Communities secretary put proposals on ice last month with Article 31 notice

Diller Barbican 2

Diller Scofidio & Renfro and Sheppard Robson’s plans for the former Museum of London site

Michael Gove has decided not to call in plans to redevelop the former Museum of London.

The communities secretary issued an Article 31 Holding Direction last month hours before a City of London planning meeting which later approved the plans.

An Article 31 Holding Direction temporarily freezes the planning process for a scheme, allowing the secretary of state time to decide whether to call it in.

But the City of London confirmed this has been lifted meaning the scheme now looks set to go ahead.

The scheme involves demolishing the former Museum of London and the neighbouring Bastion House to make way for an office scheme designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro and Sheppard Robson.

> Also read: City’s Museum of London plans ‘completely at odds’ with its own carbon policy, C20 says

The proposals would see three new buildings constructed, a 17-storey office called New Bastion House, a 14-storey office called the Rotunda Building and a smaller five-storey office providing combined office space of 56,000sq m.

The Rotunda, a raised walkway above a roundabout which connects the former museum to surrounding streets, would also be redeveloped and replaced by a ‘peninsula’ traffic system which would loop around one of the proposed office buildings.

Other elements of the scheme include 8,200 sq m of cultural space across a series of plazas and gardens, including a public roof garden at the new Rotunda Building, and 1,100 sq m of food and beverage space.

The Museum of London scheme has been highly controversial, with the application amassing nearly 1,000 objections from members of the public and campaigners ahead of its planning committee hearing.

Concerns raised by those opposing the scheme include the embodied carbon impact of redeveloping the site and the heritage impact of losing the existing 1970s buildings, both designed by RIBA Gold Medal-winning practice Powell & Moya, as well as its impact on the neighbouring Barbican Estate.