Westminster City Council shocked by planning decision not to "call-in" Elizabeth House development in Waterloo
By londononline | Thursday, March 21, 2013, 17:09
The London skyline is being altered for decades to come, as developers, planners and Government mandarins approve high rise developments across the capital. The proposed redevelopment of Elizabeth House in Waterloo has caused consternation at Westminster City Council who believe that the trendy glass tower block will ruin the setting of some of Westminster's most famours and iconic historic buildings. In recent years architects and builders have promoted glass buildings as the cutting edge in design, without much consideration for the larger landscape in which they stand. Is this a fad which will run its course? The trend shows no sign of abating; the controversial development south of the river will be very prominent and will alter the skyline setting of the Houses of Parliament.
Councillor Robert Davis, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Built Environment, expressed shock and disappointment at the Government's decision not to hold a Public Inquiry into the development.
Cllr Robert Davis said:
"This massive glassy building may be in Lambeth but it will be very visible from Parliament Square, and will be seen in important views of the Westminster World Heritage Site. It will harm views of the Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower in particular.
"This news is very disappointing because UNESCO have threatened to put the Westminster World Heritage Site on their 'In Danger' list if the setting of the World Heritage Site was not protected from insensitive development. It looks like the Government has failed to do this and we will await news from UNESCO. Loss of World Heritage Site status would be very bad news for the country. It would signal that we are failing in our duty to protect our heritage.
"Westminster is not opposed to large scale regeneration in Waterloo, provided that it is designed with sensitivity. But there is an obsession with building tall buildings, without proper regard to the impacts of such buildings on our heritage."