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Battle commences over McAslan plans for Trellick redevelopment


John McAslan + Partners' plans for a £7.8 million refurbishment of Ernö Goldfinger's famous Trellick Tower have come under heavy fire.

Angry residents have lodged an 80-page objection with the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The campaigners are also producing a petition, currently with 120 signatures, against refurbishment plans for the Grade II*-listed tower.

The objection, which was submitted by Trellick Tower Residents Association, claims that only 7.5 per cent of the windows need replacement, as opposed to McAslan's comprehensive replacement programme.

The document, compiled with the aid of City barrister and Trellick resident Richard Samuel, also corrects drawings of the proposed windows, which it claims were drawn up incorrectly by the architect.

The report includes claims that if a high-quality gantry system was employed at the Brutalist tower block in Ladbroke Grove, west London, it would not be necessary to scaffold the building.

Samuel said: 'It's a question of making the work fit the requirements of the building rather than the other way round.'

Modernist campaigner James Dunnett, who worked with Goldfinger when his offices were located in the tower, attacked the style of the replacement windows.

He said: 'The new sections will be a lot heavier and the building will look a lot heavier. The windows comprise a large part of the facade of the tower and are obviously a matter of great concern.

'What is wrong is replacing anything that looks nice with something that doesn't, ' Dunnett added.

Responding to the objection, John McAslan director Adam Brown said: 'This doesn't surprise me. But you have to take into account that the residents were the ones who initiated this work in the first place.

'It's an incredibly difficult building to get at. The current windows don't work. There have been consistent problems with draft and they experience very high wind loads. There are literally two manufacturers in Europe that could make windows in such quantities to the correct specification, ' he added.

An application for listed building consent and a planning application for works were submitted to the council in January.

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