Planning update

Amazon Last Mile Hub application withdrawn

The application to convert part of the London Wall car park into a last mile logistics hub for Amazon was withdrawn last Friday (22nd July). The Amazon project team stated that “After working closely with the City of London Corporation to develop plans for a more sustainable micromobility delivery hub at the London Wall site, we are now looking together at potential alternative locations. We are committed to exploring opportunities to expand our new e-cargo bike delivery hubs for customer deliveries in London and across the UK.”

This is clearly good news – now we just have to wait to see where the next location for such a facility will be chosen. Hopefully it will be well away from residential premises.

Hotel to replace consented office scheme

You may recall that planning permission for the demolition and redevelopment of the site at 1-12 Long Lane into new offices was granted in July 2021. It now transpires that the owners of the larger part of that site, 1-8 Long Lane (the Pret building and the one next to it) have decided that the pandemic has had a fundamental impact on working practices. In consequence, they feel that demand for traditional office space in the City will decline and are therefore proposing instead to construct a 125-bed high-end hotel on the site. They believe that there is a lack of hotel space in this particular area, an area which is likely to attract an increasing number of visitors given the opening of the Elizabeth Line and its location in the Culture Mile.

The plans are at a very early stage and preliminary designs are expected to be available by late summer. There would then be a consultation period before a formal planning application is lodged possibly late 2022/early 2023. The owners say that they will be looking at the latest City Carbon policies to see how much, if any, of the existing structure can be retained and have reassured that they will stay within the height constraints of the existing approved plans. They want to significantly improve the “pocket park” (the Pret a Manger outside seating area) and re-activate the street front with restaurants/cafes/and retail at ground floor level.

So now we just have to wait to see what the architects come up with………

n.b. the building at 9-12 Long Lane is NOT part of this proposal and it is thought likely that a separate office development application for this site will follow in due course.

Licensing update

GoPuff to NoPuff

You may recall that an application for a premises licence for GoPuff at 176 Aldersgate Street was submitted in April. By way of reminder the application stated that it was “to facilitate a grocery service that requires the sale by retail of alcohol off sales Monday to Sunday 00:00 to 00:00 and on sales Monday to Sunday 08:00 to 23:00 …”.

Many objections to the application were submitted on the grounds of the Prevention of Public Nuisance and a Licensing Sub-Committee Hearing was held on 18th May 2022 which concluded that it was necessary to impose conditions upon the licence and therefore ruled that there was to be no delivery of alcohol from the premises at any time and that customers would be required to collect any alcohol purchased from within the premises between the hours of 8am to 11pm.   

This decision was clearly not what GoPuff required and it was particularly pleasing to hear from the City of London Licensing team that they have recently been informed by a representative of GoPuff that the company no longer wishes to take up the premises at Aldersgate Street. Hence it is their intention to NOT trade from that site.  

Good news indeed – for now, anyway!

Pavilion Bar & Restaurant

An application for a premises licence was submitted in May 2022 by a new company, The Pavilion Bar & Restaurant, which wishes to operate from Retail Unit 3, 200 Aldersgate Street (the old EAT business location). Essentially, the original application was for the supply of alcohol on and off the premises, daily between the hours of 10am – midnight. There were many objections from local residents, primarily on the grounds of the Prevention of Public Nuisance and a Licensing Hearing to determine the outcome of the application has recently been held.

Site to be used to promote art and philosophy

At the Hearing, the applicant accepted that the original submission did not accurately reflect the true purpose of the venue and explained that, whilst the public will be able to purchase food and drinks at the premises, events to be held there will be targeted at an audience interested in the arts and/or philosophy. It was stressed that the venue had not been designed to be a late-night bar or nightclub and that the applicant is involved in a group that organises tours to cultural centres across London. The proposed venue is therefore intended to operate as a bar and restaurant promoting the arts and philosophy by providing a space for artists and delivering workshops, seminars and presentations on these subjects. The venue would become a fixed location for these events.

Reduced hours of operation

Ahead of the Hearing, the applicant had “considered the concerns of the local residents and sought to address them especially in relation to public nuisance” by reducing the licensing and opening hours requested and no longer requiring the service of late-night refreshments.

Licence granted on this revised basis

On this basis, the Licensing Sub Committee concluded that it would be possible for the Applicant to operate the premises in accordance with the licensing objectives, and a premises licence was granted for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises daily between the hours of 12pm – 11pm, for consumption off the premises daily between the hours of 12pm – 10pm and for daily opening times of 7am – 11.30pm. By way of reassurance, the provision for off-sales of alcohol was required solely to allow the sale of alcohol to customers in the outdoor seating area until 10pm and only if a pavement license were to be granted.

Whilst the concept of the premises’ proposed modus operandi still sounds somewhat unusual, it is pleasing to note the reduction in the requested licencing and opening hours. Time will, of course, determine however the success or otherwise of this arts and philosophy venue.

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

OVERALL COMMENT

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.

OUR OBJECTIONS

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?

THE CITY’S CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY

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 CONSULTATION PROCESS

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.

CONCLUSION

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

www.londonstartshere.co.uk

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: averilmbaldwin@yahoo.com if there are any queries.

GoPuff – outcome of licensing hearing

Licensing Sub-Committee’s decision

I am sure that you will all recall the application made in April for a premises licence for GoPuff at 176 Aldersgate Street. By way of reminder the application stated that it was “to facilitate a grocery service that requires the Sale by Retail of Alcohol off sales Monday to Sunday 00:00 to 00:00 and on sales Monday to Sunday 08:00 to 23:00 …”. To confirm these intentions, in answer to the question “Will the supply of alcohol be for consumption on or off the premises the answer “Both” was given by the applicant.

Many objections to the application were submitted on the grounds of the Prevention of Public Nuisance and a Licensing Sub-Committee Hearing was held on 18th May 2022 at which a good number of objectors made personal representations. .

No delivery of alcohol allowed

The Sub Committee concluded that it was necessary and appropriate to impose conditions upon the licence so as to address the concerns relating to enforcement of the licensing objectives in general and the promotion of public safety and the promotion of prevention of public nuisance. Hence it ruled that there was to be no delivery of alcohol from the premises at any time and that customers would be required to collect any alcohol purchase from within the premises. In other words, alcohol can only be sold to customers on the premises between the hours of 8am to 11pm 7 days a week.  

Planning permission now required

Re the delivery of other goods, and the times permitted for those deliveries, this will now be a planning decision. A planning officer has confirmed that “It is the view of the Planning Division that the proposed use of the premises as outlined by GoPuff in their premises licence application, would primarily fall within Class B8 (Storage & Distribution) of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (As Amended) albeit with an ancillary public counter. Such use would constitute a ‘material change of use’ requiring planning permission. Should an application for planning permission come forward, planning can consider all aspects of the proposed use including servicing, hours of operation and potential impacts on the amenity of adjoining and nearby residential neighbours”.

So we now have to wait to see what GoPuff’s response to the Hearing’s decision will be and whether a planning application for change of use will be submitted.

But transfer of licence made

But it is not just as simple as that. We have been informed that the premises already had a suspended licence from the previous occupier) and it is open to any new occupiers to transfer this licence to their business. The licence has therefore now been transferred to GoPuff and it can therefore be used by them. The old licence DOES NOT prohibit deliveries and permits them up to midnight Thursday to Saturday and 23:00 the rest of the week.

So we now just have to wait to see how the situation develops.  

Licensing application from Retail Unit 3, 200 Aldersgate Street

Pavilion Bar & Restaurant submits licensing application

A licensing application has been received from The Pavilion Bar & Restaurant located (or to be located) at Retail Unit 3, 200 Aldersgate Street. This unit is on the west side of Aldersgate Street just round the corner from the old Natural Kitchen premises and before the main entrance to the building. The company was incorporated just over 2 months ago on 25th March. Hence there is no trading record or previous modus operandi to examine.  

Details of the application

The full application can be viewed here and the proposed internal layout here.

The application shows that The Pavilion Bar and Restaurant Ltd has submitted a licensing application for the aforementioned premises to:

1.     Permit the sale of alcohol on and off the premises, Monday – Sunday 10am – midnight and

2.     Provide late night refreshment Sunday – Thursday 11pm – 11.30pm and Friday – Saturday 11pm – 12 midnight.

The Licensing Act 2003 states that “Late night refreshment” means the supply of hot food or hot drink to the public, for consumption on or off the premises, between 11pm and 5am.

Taking a closer look

Looking more closely at the full application:  

This shows that the applicant would like the licence to commence from 24th June 2022.  The opening hours are proposed to be 7am – 12.30am every day of the week.

The description of the business provided is as follows: “The Pavilion is a mid to high end hybrid coffee store/eatery. Situated on the ground floor of mid-level skyscrapers in the City of London and is focused on business/office trade. It is located on the main street, providing comfortable pedestrian access. The premises consists of a Kitchen/Food preparation area, Bar and Restaurant area, toilets. Meals and drinks provided in the restaurant/bar area are for the consumption on and off the premises. The capacity of the restaurant is up to 65 covers inside. There are no schools in the near vicinity. …… Wine, Premium beer, Cocktails and other alcoholic drinks support the range of beverages, although the main products are quality coffee, sandwiches, pastries and cakes. The applicant intends to create a comfortable space for customers, in which they are able to read newspapers, work on laptops, and make business calls. There is a wide range of food provided from Sandwiches, to Desserts, to Sushi, Pizza and Mexican dishes, which are displayed and served at the counter”.

From this description it can be seen that: meals and drinks are for consumption on and off the premises…….the capacity is 65 covers……..there are no schools in the near vicinity…(?! would be interesting to hear their definition of “near vicinity”? How close is the Hatching Dragons Nursery in Ironmongers Hall for example….or the City of London School for Girls?).

Consumption to be outdoors as well as indoors

The form asks about the provision of late-night refreshments when the aforementioned times are repeated. Of some concern is the answer to the question “Will the provision of late-night refreshment take place indoors or outdoors or both?” as the answer given is “both”. Where will these late-night refreshments be served outdoors? On the pavement outside the premises right by the Museum of London roundabout? The same answer is given to the question “Will the sale of alcohol be for consumption” on or off the premises ie. both. These statements clearly need to be clarified as it needs to be made clear if the answers “outside” and “off the premises” relate to outside seating or to deliveries. If the applicant is proposing to place tables outside the premises and serve alcohol and late-night refreshments until midnight every day of the week then this would clearly be unacceptable in terms of the potential for noise and loss of residential amenity.

In another section the applicant states that “all doors and windows shall remain closed in the evening to prevent public nuisance” but if late night refreshments and alcohol can be consumed outside the premises until midnight it is unclear how this would work in practice.

Local comparable establishments

Whilst it is apparent that the proposed operating hours (7am – 12.30am) appear considerable, it is probably important to look at the operating hours already granted to nearby establishments also serving food and drink. Two obvious comparatives may be Barbie Green and the Wood Street Bar and Kitchen as both are situated close to residential premises.

Barbie Green’s opening hours are 8am-7pm on Mondays, 8am -10pm Tuesdays to Fridays, 9am-8pm on Saturdays and 9am-5pm on Sundays.  

Wood Street Bar & Kitchen is open Monday – Friday between the hours of 12pm – 11pm. It is closed at weekends.   

It should also be remembered that The Natural Kitchen, a bar and restaurant which was located just a few yards away from this proposed establishment had operating hours of 08.00am – 15.00pm Mondays and Tuesdays and 08.00am – 21.00pm Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays it was closed.

It therefore looks clear from these comparative opening hours that the proposed operating hours suggested in this application are excessive.

Summary

Given the above information it would seem that there is every ground to object to this application as it stands, in particular to the hours that it proposes to sell 1) alcohol both on and off-premises (until midnight every day of the week) and 2) late night refreshments both on and off -premises until 11.30pm Sunday – Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays given the potential impact on residential amenity.  

Any person wishing to make a representation in relation to this application must give notice by either writing or (more easily) by email to : licensing@cityoflondon .gov.uk by Tuesday 21st June 2022.

The Turret application back for re-consultation

Re-consultation of application to convert the Turret into residential dwelling

Yes, Groundhog Day strikes once again. Many of you will have received notice that this application (ref: 20/00272/LBC) has gone to re-consultation “due to time lapsed since application submitted”.  Details of the application and previous objection letters can be read here.

 There is a long history attaching to this application which can be read on Barbicantalk. As a quick reminder as to what is being proposed this link will take you to the architect’s website where the conversion plans are discussed

Brief summary

In brief, this application first appeared in 2008 (ref: 08/00030/FULL; 08/00029/LBC). It was not approved by the City of London’s Planning Committee but the applicant appealed and the decision was overturned. No works however were carried out at the site.

The application re-appeared in 2016 (ref: 16/00768/FULL; 16/00770/LBC) and was approved in May 2017. Again, no works were carried out at the site and due to the time lapsed since approval was granted, the application appeared yet again in 2020 (ref: 20/00271/FULL; 20/00272/LBC).

And now we have yet another re-consultation, albeit that there appears to be no additional information or changes made to the application.

Many objections lodged

Many objections were lodged against all of these applications, predominantly on the grounds of inappropriate development in a Grade II and Grade II* listed estate which gained Conservation Area status in 2018, loss of residential amenity and the proposed use of inappropriate materials alien to the Barbican palette.

So it’s time to dust off those old objection letters again. The turret is clearly an important architectural feature of the Estate and the application therefore requires close scrutiny, not least in relation to design and materials. As Historic England states “Although conservation areas mean some extra planning controls and considerations, these exist to protect the historic and architectural elements which make the place special”. Precisely.

Representations to be made by 14th June

Any representations should be made within 21 days of the date of the letter ie. by next Tuesday 14th June 2022. Objections can be made via the following link

Planning update – 18th May 2022

Amazon Last Mile Logistics Hub in London Wall Car Park

Application undergoing another reconsultation…..

The application for this was submitted back in May 2021 (ref: 21/00419/FULL) and the outcome still has to be decided. We were recently informed however that the application had gone to another re-consultation…..albeit that there was some confusion as to the reason for the re-consultation given that two letters were sent out on the subject. The first, dated 4th May, stated that the application was marked for re-consultation “due to the receipt of additional information and amendments to the application including re-grading works to the existing layby”.  The second letter, dated 11th May, stated that it was “due to amendments to the transport statement”. The email continues “Any observations must be received within a period of 21 days beginning with the date of this letter (ie by 1st June). We are assuming that the latter letter is the important one.

Having gone through the documents however there do not seem to be many meaningful changes or amendments to the application made in the revised transport statement other than to highlight a couple of seemingly cosy side deals between the applicant and the City of London with regard to the removal of kerbs and the agreement that the Museum of London’s delivery area is to be used as a waiting area in the event that the chosen lay-by/unloading area is already in use.

The revised transport statement can be viewed here

A few issues have been clarified however…..

A request for further information from the City of London planning department did, however,  answer a few of the outstanding questions. For example, we now know that the hub is planned to be operated 7 days a week, albeit with no overnight servicing, and with deliveries at the weekends restricted to the hours 8am – 3pm. The early consultation meetings with residents in 2021 had suggested that weekend deliveries may not be required. The prospect of noisy deliveries and unloading/reloading etc from 8am every day including weekends is surely not an attractive one for nearby residents.  

It was also confirmed that there is no scheduled timetable for the use of electric vehicles which was one of the main planks of the initial presentation to residents. Amazon will instead be using 7.5T and 16T diesel lorries for deliveries which will be exiting via the Thomas More ramp for the foreseeable future – again, not an attractive proposition for residents given the significant increase in noise, pollution and public safety that these will cause.

We note that the applicant has continued to ask for a permanent application rather than a temporary one – surprising, given that the current proposals to develop the London Wall West site include the closure of the Museum of London in December 2022 and the possible demolition of Bastion House.  The closure of the Museum will inevitably give rise to a significant increase in the number of vehicles using the Museum’s service road given the need to pack and remove the millions of items to a new home. If the Museum’s delivery area is in regular use and the Bastion House loading bay is occupied, then where will the Amazon lorries go?   

Special sub-committee to determine this application….or is it?

A special sub-committee is to be formed to determine this application.  As the Chair of the BA Planning Sub-committee succinctly expressed it: “The planning committee is prevented from hearing the application because it also manages the car park – so they propose to form a subcommittee (composed of all the people on the planning committee) that meets immediately after the planning committee meet to determine the planning application that the planning committee can’t determine”.  

No comment necessary!

Please join us in objecting to this application

There are a number of excellent objection letters already on the City of London Planning website which merit viewing. Indeed, one from a resident of Monkwell Square contains a number of pertinent photographs which clearly refute many of the statements put forward by the applicant in this proposal. These letters can be viewed here

There is also an interesting thread on barbicantalk

The BA will be submitting another objection to this re-consultation and will be reiterating our objections which centre on loss of residential amenity, noise, increased traffic flows, inappropriate location abutting a Grade II and Grade II* listed residential estate and gardens and concerns over public safety.

We would urge as many residents as possible to do similarly.

Anyone who also wishes to make representations about this application should do so by 1st June 2022 either on-line or by email to PLNComments@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

Other planning and licensing news

1 Golden Lane

Please continue to submit your objections to this proposal – and, if possible, to post your comments/objections against both of the applications relating to this scheme. There have been 164 objections submitted so far against the 22/00202/FULMAJ application but only 61 against the 20/00203/LBC (Listed Building Consent) application.

An interesting thread can also be viewed on this application on barbicantalk

By way of reminder the links to submit comments against both applications are:

22/00202/FULMAJ

22/00203/LBC

GoPuff licensing application

As previously advised, a licensing application has been made for the ground floor premises in London House on Aldersgate Street which the applicant wants to turn into a “warehouse” for the delivery of instant groceries and drinks by bicycle. The application is for a 24 hour/7 days a week operation.

The BA submitted an objection on the grounds of public nuisance and safety and it is our understanding that a number of other objections have also been lodged. The application was to be decided at a Public Hearing this afternoon, Wednesday 18th May.

It is hoped that the outcome is a satisfactory one and that the City of London adheres to its stated Licensing policies and refuses this application on the grounds of public nuisance and danger to public safety and suggests that the applicant seeks a more suitable location for its proposed operations.

We will advise of the outcome when it has been announced.  

Proposed rooftop condensing units on Aldersgate House

An application from Aldersgate House 135-137 Aldersgate Street for a “proposed roof extension to conceal 9 new condensers” was submitted in January 2022 (reference number 21/01125/FULL). This gave rise to obvious concerns about the potential for increased noise, especially for residents at the Western end of the Estate.  

The applicant has recently submitted a revised Environmental Noise Impact Assessment report. This concludes that “environmental noise…should comply fully with relevant national and local planning policy, in particular the City of London Planning Policy guidelines relating to environmental noise emissions from mechanical plant. This is provided that the proposed condensing units are fitted with discharge attenuators (ducted to the roof), that the proposed rooftop plant enclosure incorporates sound absorptive wall linings, that the roof intake air openings are acoustically baffled, and that the subject plant are time-switch controlled to prevent operation outside the proposed operating period of 7.00 – 21.00 hours (Mondays to Saturdays), all as specified herein”. 

This is in contrast to the previous report dated December 2021which concluded (as per the part in bold above) that “This is provided that the proposed condensing units are fitted with discharge attenuators of the specified performance (ducted to the roof via flexible connections) and that the proposed rooftop plant enclosure incorporates sound absorptive wall linings of the specified performance, and with intake air openings in the roof, all as described herein”.

The report indicates (as they always do) that the proposed plant emission noise levels to the nearby Barbican blocks are within statutory guidelines. However, we can conclude that the planners were not satisfied with the sound proofing proposals as originally proposed and hence the revised report indicates not only a strengthening of the acoustic screening but also the implementation of time restrictions ie. 7.00 – 21.00 hours Mondays to Saturdays.

This seems to be good news for a change although only time will tell of course.

Renewal of the Barbican Centre – winner announced

It is probable that many residents have already seen this but, if not, it has been announced that a collaborative design team led by architects Allies and Morrison and Asif Khan Studio has been selected to deliver a “multi million pound” renewal of the Barbican Centre. 

The team has considerable experience in major heritage and cultural projects, and have delivered projects for organisations including Tate Britain, the V&A, Royal Festival Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe, Oakland Museum of California, and more.

The team has considerable experience in major heritage and cultural projects, and have delivered projects for organisations including Tate Britain, the V&A, Royal Festival Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe, Oakland Museum of California, and more.

The team has considerable experience in major heritage and cultural projects, and have delivered projects for organisations including Tate Britain, the V&A, Royal Festival Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe, Oakland Museum of California, and more.

The full press release can be read here

New Chair of Planning & Transportation Committee announced

It has been announced that Shravan Joshi has been elected as Chair of the new Planning and Transportation Committee. He will now “lead on all planning issues affecting the Square Mile including leading the discussion and debate on planning permissions for new developments in the City……In his new role, he is committed to ensuring the Square Mile remains a world-leading and sustainable place in which to do business, particularly as the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continues to gather pace.

The City Corporation’s ambitious Climate Action Strategy will also take centre stage throughout his term with increasing global interest in the complex debate over new development versus retrofitting existing buildings.

He will also be responsible for the reshaping of the City Corporation’s City Plan 2040, which “is currently being reconsidered to take into account the changing ways in which we use space”.

The full press release can be read here

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 averilmbaldwin@yahoo.com with any comments or offers of help.

Best wishes

Adam Hogg

Chair, The Barbican Association

Licensing update – GoPuff licensing application

Licensing application for ground floor of London House

A licensing application has been made for the ground floor premises in London House on Aldersgate Street which can be viewed here.

The application is to convert the space, which used to be a Natural Kitchen café and prior to that a pub, into a “warehouse” for the delivery of instant groceries and drinks by bicycle deliverers. The applicant is GoPuff whose modus operandi can be viewed in the following article which talks about the business’s launch in the UK.

Application for a 24/7 operation

The application is for a 24 hour/7 days a week operation: “The proposed application is to facilitate a grocery service that requires the Sale by Retail of Alcohol off sales Monday to Sunday 00:00 to 00:00 and on sales Monday to Sunday 08:00 to 23:00 on such other times and on such other terms as set out in the application.”

This would mean deliveries and bikes coming and going across the pavement at all time of the day and night. There has been no prior consultation about this proposal which clearly has the potential to adversely impact residential amenity in terms of noise and disturbance.

If any resident wants to object, the relevant ground for doing so is public nuisance as a 24 hour/7 days a week operation could be noisy at night and disruptive to pedestrians and traffic during the day.

The address to send any objection to is: licensing@cityoflondon.gov.uk

We think the applicant needs to put in a planning application for a change of use – but the licensing team have advised people that if they want to object they should object now to the licensing application – deadline 22 April – because that is the only application open at the moment. If it turns out the applicant does need a planning application (and councillors are inquiring whether this is the case) then any planning conditions (or refusal) would trump a licence.

Please make your feelings known for, if this application is granted, similar such requests may well be forthcoming at other areas around the estate.