.

A total of 227 private homes would be provided within the Jenga Tower building, which would also house retail units at ground and mezzanine level.

Level one to eight of the tower would provide bedrooms for the neighbouring hotel building, with the main residential accommodation starting from level nine onward.

A hotel building would provide 548 rooms and a fifteen-storey block would contain 61 affordable homes, if plans go ahead.

The proposed music venue/office building would adjoin the Mad Hatter Hotel.

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