A public exhibition was held yesterday to unveil the plans for 'redeveloping' the historic warehouse building at 47-49 Tanner Street. The building is one of the last remaining original tanneries in the area, and has hosted a variety of exhibitions and film crews over recent years. The exhibition was a shock to myself as a local resident viewing the ambitious artist generated images of a gigantic glass structure, encasing the old building, to the side and 4 floors above. The original warehouse will be dwarfed by an office block for 500 people. This is currently a residential street, with the odd ground-floor commercial space, and part of the Bermondsey Street Conservation zone, which is surely in place to protect the integrity of such beautiful buildings. I am saddened to think that these plans will even be considered for the space, and hope that other locals voice their opinions on the matter, so that big business does not luck out and open the door for further over-developments.
The issue is not the commercial purpose of the proposed building - its commercial space at the moment - but the development design itself. Take a look at the proposals and you will see that the office block looks like it belongs in Canary Wharf.
Doesn't look like it belongs in Canary Wharf at all. Not recently built anyway All in all a high quality, modern intervention that puts the site to good, commercial use.
Of course, the nimbies, who want nothing more interesting than dreary, 80s style, docklandís, warehouse vernacular that still despoils much of Canary Wharf, Wapping. Rotherhithe and elsewhere will loathe it.
Experience tends to tell me that the objectors in such cases just want quaint, vomit inducing, tat. They are wholly opposed to anything new. Anything in any way challenging is received with nothing short of an embolism.
Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder, which is why so many people suffer so much ugliness in their world. Thankfully, the planning system can't really take a view on what is ugly. That's not their business. If it was then we would be living in a very dreary world indeed.