Historic England has condemned fresh proposals for a £1.5 billion redevelopment of London Liverpool Street as “oversized and insensitive”.
The Government’s heritage advisor says it remains opposed to the privately funded scheme, following the release of revised plans by Network Rail, developer Sellar, and MTR Elizabeth line operator MTR at a second public consultation on January 18.
The new designs from Herzog & de Meuron claim to have scaled back the most controversial elements of the scheme, following feedback from an initial round of public consultation in November 2022.
These elements include an oversite commercial development comprising two tower blocks up to 16-storeys high, and providing some 840,000 sq ft of offices and around 190,000 sq ft of hotel space.
In return, almost half a billion pounds worth of passenger-facing improvements would be delivered to alleviate overcrowding, increase accessibility, and transform the retail and leisure experience at Britain’s fourth busiest station.
Key features of the revised plans include 1.5 acres of public realm, green spaces, and a new roof terrace, with natural planting and biodiversity in its design. Open to visitors, the terrace would include an open-air swimming pool heated by surplus heat from the offices, a padel (hybrid tennis and squash) court, and a rooftop cafe with views over the City of London to St Paul’s Cathedral.
Historic England was unmoved by the design changes, insisting that it would “strongly object” when the plans are formally submitted in April.
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James Simister - 06/02/2023 10:16
Even as revised, this proposal, if built, would set a disastrous precedent that would be seized upon by other developers to promote and apply for other unsuitable schemes enveloping listed buildings and destroying their context and character even if they remain physically intact in situ.
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