London SE1 website team

Date set for South Bank skyscraper inquiry

A public inquiry into Coin Street Community Builders' plan for a 43-storey skyscraper at Doon Street on the South Bank will open next month.

Doon Street tower seen from Victoria Embankment
The proposed Doon Street tower seen from Victoria Embankment
Doon Street car park
The site of the proposed tower is currently a bleak car park

The public inquiry, which will be chaired by a planning inspector, will open at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton at 10am on Tuesday 12 February.

Local social enterprise Coin Street Community Builders says the tower of market-price apartments is the only way to fund a much-needed swimming pool and leisure centre for local people.

The scheme was given the green light by Lambeth Council last August – but communities secretary Hazel Blears ordered a public inquiry after an intervention from English Heritage.

The government's heritage watchdog says that the tower would have a "serious adverse impact" on views from Somerset House and St James's Park and upon the setting of neighbouring listed buildings such as the National Theatre and Royal Festival Hall.

Design watchdog CABE has also warned that the tower would 'highly compromise' Somerset House across the river.

Other objectors include the Waterloo Community Development Group who complain that the proposal includes 329 private apartments and not a single affordable home.

Ms Blears has asked the planning inspector to report to her on a range of matters including "the appropriateness of a very tall building in this location" and whether or not the proposal accords with government planning policy on affordable housing.

• The London SE1 website will have comprehensive coverage of the inquiry next month

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