The 1.4ha vacant site had previously accommodated a college and car and coach park. The proposal was to retain the main college building for educational purposes and erect a building 18 storeys high in part. This would house residential units, retail, food and drink, office and community uses with basement parking for 173 vehicles.
The site lay in close proximity to a number of historic buildings, including the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Although the unitary development plan allocated the majority of the site for housing and stated that the area was unsuitable for high-rise buildings, the deputy prime minister noted that the London Plan identified the location as an opportunity area that could support tall mixed-use landmark buildings. He decided to give the London Plan greater weight.
He accepted that the project would not harm the architectural character or historic setting of the Tower of London world heritage site. The building had been designed to the highest architectural quality and would not harm the setting and views of St Paul's Cathedral, he found. The proposal would help to regenerate a sustainable location, he decided. He deferred a final decision for six weeks to give the parties time to resolve concerns over the effectiveness of delivering affordable housing in the scheme.
DCS No: 100039245; Inspector: Stuart Reid; Inquiry.