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Thursday24 July 2014

High Court backs Doon Street tower go-ahead

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands' Doon Street Tower as seen from the north bank of the Thames
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The High Court has upheld the government’s decision to approve Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’s controversial 43-storey Doon Street tower on London’s South Bank.

His Honour Judge Mole yesterday (Wednesday) rejected the legal challenge brought by English Heritage and Westminster City Council a year ago that the scheme, for Coin Street Community Builders, would ruin historic views across the capital.

In August 2008, communities secretary Hazel Blears had approved the scheme in a decision which went against planning inspector Philip Wilson’s advice, after concluding that the project’s “substantial” community benefits outweighed any drawbacks.

At the time Robert Davis, Westminster cabinet member for built environment, described the tower as an act of “architectural vandalism”.

Alex Lifschutz, director at Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands welcomed the judge’s decision.

“The Doon Street scheme will provide much-needed swimming, sports and dance programmes for the people who live and work on the South Bank, as well as transform a site that has been derelict for over 50 years,” he said.

Iain Tuckett, group director of Coin Street Community Builders echoed his comments but attacked English Heritage and Westminster for their determination to pursue the case.

“We regret the huge costs to the taxpayers and ratepayers – and to ourselves – caused by Westminster Council and English Heritage’s unnecessary legal action,” he said.

The scheme will create 329 new homes as well as a public swimming pool and leisure centre and was supported by local MP Kate Hoey, Lambeth Council as well as by Richard Rogers and Terry Farrell. Last year the RIBA named Coin Street Community Builders as its client of the year.

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Readers' comments (6)

  • I've said all along that English Heritage and Westminster Council didn't have a foot to stand on (check the old articles). I've been proved absolutely right!

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  • Did Mr Justice Mole not see the image above? Welcome to the ruination of London.

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  • Justice prevails!

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  • Westminster planners are insidiously moving towards advocating major revisions to the 'preserved views' from Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath across Westminster, such that Shaftesbury, British Land et al can all start another round of "mine's bigger than yours" in terms of tower block development. Just watch the original LEB West End substation/NMH House block in Carnaby Street get this treatment

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  • its very nice

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  • It's an abomination. Hope they appeal.

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