KPF has won approval for a 169m-tall building, dubbed the ‘Jenga tower, on the south London site previously earmarked for Make’s rejected 42-storey Bondway skyscraper.
Lambeth Council’s planning committee has approved the 60,400 sq m scheme for McLaren Property and Citygrove which will house 450 flats, 3,700 sq m of offices and 1,000 sq m of shops.
The proposal had attracted a number of objections, writes The Architects’ Journal, from parties including English Heritage and Westminster Council. Both parties feared the development could have a “negative visual impact on designated views and the outstanding universal value of the Westminster World Heritage Site”.
Local residents had also raised concerns about the development with its main 50-storey tower – housing 360 private flats – and a linked 25-storey block on the southern part of the site housing 90 affordable homes.
According to the Evening Standard, one local resident complained that the skyscraper would leave around 70 people in darkness “during winter afternoons”. He said: “The lack of direct sunlight will affect us quite badly. This will stop 40 per cent of daylight we would get during afternoons in winter and autumn.”
Make’s earlier proposal for the plot – a 149 metre-tall ‘zig-zag-shaped’ tower – was rejected by Eric Pickles in early 2011 following an appeal. The secretary of state said the scheme, dubbed the Octave, lacked open space and had an ‘overbearing’ impact on the area.
Responding to the KPF planning application, another local resident added: “One of the reasons the Octave was turned down [by Pickles] was because it was overbearing in relation to the local surroundings. As this is bigger and uglier one would assume the same logic must apply.”
However the planning committee agreed with the council officers’ recommendation to approve the project and with their conclusions that the KPF scheme had responded “positively and appropriately to the appeal inspector’s decision and to the planning context”.