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Monday28 July 2014

Planners back Chipperfield’s Waterloo vision

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Council officers recommend “marmite” scheme for approval

Lambeth planning officers have recommended David Chipperfield’s proposed £600 million redevelopment of the area around Waterloo station for approval.

Officers rejected concerns raised by English Heritage and Westminster Council about the design of the scheme and the impact on local heritage assets and views.

Describing the proposals as engaging a “marmite response”, the planners note that the scheme will “not be to everyone’s taste”.

But they add that national planning policy says that “particular architectural tastes should not be imposed, nor innovation and initiative stifled”.

As a result, councillors are recommended to approve the “unapologetic” and “monolithic” proposals when they are considered by the council’s planning committee on November 6.

English Heritage has warned that the scheme “would cause a substantial and unacceptable degree of harm” to the nearby Westminster World Heritage Site.

However, Design Council Cabe backed the proposals. Summarising its design review earlier this year, it said: “The project will have a dramatic impact on the London skyline, the South Bank area and Waterloo Station and we applaud the team for their thoughtful design approach.”

Chipperfield’s 132,000sq m scheme involves demolishing a number of existing buildings to make way for two buildings of 29- and 11-storeys.

The scheme will include almost 90,000sq m of office space alongside 142 apartments and retail units at ground level. Victoria Arch Square, a 10,000sq m public area outside Waterloo Station, also forms part of the proposals.

While original plans for the site included an affordable housing percentage of eight percent, the planners note that the current proposals suggest 20% - made up of on-site intermediate housing and off-site affordable rent units.

A cash payment of £5.2 million would also be made at a later date, a sum calculated to meet the council’s affordable housing requirement of 40%.

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Actually not much different from what's there now! And much better than the blobitecture scheme we saw during the icon era...

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  • Daniel Hewitt

    Note the subliminal message in the IMAX ad.

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  • The taller block looks like a multi-story car park.

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  • What a horrible lump, completely out-of-scale with everything around it. Is Chipperfield the new Terry Farrell, the guy best suited to squeeze maximum floor plates out of any given site?

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  • Ever tried NOT squeezing the maximum floor plates out of a site?

    If that's your only reason for suggesting that Chipperfield and Farrell are the same, I accuse you of not being able to tell the difference between one thing and another (which according to Socrates is the basic requirement of Wisdom).

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  • I think my "multi-storey car park" remark was a bit premature seeing as I'm only viewing the picture on a tiny smartphone.

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  • I though there had been a revision of this design.

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