Petition - London Bridge Heritage

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Tuesday 8 November 2011 4.36pm
The BVAG has for some weeks now been talking to local people and heritage groups about Network Rail's plans to demolish the South Eastern Railway office and the Driver shed at London Bridge Station. It has become clear that there is plenty of opposition to the heritage-hostile approach being taken by Network Rail. There is little indication that they themselves are ready to listen to pleas for a more heritage sensitive approach but there are some signs that pressure from other quarters might force them to do so. We therefore have to look to Southwark Council, the GLA and heritage groups to apply the pressure. The sheer number of people we know to be opposed to the demolition-minded Network Rail plans mean that we can potentially demonstrate genuine public outrage at the disregard being shown for the heritage of this area. Petitions are often not very sharp instruments but the level of support for saving London Bridge's unique railway heritage make this a case where a well supported petition might make a big difference.

Please help us save these buildings by signing our petition online at http://bvag.net/save-these-buildings

Or come and volunteer at the Info office, 14 Crucifix Lane, SE1 3JW
Tuesday 8 November 2011 5.01pm
I know the South Eastern Railway building is to be demolished (and I support that proposal, on balance) but I thought the southern arches shown were due to be retained, except those that are where the southern concourse exit will be.

Can you clarify what you're opposing?
Friday 11 November 2011 5.04pm
The demolition of buildings of historical importance.

Neither building needs removing and there are ways to keep the existing structures and incorporate them into the design of LB's new station plan.

We oppose the demolition of these two buildings amongst a long list of other issues especially the lack of consultation on transport in the vicinity.
Friday 11 November 2011 5.23pm
Hi

Have printed out the form and will get you 20 signatures.

Best
Friday 11 November 2011 5.40pm
I'm still not sure what the drivers shed is, if it's not the arches shown on the petition?

Why do you feel the SE Railways building is of historical importance? English Heritage didn't agree.

The petition is misleading - they do have a reason for the SE railway demolition, they want to create a public space of sufficient size at the entrance to the station in a very crowded area - it's not ideal, it's a handsome building, but it's a trade off for improving access to the station.
Friday 11 November 2011 7.49pm
Well done BVAG. Have signed and passed on to other interested residents. It's a beautiful building that is important to the character of the area and makes it a nice place to live in. The proposed new building is ugly, boring and will do the opposite - make the area generic and characterless. And your campaign is not misleading, it's straightforward, what is misleading is to suggest that retaining the building - or at least the facade - and creating a public space of sufficient size are not compatible. That would be imaginative and quality design - whereas the proposed scheme is dull and lowest common denominator. It's also misleading to say because English Heritage won't list something, it's not of value. Apart from the fact The Victorian Society have named it one of the most endangered Victorian buildings in England, English Heritage's criteria are not the same as those of people who live and work near a building they like because it's a more rewarding and appealing experience to live somewhere with a good mix of old and new architecture.
Something I find interesting is that the council would find it important to save this building - http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/5533. Both were built at the same time. The reasons for vetoing that development were -

Southwark Council's planning officers have refused to grant conservation area consent for the demolition of the 1898 building on the grounds that it would "result in the unacceptable and unjustified loss of an important heritage asset that is of architectural and historic importance to the Borough and contributes positively to the Tooley Street conservation area".

The same preservation reasons apply, arguably more so, for the SER building.
It suggests the council are being bludgeoned into having to accept a banal scheme against their better judgement.
Saturday 12 November 2011 4.20pm
I didn't say it wasn't of value, I said it wasn't judged to be historically important.
Monday 14 November 2011 1.17am
apols, i misunderstood and thought you were saying it wasn't historically important. what is your take. are you a fan? often i don't understand how english heritage make their decisions or rather i'm not sure their process of saying - well, as long as there are X number of a type of building remaining means it's acceptable to get rid of something - is right. its not how people experience their city. who cares if 30mins away is a lovely Victorian school if the one next to you has been knocked down and replaced by a new-build Travelodge. it's the TL you now look at every day.
the other thing with the proposed new station is not just what it's replacing, it's the design itself, it's like supermarket store architecture. it's pragmatic. boring. it's not something people could ever really really enjoy, so it seems a shame to let it replace something that is interesting and liked. wouldn't it be fun and exciting if they did something surprising - something innovative and modern that incorporated the SER offices, that was a statement about London Bridge's past and future?
Monday 14 November 2011 2.39pm
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
Hi
Have printed out the form and will get you 20 signatures.

Best

Thank you very much!
Monday 14 November 2011 2.54pm
jamesup wrote:
I'm still not sure what the drivers shed is, if it's not the arches shown on the petition?
Why do you feel the SE Railways building is of historical importance? English Heritage didn't agree.

The petition is misleading - they do have a reason for the SE railway demolition, they want to create a public space of sufficient size at the entrance to the station in a very crowded area - it's not ideal, it's a handsome building, but it's a trade off for improving access to the station.


The Drivers train shed is the actual train shed above the railway lines (listed) and the double flank wall with the double height arches shown in the pictures on the petition. Charles Henry Driver was the architect for the historical parts of London Bridge Station. I know Wikipedia is not brilliant but the link will give you a basic understanding of who he is Charles Henry Driver (architect)

The SE Railway offices is of historical importance because of it's checker board brick work (highly unusual). It's is believed the office co-ordinated some of the evacuees routes into the country and was also used to transport troops during the war (yet to be officially confirmed).

The Victorian Society submitted an 'emergency listing' application for the SE office which was initially refused but is currently being reassessed by the DCLG.

We have alot more factual information on these two structures, so if you would like more information please do email us admin@bvag.net
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