Making a difference

The Barbican Association makes a difference to residents in many ways, often but not always through the City of London’s Planning process that approves the changing landscape around our Grade II listed estate.

The City’s standard’s regime

In 2019 – after a series of decisions by the City’s Standards Committee that had the effect of disenfranchising City residents – the BA played a key role in organising a petition and a campaign to change the standards regime. In January 2021 the Standards Committee was abolished. Read the whole story here.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Barbican Estate

The Barbican Association organised a collection of architectural historians, residents, planners, commentators to come together at the Barbican Centre on 8 June 2019 to talk about the Estate’s history, it’s present, and what its future might be. We forged a good partnership with the Barbican Centre, who hosted the event and recorded it.

On planning issues, the work begins before a planning application is approved.

Barbican Cinemas 2 and 3

For instance, when Barbican cinemas 2 and 3 were approved for construction under Ben Jonson House, we asked for a number of conditions, that were accepted, regarding the future operation of the cinemas to make life better for residents.

Girls’ School expansion

More recently, we engaged with the City of London School for Girls regarding their proposal to expand into the Barbican’s Grade II* listed landscape as well as one of the residents’ car parks. We made a strong case that this development would not be good for either the pupils, the estate’s architecture or for residents and these arguments contributed to the school’s withdrawal of its proposal. As the school is a valued and integral part of the Estate, we remain in close dialogue with it to be sure that any future concepts work well for everyone.

St Alphage House

Further east, we were concerned by the proposal that a huge office block would replace the faded elegance of St Alphage House – one of five 1960s office blocks that stood to the south of Willoughby/Andrewes House on London Wall.

By working collaboratively with the City and the developer, we were able to influence the design of the resulting buildings, including the reinstatement of the highwalk, to achieve a better result for the City, visitors and residents.

Managing relations

Once a planning application is approved, we establish working groups to engage with the developers to negotiate changes that can make all the difference for residents living near large building sites for several years.

As with the developer, the occupier of the new building invariably wishes to be a good neighbour and so we engage with them to create a management plan that sets reasonable expectations for both parties.

By thinking ahead and engaging with diverse stakeholders, the Barbican Association makes a real difference for those who live here, so do be sure to join us.