The new building will not bring any meaningful benefits to most people in Borough. It will be an extension southwards of the City, where on the whole hobs are only available for the incredibly rich. These are the people who are forcing up housing prices all over London, so bus drivers, police and health staff can't find anywhere affordable to live. With IT developments, surely there should be less and less need for huge office blocks, with more people working from home. I also think it is an eyesore, with no conncection to anything else in this fascinating area. New developments can be sensitive.
Though I'd like to reserve judgement on the design of this building until I've seen more detailed images than I've found so far, I'd like to make the point that I think that the identification of the land to the south of the river as a target for largescale development over the next 30 years has to be a good thing for the residents of that area. Whatever you think about this specific building, it is a statement of how important that area is becoming to the future success of London as a whole. One thing you can be sure of, and that is that with Ken at the top, he'll be far more interested in maintaining a Balance of housing and development than the Thatcherite Docklands Development body. London basically needs much, much more housing, more office space - more everything. Those that fight against growth (I'm not saying you here!) contribute to the state we find ourselves in, where people on average incomes are being forced out of the area. I do like the idea of a skyscraper, by the way. I liked the Canary wharf tower, with it's glowing steaming pyramid roof and stainless steel cladding which glows in the evening sun. I don't think much of the anonymous lumps they're building next to it though...!
You've opened a BIG can of worms there! The buildings were indeed going to be knocked down, but a rear-guard action by local people persuaded Southwark to grant them listed status, pending the creation of a conservation zone around the area. Mind you, this didn't stop South Bank Uni from knocking down the old Sunday School, sadly not listed but well within the proposed conservation zone. So: the current state of play is that SBU can't knock the old buildings down, but are seemingly reluctant to do anything to restore them. At a public meeting recently Simon Hughes MP suggested some kind of preserved-facade redevelopment, which would make everyone happy, SBU has yet to respond, as far as I'm aware. Dog in the manger? We'll see.