Atkins has attacked development plans for the St James’s area of central London as inappropriate, claiming the area is “in danger of losing its identity”.

The firm has produced a report for a local conservation trust which is concerned that St James’s could lose its distinctive feel.

Peter Heath, associate director at Atkins, said: “It’s not that the plans being put forward are poor quality, or that the materials they’re planning to use are. It’s more that they often don’t fit the local architectural theme. They’re often not distinctive enough for such a historic area.”

The report also calls for the listed status of local landmarks including New Zealand House and the Smithsons-designed Economist building to be rescinded.