60-72 Upper Ground London SE1 development, ITV London Studios demolition, Mitsubishi South Bank proposal, Television Centre site
60-72 Upper Ground Public inquiry: London SE1 Development
9 August 2023
Michael Gove delayed decision on 60-72 Upper Ground
Coin Street Community Builders respond to delay of expected decision from Michael Gove MP on former ITV studio site development
Coin Street Community Builders has been informed that Michael Gove’s decision on planning permission for the former ITV studios on the South Bank has been delayed until 6 October. Coin Street Community Builders is a prominent campaigner against the proposal for a large, imposing office block to be built on the Upper Ground site.
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Housing, Levelling Up and Communities, informed Coin Street that ‘further time is required to consider this case’. The Secretary of State has the power to vary the timetable previously set out under paragraph 6 (2) of Schedule 2 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
Coin Street and local campaigners fully expect that Michael Gove will honour his commitment to sustainable urban transformation. This planning decision is an opportunity for the Secretary of State to demonstrate his pledge to encourage the construction of homes on brownfield sites, encourage thorough public engagement throughout the redevelopment process, and ensure that the reuse of existing buildings is fully explored as an alternative to demolition.
David Hopkins, Director of Communities, Coin Street Community Builders said: “Michael Gove has spoken extensively in recent weeks about his commitment to building more homes, using brownfield land to tackle the housing crisis, and prioritising a low-carbon future. This delay is an opportunity for the Secretary of State to ensure this decision is closely aligned with his own vision of building the homes London so desperately needs.”
72 Upper Ground London Development Background
Department for Housing, Levelling Up and Communities on Carbon
Last year, the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee called for mandatory whole life carbon assessments and for priority to be given to retrofit and reuse of buildings. Committee chairperson Philip Dunne said: ‘From homes to offices, retail units to hospitality venues, our buildings have a significant amount of locked-in carbon, which is wasted each time they get knocked down to be rebuilt, a process which produces yet more emissions. Ministers must address this urgently… baseline standards for action need to be established.’
In response to the Committee report, the Government said: ‘We agree with the Committee that whole life carbon assessments (WLCAs) are likely to have a significant role to play in delivering this change. WLCAs will help ensure that carbon is properly accounted for, encouraging the industry to use low carbon materials and to produce more efficient, low-carbon designs. This is why the Net Zero Strategy set out Government’s ambitions to help the construction sector improve their reporting on embodied carbon in buildings and confirmed that we will explore the potential of a maximum embodied carbon level for new buildings in the future.’
The assessment, which certain MPs want to see introduced by the end of this year, would calculate the emissions from the construction, maintenance, and demolition of a building, and from the energy used day-to-day. Similar carbon assessments already exist in other European countries.
Michael Gove on Marks and Spencer
In the case of Marks and Spencer, Gove found that while the development proposals were in general compliance with the development plan policies, the development would ‘fail to support the transition to a low-carbon future’ and would fail to ‘encourage the reuse of existing resources, including the conversion of existing buildings’, contrary to paragraph 152 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). He was not satisfied “that there has been an appropriately thorough exploration of alternatives to demolition.”
NPPF paragraph 152 means that there should be a strong presumption in favour of repurposing and reusing buildings. Where buildings are structurally sound and in a location with the highest accessibility levels, a strong reason would be needed to justify demolition and rebuilding; and the importance of optimising the use of the site and what alternatives are realistically available will be relevant factors in applying the presumption.
Coin Street Community Builders
Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) is a social enterprise working in Waterloo and North Southwark. CSCB owns, manages, and maintains the riverside walkway between the National Theatre and Sea Containers, Bernie Spain Gardens, Oxo Tower Wharf, Gabriel’s Wharf, and Coin Street neighbourhood centre. It is freehold owner of the Iroko, Mulberry, Palm and Redwood housing developments which are leased to primary co-operatives managed by their tenants.
CSCB view is: The scale, bulk and siting of the proposed development is excessive, overbearing and overly dominant. The impact on daylight received by adjacent Coin Street housing co-operatives will be severe. The riverside walkway and gardens to the north of the proposed development currently enjoy sunshine throughout the lunchtime peak and afternoon but would be cast into shadow by this development.
The wanton disregard of the South Bank, one of London’s most popular amenities, is unacceptable and short-sighted! At the public inquiry it became apparent that the existing tower with its high floor to ceiling heights and fabulous views could be repurposed for residential use and that is what should now happen.
Previously on e-architect:
26 January 2023
60-72 Upper Ground Public Inquiry News
Statement from Coin Street Community Builders and the Waterloo Community Development Group on the public inquiry in the redevelopment of the former ITV studios on South Bank:
Last Chance Saloon for the Mitsubishi Monster
On the final day of the public inquiry into Mitsubishi Estates’ proposed redevelopment of the former London Television Centre (60-72 Upper Ground), community organisations told the Inspector that a once in a lifetime opportunity will be wasted and irreparable harm to London’s South Bank caused if planning permission is granted to what has been described in the national press as ´a brute of a building’ (Rowan Moore in The Observer), ´an aggressive behemoth’ (Sir Simon Jenkins in The Guardian), and ´a grotesque monstrosity’ (Richard Morrison in The Times). Locals are even less complimentary.
Mitsubishi’s development would destroy the special character of the South Bank, introducing a massive office development which would dominate riverside views, cast shadows over the riverside walkway and Bernie Spain Gardens, rob daylight from adjacent housing co-operatives, and adversely impact heritage assets like the National Theatre, St Paul’s, and local conservation areas.
Michael Ball, Save Our South Bank and Waterloo Community Development Group says: “What people want are buildings that reflect the history, character, and identity of their community and that belong in their surroundings: here on the South Bank, not just anywhere. Michael Gove, the Secretary of State who will take the decision, has made it clear that developers need to design beautiful buildings that are supported by the communities that must live alongside them”.
David Hopkins, Director of Community at CSCB says: “Michael Gove has said that it is vital to build many more homes and, wherever possible, these should be built on brownfield sites. In some places communities are against new housing. Here on the South Bank, we want more. Yet this vast development of a brownfield site doesn’t offer a single home to address London’s severe housing shortage. We are confident that Michael Gove will see this as exactly the wrong sort of development for this sensitive South Bank site and will send Mitsubishi back to the drawing board”.
The Inspector’s report is expected to go to the Secretary of State in the Spring with a decision announced this Summer.
Previously on e-architect:
25 January 2023
Public Inquiry: 60-72 Upper Ground concludes on Wednesday 25 January 2023
The public inquiry into Lambeth Council’s planning application for 60-72 Upper Ground (the former ITV studios aka ‘The Slab’) concludes on Wednesday 25 January at 15, Hatfield’s, Chadwick Court, London, SE1 8DJ. The Inspector will open proceedings at 10am.
60-72 Upper Ground Public Inquiry Update
There will closing statements from:
- #SOS Save Our South Bank action group
- Coin Street Community Builders
- Local Planning Authority
The #SOS Save Our South Bank action group which consists of local residents, organisations and supporters campaigning against ‘The Slab’ office scheme proposed by Make Architects for the re-development of 60-72 Upper Ground, SE1 9LT.
For information about the public inquiry and to watch a live stream on Wednesday 25 January go to: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning-building-control/planning-applications/public-inquiry-60-72-upper-ground
9 December 2022
60-72 Upper Ground Public inquiry
This public inquiry is expected to run for 12 days, and will set important precedent for how the UK capital city handles urban design issues such as density and shading.
TOWN & COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990
THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING APPEALS (DETERMINATION BY INSPECTORS) (INQUIRIES PROCEDURE) (ENGLAND) RULES 2000
Site Address: The London Television Centre, 60 – 72 Upper Ground London SE1 9LT, UK
Description of development: Demolition of all existing buildings and structures for a mixed-use redevelopment comprising offices, cultural spaces and retail uses with associated public realm and landscaping, servicing areas, parking and mechanical plant.
This application is accompanied by an Environmental Statement (ES) which is available for inspection online with the planning application documents.
Application reference 21/02668/EIAFUL
Appellant’s name MEC London Property 3 (General Partner) Limited
Planning inspectorate reference APP/N5660/V/22/3306162
60-72 Upper Ground Public inquiry December 2022
The Secretary of State (SoS) has decided to ‘call in’ the planning application in relation to the above planning application.
An Inspector has been appointed by the SoS, under Section 77(5) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, to consider the planning application and make a recommendation to the SoS on how the application should be determined. The appointed Inspector is C Masters MA (Hons) FRTPI.
The Inspector will hold a Public Inquiry opening on 6 December 2022 at 10:00am.
The Public Inquiry will take place at 15 Hatfields, Chadwick Court, London, SE1 8DJ.
The inquiry is expected to run for 12 days however, the duration is not fixed and will depend on how the evidence emerges. Further details of the Inquiry timetable will be made available once the Inquiry starts.
Those not wishing to take an active part in the Inquiry will still be able to watch a live stream of the Inquiry using the link provided on the website: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning-building-control/planning-applications/public-inquiry-60-72-upper-ground
Lambeth Council are the point of contact for planning matters releated to this property development. More detailed information can be found online https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/about-council/privacy-data-protection or on request.
Details of the 60-72 Upper Ground scheme
Information about the appeal will be available and kept updated on the website at: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning-building-control/planning-applications/public-inquiry-60-72-upper-ground
Details of this scheme, including copies of the application and appeal documentation can be viewed on the council’s website (www.lambeth.gov.uk/planningdatabase) using the reference number 21/02668/EIAFUL.
Public Inquiry Attendance Information
Anyone wishing to attend the inquiry must make that interest known to the Planning Inspectorate Case Officer as soon as possible prior to the Inquiry, either by email or telephone, after reading the Inquiry Attendance Information set out below.
Before deciding whether to take an active part in the Public Inquiry, you must think carefully about the points you wish to make. All written submissions from the application and appeal stage will be taken into account by the Inspector and re-stating the same points will not add any additional weight to them.
Further guidance from the Planning Inspectorate on how to take part in an appeal can be found at:
• If you wish to take an active part in the proceedings, please make clear in your response to the Planning Inspectorate Case Officer whether you wish only to appear at the Inquiry and make a statement, or whether you would also wish to ask questions on particular topics.
• If you wish to observe the event, you should make that clear in your response to the Planning Inspectorate Case Officer.
• If you want to take an active part but feel unable to for any reason, and/or the points you want to make are not covered in the evidence of others, consider whether someone else would raise them on your behalf.
The contact details for the Planning Inspectorate Case Officer are as follows:
Phone: 0303 444 5000
Email: [email protected]
Planning Inspectorate Reference: APP/N5660/V/22/3306162
Publication of the decision
The appeal decision will be published online at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ and on the council’s website once it has been received.
60-72 Upper Ground Public inquiry – Former London Television Centre Site Redevelopment, South Bank images / information receive from Coin Street Community Builders
Previously on e-architect:
post updated 18 November 2022
SOS Save Our South Bank backs Gove’s move to block unattractive new developments
London Television Centre Site Redevelopment on South Bank News
Impact of shadowing on local homes – predicted overshadowing of the riverside walkway and Bernie Spain Gardens:
Images extracted from the developer’s 72 Upper Ground planning application: Environmental Statement, July 2021
Impact of mass on views from local homes – views from Stamford Street (left and middle) and Upper Ground (right) – computer generated images of the proposed development:
extracted from the 72 Upper Ground planning application: Environmental Statement, July 2021
Sign the petition https://change.org/p/sos-save-our-south-bank
Architects join campaign to protect London’s unique open space
London Television Centre Site Redevelopment on South Bank
For further details about this campaign please visit https://coinstreet.org/72-upper-ground
Background to these London South Bank buildings
Location: London Television Centre site, 72 Upper Ground, South Bank, London, England, UK
London South Bank Buildings
Bernie Spain Gardens Transformation, South Bank
Design: West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture
image courtesy of West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture
Bernie Spain Gardens South Bank by West 8
Doon St Tower
Architect: Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Doon Street Tower – controversial Southwark skyscraper building design
Oxo Tower Refurbishment
Architects: Lifschutz Davidson Architects (now LDS)
photograph © Nick Weall
Oxo Tower Building
London Building Designs
Contemporary London Architectural Designs
London Architecture Links – chronological list
London Architecture Tours – bespoke UK capital city walks by e-architect
Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme
photograph © UK Parliament
Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal
The Nest, Wapping
image from architects
The Nest in East London
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