London Wall West – planning applications submitted

Planning applications validated

As all residents will now be well aware, the planning applications to demolish Bastion House and the Museum of London and redevelop the site primarily for office use have now been submitted to and validated by the City of London Corporation’s Planning Department.

There are three applications:

  1. The reference number of the principal application is 23/01304/FULEIA and is for the “Demolition of 140 & 150 London Wall to provide a phased development comprising: the construction of new buildings for a mix of office, cultural uses and food and beverage/cafe, access, car parking, cycle parking and highway works including reconfiguration of the Rotunda roundabout, part demolition and reconfiguring of the Ironmongers Hall, creation of a new scheduled monument viewing area, public realm alterations to Plaisterers Highwalk, John Wesley Highwalk, Bastion Highwalk and Mountjoy Close; removal of two highwalks known as Falcon Highwalk and Nettleton Court; alterations to the void, lifts and stairs at 200 Aldersgate Street and One London Wall, introduction of new City Walkway”.

The full application, together with the 388 associated documents that have been submitted – can be viewed here.

2. The reference number of the second associated application is 23/01276/LBC and is for the “Demolition of Ferroners’ House alongside external alterations to the facade and roof level of Ironmongers’ Hall, internal reconfiguring to cores and back of house areas and associated works in association with the development proposed at London Wall West (140 London Wall, 150 London Wall, Shaftesbury Place, and London Wall Car Park).

This application, together with the 157 associated documents that have been submitted – can be viewed here.

3. The reference number of the third associated application is 23/01277/LBC and is for the “External alterations to existing highwalks at the Barbican Estate including to the John Wesley Highwalk and Mountjoy Close to allow for the integration of new highwalks, hard and soft landscaping, and works associated with the construction of new buildings with the development proposed at London Wall West (140 London Wall, 150 London Wall, Shaftsbury Place, and London Wall Car Park, London)

This application, together with the 135 associated documents that have been submitted – can be viewed here.

Look at the BQA website for information and updates

The plethora of documents associated with the application may appear overwhelming but please do not give up. For all updated information and advice on how to respond please bookmark and visit the BQA website regularly

The BQA website will provide all of the latest observations and comments as well as providing advice on how to respond and how you can help with the funding of the response. 


As the site states:










·  11 JANUARY 2024 4PM – 8PM


BQA has launched an urgent public appeal seeking donations to help amplify the case for creative retrofit and imaginative reuse of buildings designed by Powell & Moya – architects of the Festival of Britain Skylon. It will also help fund expert witnesses and legal advice to challenge to the City of London Corporation, which is proceeding with its planning application for London Wall West in the face of national and local outcry. Supporters of BQA include the C20 Society, cross-party politicians, prominent design historians and international architecture commentators.


Other information sources

There is also a detailed thread on the subject on BarbicanTalk.

The City also has its own website regarding the site

Making representations

For those who are planning on making representation/voicing objections to the scheme, comments can be made online as usual on the website by accessing the comments page relevant to each of the application whose reference numbers and access links are as shown above.

If anyone is planning to make a representation but would rather email a response, please note that the email address for submission is . This is not the usual email address for representations so please be aware of this.

Please note that any observations must be received by 31 January 2024

Bastion House and Museum of London placed on list of most threatened 20th century buildings in UK

The Twentieth Century Society places Bastion House and the Museum of London on their Buildings At Risk list.

At a packed meeting in St Giles’s Church on Wednesday evening (17th January) Coco Whittaker, Senior Caseworker at the Twentieth Century Society, announced that Bastion House and the Museum of London are being recognised as one of the ten most threatened 20th century buildings in the UK and are being placed on their Buildings at Risk list.

This is a highly significant moment and another blow to the City’s plans to create an inappropriate new office development at London Wall West. The Twentieth Century Society confirmed that it will campaign for Bastion House and Museum of London to be identified as Designated Heritage Assets that merit protection.  

The City was granted a Certificate of Immunity from Listing until August 2024 in the context of the Centre for Music scheme. Clearly the City’s current plans for LWW have little or no cultural or heritage merit, but the immunity from listing still stands. Demolition can therefore, in principle, take place anytime before August 2024, whether under permitted development rights or following the granting of planning permission by the City’s own Planning and Transportation Committee. But all our energies are focussed on stopping the seemingly relentless cycle of demolition and new build.

The Twentieth Century Society’s significant announcement is a clear warning to the City that their plans will be carefully scrutinised at national level and major objections will continue to be made from a wide range of expert sources.

At the same meeting, renowned architect Ian Chalk gave valuable insight into the growing trend to refit and refurbish existing structures, using the successful re-purposing of the brutalist style Camden Town Hall extension (which was also on the Twentieth Century Buildings at Risk Register) as a case study. It was clear from how the developer approached this project and what was achieved, that the City has never seriously investigated with due diligence the potential to refit and re-purpose Bastion House and the Museum of London.

The demolition of Bastion House and the MoL will release 45,000 tons of C02 into the atmosphere – a huge and entirely avoidable contribution to the climate crisis and one which directly flies in the face of the City’s net zero policy for the Square Mile.

Videos of the presentations by the Twentieth Century Society and Ian Chalk will be available on the BQA website in the coming days. 

Revised proposals from the City for the LWW scheme are expected in the next two months and Barbican Quarter Action will of course keep everyone aware of any news or developments and will continue to do everything possible to make the City stop and re-think their ill-conceived plans.




#London Starts Here

BQA meeting 7pm on Tuesday 17th January in St Giles Church

Barbican Quarter Action will be hosting a meeting for residents and neighbours at 7pm on Tuesday 17th January 2023 in St Giles Church, Cripplegate to discuss and provide an update on the proposed redevelopment  for the London Wall West, the site encompassing the City of London Museum and Bastion House.

Speakers at the previous BQA meeting provided expert evidence to refute the City of London’s carbon analysis regarding the site. 

This meeting will focus on the arguments against demolition of the existing buildings and for their re-adaptation and repurposing. Joining the BQA Group will be the 20th Century Society and Ian Chalk (of Ian Chalk Architects whose work has been recognised through a number of architectural awards, including most recently that of Retrofit of the Year at the Architects Journal Retrofit Awards).

Please join us next Tuesday and give us your support. 

#Stop #Rethink #Reset

Visit the BQA’s London Starts Here website

BQA Refutes the City’s Carbon Analysis of London Wall West

The BQA has commissioned two reports by leading UK experts: Simon Sturgis of Targeting Zero and Bob Stagg of Conisbee Structural Engineering. They demonstrate that the Court of Common Council has been misled about the carbon footprint of the London Wall West scheme.

We presented these findings to the Councillors at a webinar on Monday night and then sent every Councillor a hard copy of the report. You can read the report in full here and you can watch the webinar here.

Simon Sturgis is the UK’s leading expert in delivering a low carbon, resource efficient, built environment. Most recently he has been responsible for the review of the plans to demolish the M&S flagship store in Oxford St, as a result of which the scheme has been called in by the Secretary of State.

Bob Stagg is a structural engineer specialising in the appraisal, repair and refurbishment of buildings. He was involved with the final dismantling of Ronan Point after its partial collapse in 1968.

Their reports clearly show that the City’s own report is misleading. That report is built on the assumption that Bastion House is at risk of disproportionate collapse. The review by Conisbee Structural Engineers emphatically contradicts this.

The City’s carbon assessment falls short as it does not consider the retention and retrofit of Bastion House and ignores the impact of its demolition on the scheme’s carbon footprint.

Sturgis states “National legislation sets out a net zero trajectory to 2050 with demanding interim targets for 2030 and 2035. The demolition and new build approach proposed for this site will not meet these targets. A more comprehensive retrofit approach than the one proposed, with Bastion House retained and retrofitted, would have far lower carbon emissions, and help meet these targets.”

The City’s justification for demolishing the existing buildings does not stand up to peer review.

Our website has more information about these reports as well as interviews with our local MP, Nickie Aiken; with the prospective Labour MP for this constituency, Rachel Blake and with Zack Polanski, the Deputy Leader of the Green Party and member of the GLA – all of who are opposed to the LWW scheme and have offered this campaign their full support.

London Wall West – Response to proposals published 18 June 2022

Copy of open letter sent to Chris Hayward, Chair of the City of London’s Policy & Resources Committee on 23 June 2022


We are dismayed that the fundamentals of the proposed design remain the same as those we saw last December. The scheme proposes the demolition of Bastion House and the Museum of London. In their place is planned a huge office-led development of some 780,000 sq. ft, including two massive new towers, with limited cultural and green space. The scheme is wholly inappropriate for a site of such significance, both in its physical form and in terms of its proposed usage. Moreover, it undermines the City’s desire, as expressed in Destination City, to be one of the world’s premier destinations through its cultural offerings.


We have been told repeatedly that the principal objective of the proposed development is to raise funds – for the move of the Museum of London and other City projects.

By focusing on this objective, the City will:

• Ignore the site’s rich history, which features the Romans, Shakespeare, and John Wesley and many other historical features. The opening up of the Roman Fort Gate will be severely diminished by its commercial setting.

• Sacrifice the site’s public cultural heritage: as the home of the Museum of London for 50 years and the previously intended location of the world-class Centre for Music. It remains the Southern gateway to Culture Mile linking the South Bank and Tate Modern to St. Paul’s Cathedral and beyond.

• Confront visitors instead with a huge commercial development, with a cultural offering representing just over one per cent of its space.

• Compromise the nature and architectural integrity of the Barbican Quarter. The Barbican is world-renowned and one of the City’s major post-war achievements. The Museum complements the public benefit of the Barbican while Bastion House reflects its admired Brutalist design. The new proposals include little in the way of public benefit while the height and mass of the buildings will dominate and diminish the surrounding neighbourhood.

• Undermine many of its own policies and statements: the draft City Plan; the Open Space, Responsible Business and Climate Change strategies; the aims expressed in Destination City and the desire for the City to be a cultural hub, as expressed in the Barbican/Golden Lane Strategy .

There are also questions concerning the scheme’s compatibility with the National Plan and the National Planning Framework . How can the City ask others to respect its policies if it fails to do so itself?


It is now widely agreed that, because of the devastating impact of carbon emissions on global warming, and the large proportion of carbon emissions resulting from major construction projects, serviceable buildings should not be demolished if re-fitting them is a feasible alternative. Our polling showed that 88% of Barbican residents opposed demolition of Bastion House and the Museum of London. However, the Whole Life Carbon Assessment report prepared by the City’s project team dismisses the option of retaining Bastion House without providing the necessary factual evidence. The judgement is based on a hypothetical assessment of risk rather than a full structural survey.

Moreover, if the scheme were to go ahead in its current proposed form, it would add over 45,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere during the demolition and construction phases. This is more than the entire CO2 annual output of the City Corporation’s operational activities. How would this be compatible with the City’s stated aim of achieving Net Zero in its own operations by 2027?


The City has stated its commitment to transparency and delivering a robust consultation process. We have commented elsewhere that this is far removed from our experience. Above all, the City has failed to engage with local stakeholders on the fundamental issues about the site as recommended by the National Planning Policy Framework.

While the Project Team has specified the nature of the consultation undertaken to date and highlighted the key concerns that arose (the height and mass of the proposed buildings, and issues of sustainability) they have provided no information whatsoever on the extent of those concerns, and why so little has been done to address them. We can only assume that the City’s failure to provide us with detailed information is because there is widespread opposition to these proposals.

In addition, the Project Team’s graphics are selective and misleading. There is little assessment of the scheme’s impact on the Barbican Estate and neighbouring conservation area. No 3D models demonstrating the full scale of what is proposed have been made available although we know they exist and their availability for stakeholders is encouraged in the London Plan .

We urge the City to live up to its commitment to transparency and consult meaningfully with the local community. The current process falls far short.


This remains a short-sighted proposal, lacking vision and apparently driven solely by the desire to raise money. Furthermore, the intention to enter into a long lease with a developer carries the risk that even the limited public benefits of the proposal would later be jettisoned by the developer.

As our polling showed, there is no evidence the scheme has the support of the local community. It is contrary to many of the City’s own policies. This is an outstanding site crying out for an imaginative scheme respecting its heritage and location. We once more invite the City to stop, think again, and work with us and the wider community to develop a scheme worthy of the site, the City and London itself.

Adam Hogg and Averil Baldwin Joint Chairs Barbican Quarter Action

Full pdf version of this letter can be seen here

twitter @barbicanquarter

instagram @barbicanquarteraction

London Wall West – Open meeting Wed 6th July

London Wall West – latest proposals

Open Meeting Wednesday 6 July 2022

The Barbican Association invites you to an open meeting to discuss the City’s latest proposals for London Wall West (the site currently occupied by the Museum of London and Bastion House.)

The meeting will be held on Wednesday 6 July at 7:00 pm in St. Giles Church

Please come if you can.

This is an important site and its development will affect residents and the wider community. The meeting will be a chance to tell you more about our response and for you to make your views known.

Refreshments will be provided and there will be time to mingle afterwards.

Adam Hogg,

Chairman of the Barbican Association 

Please contact Averil Baldwin email: if there are any queries.

Barbican Quarter Action Group. New Website

Barbican Quarter Action is the new campaign group set up to protect the Barbican Estate and its vicinity, including Golden Lane, St Paul’s, Smithfield, Farringdon  and Clerkenwell from inappropriate and ill-considered development by the City of London both now and in the future.

The current campaign is focused on the plans for Bastion House and the Museum of London site: Barbican Quarter Action is asking the City of London to rethink, reset and stop this unacceptable development.

To learn more and to find out how to join the campaign please visit the website which was launched today.

London Wall West


Update from the BA Chair

As you know, the City has plans to develop London Wall West (the site comprising what is now occupied by Bastion House and the Museum of London).  It  has issued preliminary proposals for a massive commercial development and the Barbican Association, together with many of you, have objected. We believe that what has been proposed is entirely inappropriate to an historic site so close to the Barbican neighbourhood. We are asking the City to think again.

We  have considerable resident talent and expertise but we also need professional help. We have already engaged a public relations company to assist in the development of our strategy . We are fortunate in that the Association has substantial reserves and a steady source of income through Barbican Life. We hope the General Council – our  governing body – will  continue to approve funds to help us challenge the City’s proposals   and make our  campaign as effective as possible.

Once we see the City’s revised  revised proposals I shall be in touch again. We shall then see the extent to which the City has re-thought its plans. If the final plans do not respond to the expectations of local residents and other stakeholders, we shall be launching our campaign.

I hope you will continue to support us and get involved.

Please get in touch with Averil Baldwin at with any comments or offers of help.

Best wishes

Adam Hogg

Chair, The Barbican Association

London Wall Best: Report of an Open Meeting
for Barbican residents held on 3 March 2022

Background to the proposals

200 residents attended this open meeting in St Giles’ Church which was organised by the Barbican Association and chaired by Averil Baldwin. The first part of the meeting consisted of four presentations to brief residents on the initial plans for the London Wall West site produced by the project team for the City of London Corporation. The designs were produced by New York architects DS+R (Diller Scofidio and Renfro) who were originally engaged for the Centre for Music.

When the Centre for Music project was dropped, the City Surveyor was asked how the Corporation could maximise the revenue from the London Wall West site, as Adam Hogg, Barbican Association Chair, explained in his introduction. This requirement led to the Corporation’s Property Investment Board approval for an office-led development which has been the basis of the current round of consultations (which closes on 31 March 2022).

The Barbican Association raised a number of issues in the second half of 2021 as the proposals were being developed. The consultation was considered inadequate and did not address the key concerns of residents. In spite of overwhelming support from residents for the existing buildings to be refurbished (a poll showed that 90% of the 400 responses were in favour of this approach), the promised report of the Corporation’s advisors on retaining the buildings has never been provided, and this is now the subject of a Freedom of Information request. The Association has also challenged how the proposals for the site meet the Corporation’s long-term strategies for the City.

An architect’s view

The impact of the current proposals was illustrated with a series of slides by Jan-Marc Petroschka, an architect and Barbican resident. The historic significance of the site is evident not only from the presence of London Wall but also from Aldersgate Street’s origins as a 1600-year-old route north. The original post-war office blocks have been replaced by larger buildings in denser concentrations.The proposed development, of approximately 650,000 square feet, would be equivalent to a combination of the Foster development at One London Wall (200,000 square feet) plus 200 Aldersgate Street (434,000 square feet) but on a much smaller footprint. The proposals are for Bastion House to be replaced with a building of a similar height but two and a half times bigger, and for a 14-storey building on the Rotunda which would extend to the middle of the road, disrupting the historic traffic route. A third building, five storeys high, is also proposed between Ironmongers’ Hall and Aldersgate Street. An American investment bank was interested in the site.

Rather than following the form and scale of the Listed Barbican Estate, the proposals were inspired by the larger, bulkier and amorphous shapes of more recent additions to the neighbourhood. Artist’s impressions of the proposed buildings show their impact: St Martin’s Le Grand would be dominated by the Rotunda building at the top of the street, and Thomas More House and other Barbican residential buildings would be overshadowed by tall blocks which remove their views and sunlight.

An age of crises: the broader view

A longer-term view of cities and their architecture was given by writer and broadcaster Tom Dyckhoff, who knew the Barbican well and who had chaired the event to mark its 50th anniversary.

The current period could be seen as an age of multiple crises, starting with the financial crisis in 2008 which had created a fault line through the period of relative stability which had lasted since the 1970s. Cities had already experienced a shift from industrial production to consumerist services and a growing gap between rich and poor, and global cities were now seeing super gentrification and the privatisation of public space.

These changes were reflected in the attitudes of different generations. Older people had experienced a long period of stability and had benefitted from the property market. Younger people felt squeezed out and had a new attitude to cities and architecture.

The Barbican anniversary had celebrated the forward thinking shown by the City of London 50 years ago. A similar sense of vision and willingness to embrace the future – with all its uncertainty – was required again now. The London Wall West proposals looked backwards when they should be visionary. The proposals should be seen as part of a bigger picture; the solution could be part of a bigger picture too.

A different approach

Peter Jenkinson, cultural change agent and Barbican resident, suggested newspaper headlines that might follow the construction of the buildings as currently proposed:

‘Within sight of St Paul’s Cathedral, the richest local authority in the United Kingdom makes hundreds of millions of pounds by demolishing a public museum on an historic site and building out-of-scale offices for a private American investment bank.’

In some areas the Corporation continued to show vision and imagination: in its commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2040, to green finance, to pursuing biodiversity, to rebalancing the City with culture as well as commerce, to the promises of Culture Mile and the Business Improvement District.

The Barbican Arts Centre was celebrating its 40th anniversary on the day of the open meeting, and architecture critic Oliver Wainwright’s article in the Guardian on the celebration concluded with this warning (Reference 1):

The Barbican may be a big hulking brute, but it is a carefully composed, grade-II listed one. It demands delicate intervention with a lightness of touch…’

In spite of the gulf that seems to separate the Corporation – often seen as high-handed, out-of-touch and undemocratic – from residents – who may sometimes be regarded as self-obsessed nimbys – there is much common ground. Officers and members of the Corporation are genuinely trying to make things better, and residents are not all anti-development.

What is required is that people go best rather than go west by openly and generously sharing ideas, perspectives, proposals and reflections that suggest a different direction. One that matches the vision and imagination that led to the creation of the wonderful Barbican.

The position of the Barbican Association

Adam Hogg, Barbican Association Chair, concluded the presentations with a summary of the Association’s position:

The Corporation intended to make a planning application for the site in the Summer 2022, and the Museum of London was scheduled to close in December 2022. This would allow demolition of the building to commence before the exemption from Listing expired in August 2024.

The Barbican Association had raised three main objections: the lack of consultation, with an underlying concern that offices were not in the best interest of London; the failure to adequately explore the opportunities to repurpose existing buildings; and the scale of the proposed development.

The Planning and Transportation Committee, which was responsible for planning applications, had a track record of approving all proposals – with the notable exception of one affecting the Bevis Marks Synagogue. The Association was working with the Synagogue representatives to ensure that the campaign on London Wall West drew from their success.

Questions and discussion

The second part of the meeting was used for questions and discussion with the panel of speakers (responses from the speakers and others are in italics). Comments made after the meeting on post-it notes have also been included here.

Has contact been made with offices near by to see how they feel about the proposals? The reaction of a livery company based in a local office building was surprise and puzzlement at the plans.

It is important that efforts are now focused on a campaign, like the successful Synagogue campaign, rather than talking.

The existing Museum of London building and Bastion House were unattractive buildings. A contrary view was that they were important examples of urbanism.

The buildings should be repurposed, not demolished. The embodied/operational arguments on the consultation website were not accurate. City Tower on London Wall (no 40) is the same age as Bastion House and has been successfully refurbished. Bastion House can be refurbished and should be. If it needs bigger lifts they can be put on the outside of the building.

Would it be best to try to negotiate for the buildings to be taller but thinner to reduce the loss of light? It may be necessary to consider a compromise such as changes along these lines, but in the first instance the aim would be to secure more fundamental changes. However, it appears that in order to meet the requirements of the bank, the proposals have paid little regard for the site or the surroundings.

The scale, mass and height of the proposed buildings should complement the existing Barbican Estate (explained by Adam Hogg in a Barbican Newsletter article) (Reference 2). The architects’ perspective is wrong – they should view the site from the Estate.

A good architectural alternative in keeping with the Barbican Estate is required. It is important to be clear: what are the principles that we are objecting to? The concerns with the London Wall West proposals need to be communicated outside the City since they echo similar issues with projects across London. Developers are now making much larger proposals to compensate for their losses incurred during the pandemic. These proposals are often lazy, boring, conservative and backward thinking.

Where are the state schools? There are no comprehensive school places for girls locally. Why not put a school or extend the City of London School for Girls on the site?

The Barbican Association objected to the original proposals for London Wall Place, and the buildings which were ultimately constructed were more acceptable to residents. The Working Group on London Wall West is actively identifying the lessons that can be drawn from this.

The blocks on the site should not be higher than surrounding buildings: they should be no higher than Thomas More House. What will happen to the Roman wall? How will the Highwalk be affected?

The viewing corridor from Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill: are views of St Paul’s dome no longer protected? It looks as if the proposals would block them.

The Corporation may be challenged financially, but the proposals reflect a lack of vision. Does the City need this office space post pandemic?

What are the Corporation’s other priorities for the future of the City? Maximising profit seems a very singular short-term view. Can we suggest alternatives aligned with other priorities?

Will a campaign require money? The Barbican Association has funds, but it will be necessary to be prudent. Funds will need to be carefully targeted and should only be used if there is a reasonable chance of success.

The Synagogue used historical arguments to fight the plans for modern buildings which would encroach on its space.

The impact of the proposed buildings on the local community of Barbican residents should be emphasised. The Barbican Association is regarded as a very strong lobby group. There are also existing City structures which can be used to feed comments into decision-making. The local elections on 24 March 2022 are likely to bring changes which will affect key Committees.

The Corporation is having to revise its local Plan, which was not accepted by the Mayor of London’s office since it did not conform to the wider London requirements on climate action, office accommodation, tall buildings, and housing.

There is little time left, and it is necessary to identify areas which will make the maximum impact as soon as possible. The Barbican Association Working Group is conscious of the time pressure and is pursuing a number of strands of activity.

It will be important to co-opt younger voices to balance the elderly members who are the majority in the Barbican Association. Youth brings a fresh energetic perspective and cannot be seen as nimby – that is the risk at present.

Conclusion: how residents can help

The meeting concluded with a number of suggestions for residents:

  • Keep up to date with the campaign through the website ;
  • Sign up to receive information by email ;
  • Send in comments to the Corporation’s project team (via their website: , comments close on 31 March 2022) ;
  • Join the Barbican Association team working on the campaign by contacting Adam Hogg ( PR experience and press contacts would be useful, but other skills and interests would also be very welcome.


(1) WAINWRIGHT, Oliver. ‘A Brutalist hanging gardens of Babylon’ – the maddening, miraculous Barbican hits 40. The Guardian. I March 2022.

(2) HOGG, Adam. Bastion House and the Museum of London. Barbican Association Newsletter, November 2021. p 2.