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Theatre campaigners step up fight over Alsop's Puddle Dock

Opponents of Alsop Architects' first commercial scheme in London (pictured) have vowed to fight on, despite the £55 million mixed-use Puddle Dock development securing planning permission.

The Save London's Theatres (SLT) campaign wants to secure a reprieve for the Mermaid Theatre, which will be demolished if Alsop's scheme is built.

SLT is determined to force the Government Office for London to call in the project because of the Mermaid's 'unique theatre architecture'.

Chairman John Levett said the theatre has the best sight-lines in the UK and a stage that is 'almost unsurpassed'. And Levett said he would bring 'all the SLT's influence to bear' in a campaign that would include the all-party Parliamentary Theatre Committee asking questions in the Commons and 'letters from well-known theatre actors to [planning minister] Lord Rooker'.

'The Corporation of London's decision to give the project the green light is an absolute disgrace, ' Levett said. 'How can the City claim to support cultural developments when it has given its backing to the demolition of a theatre that is absolutely unique in Britain?'

However, both Alsop Architects and the Corporation of London said the theatre has remained 'largely vacant' in recent years, and point to the planning gain that will see £6 million contributed to various stage charities.

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