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Quill - 28-storey tower at corner of Weston Street & St Thomas' Street

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Monday 29 November 2010 9.08am
SC are deliberating on this application this week. I have read the Planning Officer's recommendation in full and am convinced that it just does not stand up to a proper examination...will the Planning Committee give it one?

The basic surmise is that the site is "ripe" for development in that the current building is out dated (true) and that the site itself is close to the current redevelopment going on around London Bridge and should be therefore granted. I would like to suggest that although in 1963 when planning permission for the current building was given the error of not protecting the Bermondsey Street area in its entirety to the East of Weston Street and South of St Thomas' Street then is now likely to cemented into perpituity by this building.

To seperate this small piece of land off from the larger area has no merit, no sense and is contrary to the overall view of this part of the borough on the basis of the stated goals of protecting the neighbourhood (SC).

It will also be used as justification for more development along St Thomas' Street to the East just as the Planning Department is now using the area to the West of Weston Street as a linked reason for developing this site.

Lines have to be drawn and this site is mistreated in SC's view of the area, basing it on a 47 year old decision which was made in very different circumstances. It should be included in the Bermondsey Street Converstaion Zone and this planning application should be changed (radically) to address this. The assumptions and observations (and the very floawed conclusions) in the Planning Officer's report simply do not stand the test of an overall view, and the caveat that it can be decided on now before a through review on high buildings in the area smacks of deception and desperation to get it passed, to create a further precedent for the next stage of area planning applicatitions.
Thursday 26 January 2012 4.58pm
I've never liked this scheme, so I can only hope for its demise. This street has so much potential, but this development just looks wrong.
Monday 25 June 2012 3.59pm
From Planning Magazine website (text in full below as subscription required for full access):

Planning Magazine wrote:
Southwark 'Quill' tower clears final legal hurdle
By Court reporter Monday, 25 June 2012

Plans for a landmark 31-storey student accommodation tower in Southwark have won the backing of the Court of Appeal.

Lord Justice Pill refused neighbouring landowners permission to appeal against a High Court ruling backing Southwark Council's grant of planning permission for the 'Quill' tower on the site of Capital House, at 40–46 Weston Street, London SE1, owned by Bilford Ltd.

Zurich Assurance Ltd, freeholders of the adjacent site Becket House, at 60–68 St Thomas Street, London SE1, and their site managers, Threadneedle Property Investments Ltd, had argued that a full environmental impact assessment should have been carried out before permission was granted.

They attacked the secretary of state for communities and local government's failure to direct the council to consider whether an EIA was required.

However, Lord Justice Pill ruled that their case had no reasonable prospect of success, freeing the developer to start work.

The council decided that the proposed 31-storey building did not require an EIA because its footprint falls under the 0.5-hectare threshold in the EIA Regulations 1999, and that the proposal was not likely to have significant effects on the environment.

The neighbours' counsel, Peter Village QC, argued at the high court hearing in February that the Quill building will replace Capital House, which is only 10 storeys high, and tower over his clients' six–storey building. He also argued that the development will have an impact on the setting of surrounding sensitive sites, including the Tower of London
Monday 25 June 2012 4.19pm
When will be be freed from the Gestapo-like diktats of SC'c Planning Department...they have an agenda which is publicy stated to over develop the North of the borough to subsidise the South...meaning simply that the North is going to end up with some very unsuiatble development...and this is going to be one! It doesn't "fit" physically and aesthetically and will cause significant overcrowding of the area around it...it is a joke that no EIA should be done - because its a small site you can't check it will be massively overdeveloped??? RIDICULOUS.
Monday 25 June 2012 5.37pm
I am all for sensitive regeneration of areas, and appreciate modern beautiful architecture in the right place. I like the look and perspective of the More London area. The rest is mostly pants!
Is there nothing that Southwark Council won't give planning permission for? Any building they won't allow to be demolished by developers?
When I moved into the area 6 years ago, having fallen in love with it when I worked at Borough, you could still use the buses to get easily from Bermondsey to Waterloo, and see the river and horizon at several points along the route including at Bankside. St Thomas St/Guys hospital were both easily accessible. For years now there has been continuous demolition/building/ replacement (mainly) with expensive (mainly) residential blocks, some of which are incredibly ugly in my view. The visual space away from the river including the sky has disappeared to be replaced with high rises, and cranes. Every space seems to have been blocked in by buildings; there have been constant snarl-ups of traffic for services to be installed. And this is set to continue for years as building starts at the South Bank, and continues at London Bridge, including now the Quill.
Southwark Council Planning Department don't seem to give a monkeys about the residents it already has who are paying their salaries!
Tuesday 26 June 2012 2.32pm
urbanite wrote:
When will be be freed from the Gestapo-like diktats of SC'c Planning Department...they have an agenda which is publicy stated to over develop the North of the borough to subsidise the South...meaning simply that the North is going to end up with some very unsuiatble development...and this is going to be one! It doesn't "fit" physically and aesthetically and will cause significant overcrowding of the area around it...it is a joke that no EIA should be done - because its a small site you can't check it will be massively overdeveloped??? RIDICULOUS.

It funny how people’s perceptions of something is dependent on where they live.

Many people in the South of the borough moan that all the money and development is spent in the North of the borough and all Southwark does is build more social housing on green space grabs in the southern parts with no increase in amenity’s or services.

Still grass always greener and all that…..
Tuesday 26 June 2012 9.00pm
Shiva B wrote:
urbanite wrote:
When will be be freed from the Gestapo-like diktats of SC'c Planning Department...they have an agenda which is publicy stated to over develop the North of the borough to subsidise the South...meaning simply that the North is going to end up with some very unsuiatble development...and this is going to be one! It doesn't "fit" physically and aesthetically and will cause significant overcrowding of the area around it...it is a joke that no EIA should be done - because its a small site you can't check it will be massively overdeveloped??? RIDICULOUS.

It funny how people’s perceptions of something is dependent on where they live.

Many people in the South of the borough moan that all the money and development is spent in the North of the borough and all Southwark does is build more social housing on green space grabs in the southern parts with no increase in amenity’s or services.

Still grass always greener and all that…..

Not only that but, in response to urbanite, I'm not sure hw the council will make money out of the Quill as the students will be exempt from council tax and I don't believe business rates apply either. I think there has been an attempt o obtain planning gain/s106 but am unsure if this was successful.

I think student housing is important but I think there's a lot of it in SE1 and I'm unsure if it doesn't actually impose a financial burden on the council and by extension the council taxpayers.
Wednesday 27 June 2012 10.49am
marcusm wrote:
Shiva B wrote:
urbanite wrote:
When will be be freed from the Gestapo-like diktats of SC'c Planning Department...they have an agenda which is publicy stated to over develop the North of the borough to subsidise the South...meaning simply that the North is going to end up with some very unsuiatble development...and this is going to be one! It doesn't "fit" physically and aesthetically and will cause significant overcrowding of the area around it...it is a joke that no EIA should be done - because its a small site you can't check it will be massively overdeveloped??? RIDICULOUS.

It funny how people’s perceptions of something is dependent on where they live.

Many people in the South of the borough moan that all the money and development is spent in the North of the borough and all Southwark does is build more social housing on green space grabs in the southern parts with no increase in amenity’s or services.

Still grass always greener and all that…..

Not only that but, in response to urbanite, I'm not sure hw the council will make money out of the Quill as the students will be exempt from council tax and I don't believe business rates apply either. I think there has been an attempt o obtain planning gain/s106 but am unsure if this was successful.

I think student housing is important but I think there's a lot of it in SE1 and I'm unsure if it doesn't actually impose a financial burden on the council and by extension the council taxpayers.

marcusm the quote about over development was a generalisation about what happens in the North and not specifically about this development...I fully appreciate that student housing probably does not contribute much to the council's coffers but the rest of the private office and housing developments do.

In reply to Shiva B I appreciate your comment that it seems to be area dependent on how you see things being spent, but this isn't about where council/public money is spent this is about the North being over developed in order to spend money on the South of the borough...a stated aim of the council. The council itself isn't spending much on the North at all but is hoping for future revenue to spend it on the South.
Wednesday 27 June 2012 7.05pm
Students spend money too ... And lots of students spend lots of money. Bet The Miller can't wait !
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