Plans for a new restaurant and block of flats in Tooley Street designed by a member of the London Assembly have been rejected by Southwark Council planning officers who have slammed the "poor standard of design".
Last month we reported that Navin Shah, Labour member of the London Assembly for Harrow and Brent, had revived his dormant architectural practice to submit a planning application for the demolition of the Tower Mini Market opposite Potters Fields Park and City Hall and the construction of a new six-storey block with a restaurant at ground level and five flats on the upper floors.
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".
Planning officials have also refused planning permission for the proposed replacement building, citing the "poor standard of design in relation to excessive scale, massing and height" and describing the building as "over-dominant and incongruous".
Officers also say that "the proposed development, by reason of the poor standard of detailed design, with particular reference to fenestration, balconies and roof form, would result in an incongruous development that will have an adverse impact on the visual amenity of the area..."
It is also claimed that the room sizes and unit sizes of the proposed flats fail to meet the minimum standards required by Southwark and London planning policy and that the new block "would create an overbearing sense of enclosure" to the living areas above the adjacent Bridge Lounge bar.