Towers earn mixed result

Developers have had mixed fortunes in securing planning permission for two riverside mixed-use tower schemes in south London.

The London Borough of Lambeth is allowing Frasers Property to build a 120m tower with 178 flats in Vauxhall. The site is in the Nine Elms development opportunity area and Frasers is proposing 7,700m2 of office space across 34 floors.

The scheme, on which the consultancy Alliance Planning advised, complies with the London Plan requirement for at least ten per cent of the apartments to be wheelchair-accessible or easily adaptable to be so.

But the London Borough of Wandsworth has refused permission for 21 and 26-storey Will Alsop-designed towers opposite East Putney station. The proposals, which include 300 flats and more than 3,400m2 of office space, were unanimously rejected by the planning committee last week.

Developer Oracle described the towers as "a focal point of community identity", but the local authority ruled that they would "loom large over the more domestic scale of the area". It added that the scheme would overshadow neighbouring houses and have an incongruous and unattractive appearance.

Planning applications chairman Leslie McDonnell commented: "The committee could not see any justification for a scheme of such overwhelming size and scale. The towers were clearly designed to challenge existing perceptions of Putney. But to many local people this seemed like confrontation for confrontation's sake."

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