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Coin Street's plan for 48-storey tower - a betrayal of their founding principles?

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Friday 4 November 2005 11.03am
Plastic was definitely invented in the lee valley
I may be wrong about petroleum

They mention something else as well I cant remember what it was concrete or something.
Someone else might know.

Also you cant compare the London eye with an office block
as an article in the evening standard said earlier this week The London eye is a light wait viewing platform
An office block is a solid peace of solid reel estate that steels the sky from the public.

The best thing about London is its historic land marks nothing built in an international style will ever replace that,and should be planed around that fact.

Also if you note

The visualizations of the buildings planed for the city show the gerkhin completely obscured from view,

some land mark.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 4 November 2005 11.08am by mickysalt.
Friday 4 November 2005 11.21am

Bit off topic, but could you possibly be thinking of the St. Ettienne (sp?) documentary "Hymn to London" which made the bold claims about the Lea Valley being the birthplace of plastic and petrol ? If so, I kind of thought that was meant to be tongue in cheek. Can't remember what it was actually called but the song was definitely Hymn to London.

[Edited to say - found it, but still can't pronounce the title.,6737,1598402,00.html#article_continue]

Depends you define plastic of course, but I was always taught the first true plastic was invented in New York by Mr Baekeland - the plastic was, of course, Bakelite - still much loved for telephones and jewellery.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 4 November 2005 11.24am by Siduhe.
Friday 4 November 2005 1.37pm
That wasn't the film I saw
So it was petrol
They definitely said the first plastic.
I have no reason to not believe its true
Monday 5 December 2005 2.28pm
There's a presentation on the Doon Street plans at tonight's Bankside Residents Forum AGM - 5.30pm in the Starr Auditorium at Tate Modern. Followed at 7pm by the Community Film Club's free screening of Scrooge. Free mince pies etc will be served between the meeting and the film screening.

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Monday 5 December 2005 3.32pm
Just found an answer to the "first plastic" question above:

Alexander Parkes: British chemist and inventor noted for his development of various industrial processes and materials and for having invented the first plastic.

Parkesine was based on cellulose nitrate and is generally accepted as the first plastic.

Parkes introduced his new material to great public interest at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London and was awarded a prize medal. He established The Parkesine Company at Hackney Wick in London with the aim of marketing Parkesine but the enterprise was not commercially successful. This was partly because the material proved to be highly flammable and partly because Parkes compromised the quality of his goods in an effort to keep the price down. The company was liquidated in 1868.

Everyone's right - this was the first true plastic, Bakelite the first commercially successul plastic, everyone gets a First . . .
Friday 30 December 2005 9.58am
For those interested two planning applications have been submitted:

Application 1 - Upper Ground & Doon Street - 54 storey

Redevelopment of site adjacent to Cornwall Road to provide

-7943 sq metres of multi purpose community sports centre and swimming pool
-902 sq metre retail/commercial/restaurant/bar/takeaway floor space,
-355 residential units and
-underground parking for 56 cars
-within a 54 storey tower measuring 173.2 metres in height and
-a part 7 & 8 storey block with roof terraces and courtyard.

Please pass comments back to
Lambeth Town Planning, First Floor, Acre House, 10 Acre Lane, SW2 5LL
by 10 January with REFERENCE DC/05/03498/FUL/DC_CHD.

Application 2 - Upper Ground & Doon Street

Redevelopment of site adjacent to Waterloo Bridge to provide

-Six storey building comprising
-3977 sq metres education and or office floorspace and
-300 sq metres of retail/commercial/restaurant/bar/takeaway floorspace plus
-landscaped public space,
-a pedestrian bridge link to Waterloo Road and
-Underground parking for 74 cars

Please pass comments back to
Lambeth Town Planning, First Floor, Acre House, 10 Acre Lane, SW2 5LL

by 4 January with REFERENCE DC/05/03705/FUL/DC_CHD.

For enquires on either of these contact Mr Christopher Dale of Lambeth Planning on 02079261252

Friday 30 December 2005 10.46am

I wonder if the timing of the application is deliberate. Not many people around over Christmas and lots of post delays.

If this gets through it sets a pretty clear prescedent for tall buildings along the South Bank. As I understand it Coin Street was all about retaining a mixed and balanced residential community in Waterloo. Yet at the presentaiton it emerged that no social housing was proposed and the private flats would be small and not intended for families.

My own view is that over time the word 'community' has shifted from meaning all of us who live in the area, to those who live in Coin Street. So the 152 (I keep forgetting the number - though it is a standard part of the Coin Street pitch) children who live in the various Coin Street Co-ops need a swimming pool. The fact that this need is shared by the many thousands who live from Stockwell to Blackfriars to the Elephant, and for whom Doon Street is a pretty inconvenient location, does not seem to come into the equation.

The fact is that by the time the pool is built, most of the kids living in Coin Street family sized houses will have grown up, or be old enough to take the bus to Battersea or Clapham. Given that new nominations are like hens teeth, I assume that in ten to fifteen years the whole area will be full of empty nesters. The 'rich' living in small flats in a high-rise tower and the 'poor' living in 5/6 bed high-value low-rent houses. It will not only be the rest of us who see this development as a wasted opportunity, but also residents of the smaller Coin Street properties who have no chance of moving within the area as their families expand. Eg right back to it all started

PS Another rant to please the lurkers convention.
Friday 30 December 2005 11.09am
Just how many applications are there? I think there are three, as
I also found this one on Lambeth's "Public Access" planning website

Application Reference: 05/03499/FUL

Address of Proposal: Land Bounded By Upper Ground And Doon Street - Central Portion Of Site

Proposal: Redevelopment of site to provide a new six storey building with lower ground floor level to accommodate a new headquarters for Rambert Dance Company comprising rehearsal studio, office, technical and archive space and exhibition area, along with assoiciated alterations.

This application is in the name of Rambert Dance Company with Alllies and Morrison (the architects) as their agents.

Interestingly, Coin Street are retaining Nathaniel Lichfield (a big firm of planning consultants with many commercial clienst) as their agents for their two applications either side of the Rambert sandwich.

For all three applications, Lambeth's website states that the site notice was posted on 16 December - so officially there are only 21 days from then in which to object, although Lambeth planning usually accept objection with a few days grace.

The target date (for a planning committee hearing) is 01/03/2006.
Friday 30 December 2005 11.41am

(Slightly off-topic)

A long time ago I learned to be rather circumspect about anyone claiming to do anything "for the community". I also subscribe to the idea that the further away in space or time you move from an event/agreement/idea, the less it means.

Coin Street found its genesis in the late 1970s when the social and political landscape was rather different. Handing over a huge chunk of central London to a small group of "local people" for 1 may have seemed like a very groovy idea back then. Today, with land attracting 7.5 - 10M an acre (probably far more at Coin Street) it looks like the sad old taxpayer/voter was short-changed.

With the passage of time, people forget where the land came from and the new applications (noted by LR) look to be just the same sort of proposal that St George's might come up with (ie Ballet Rambert stuck in as a sweetener to get the residental approval and the revenues that will result.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.


Friday 30 December 2005 12.23pm
I think I forgot to post back in December that one of the oddest features of Coin Street/Allies and Morrisons' publicity for the scheme is the implicit claim that the proposed tower in some way provides an appropriate backdrop to Denys Lasdun's National Theatre and IBM building, and fulfils his original design intentions.

Studies were carried out to examine the various uses in
different positions. The best arrangement has separate
buildings in a terrace with a single element - the high rise
apartments - breaking through vertically. The position of this
tower is on the axis of IBM and the National Theatre; just
the same relationship as the Shell Tower had to the National
Opera House and National Theatre in Lasdun's first scheme
on Jubilee Gardens.
(page 4 of the pdf)

This is balderdash!

They have dug out an archive photo from the mid 1960s of a model of Lasdun's early scheme for the National Theatre, The theatre was going to be built alongside a new Opera House (for the Sadlers Wells company who eventually moved into the Coliseum and became ENO) and the Shell Centre would have provided a backdrop to a raised piazza between the theatre and opera house buildings.

However, this wasn't because of a formal architectural composition - it is because when Shell bought the leasehold of the Shell Centre site from the LCC, they also got a covenant over the adjacent strip of the former Festival of Britain site between the tower and the river, prohibiting anything being built on it. Hence the two buildings had to have an open space between them.

And when, following the abolition of the GLC, the London Residuary Body sold the freehold*** of the Shell Centre to Shell, that covenant over the middle strip of Jubilee Gardens was renewed.

Lasdun was never happy about the way the Shell Tower loomed over the theatre complex.

From National Theatre website:
Despite a widespread favourable reception the opera house part of the NTOP was abandoned by the cash-strapped government. The Shell Tower behind it would dwarf the remaining amputated building - to Lasdun and the committee this was unacceptable

Hence, the speedy acceptance of the alternative King's Reach site, east of Waterloo bridge.

[Off topic footnote:

*** BTW that transaction was for an amount that the London Metropolitan Archives told me some years ago (when I was looking at then proposals for Jubilee Gardens) was commercially confidential. They excised the figure from the copy of the document they sent me. I suspect you could find it quite easily now on the original documents at the archives.

Given the development potential of the Shell Centre, including the podium site, I suspect the London ratepayer didn't get a great deal, as I'm pretty sure there are no clawback conditions]
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