Decision to approve controversial 19-storey scheme was “sound”, council insists


Source: DSDHA

Camden council approved DSDHA’s Bloomsbury proposals in November 2023

Camden council will “robustly defend” its decision to approve DSDHA’s proposals to redevelop a tower in Bloomsbury following the launch of a High Court challenge by campaigners.

Local architect James Monahan has launched a judicial review against the One Museum Street scheme, arguing that last November’s planning approval had been a failure of Camden’s duty to protect heritage assets.

The mixed-use plans for client BC Partners would replace the 1960s Selkirk House, a 17-storey former Travelodge hotel, with a 19-storey tower and four smaller blocks containing 22,650sq m of office space and 44 homes.

> Also read: Architect launches judicial review of DSDHA’s Bloomsbury tower plans

But campaign group Save Museum Street, of which Monahan is a member, have said the plans would damage the setting of the Bloomsbury and Covent Garden conservation areas and the nearby grade I-listed British Museum, Bedford Square and Nicholas Hawksmoor’s St George’s Church.

A spokesperson for Camden council said it considered last November’s approval of the One Museum Street scheme to be “sound”.

“We are aware of the challenge submitted by Mr Monahan and we will be robustly defending our decision to grant planning permission which we consider to be sound. We are unable to comment further due to the impending proceedings,” the spokesperson said.

Monahan’s case will argue that Camden council’s decision to approve the scheme had not adhered to requirements within national planning policies, the London Plan and the borough’s own local planning policies.

The judicial review is the latest bid launched by Monahan, who was part of a campaign to stop plans to redevelop parts of Covent Garden in the 1970s and 1980s.


Source: DSDHA

The High Holborn block that forms part of DSDHA’s 2023 Bloomsbury proposals