In a post on the pink lights thread before Christmas, I mused whether any plans for building over the Bakerloo line sidings had ever resurfaced. Now thanks to James's sleuthing regarding Eileen House, I discover that Southwark has started "consulting" on the supplementary planning guidance for the wider area around London South Bank University, now apparently called the "E&C Enterprise Quarter".
The bundle of documents on Southwark's website contains an alarming proposal for a 28metre high block at the western end of the "Bakerloo site".
Although this is a tiddler compared with some proposals being put forward in SE1, surely the site between the Cathedral and Notre Dame school at the junction of St George's Road and Borough Road should be developed with the building line set back to create a public space in front of the cathedral, rather than having a ten storey building up to the pavement blocking the views from the south.
Although blandly worded, this section alarmed me because it appears to suggest that a building substantially taller than the cathedral might be welcomed if a star architect was employed:
"A local landmark building at the corner of Lambeth Road and St George's Road may be a landmark through height or through design. If it is to be of a height greater than the existing landmarks in the vicinity, must be of the highest quality, and appear well composed and elegant in views along the major streets and across Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park.
Appropriate building heights for this landmark building will depend upon the quality of the proposals. It should not be significantly taller
than its surroundings.
Even a "protestant agnostic" like me thinks that St George's Cathedral deserves to keep some promience in the local townscape. I'd even make a generous contribution if they ever revived plans to finish the tower to Pugin's original design.
The cathdral is already going to be overshadowed on the Westminster Bridge Road side by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, recently approved to be six (? I think) storeys high and built on part of the existing car park. Admittedly the view of the cathedral is not so inspiring from that angle but the thought of it being surrounded by tall, modern buildings is certainly not a good one...
Although I'm not wildly enthusiastic about Black Architects's designs for the CAFOD building on Westminster Bridge Road, I don't think they are in any way as damaging to the local streetscene and skyline as the block being proposed for the corner of Lambeth Road and St Georges's Road