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Alsop's Putney towers hit the buffers

Wandsworth Council has turned down two 'overbearing' skyscrapers by Will Alsop.

SMC Alsop’s twin-tower Putney Place scheme in South London has been refused planning permission by Wandsworth Council. The authority's planning committee claimed the towers would 'loom large' over the local 'domestically scaled' surrounding area.

In a further blow, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced he will not overturn the council’s decision to block the high-rise project opposite East Putney underground station.

The decision comes after CABE launched its own attack on the 330-home development, claiming the development was not ‘green’ enough.

The commission said the scheme, featuring a main 25-storey block and a neighbouring 19-storey tower, failed to satisfy English Heritage and CABE’s guidance on tall buildings because it did not 'set exemplary standards on sustainability'.

The report also accused the designers of not being ‘wholly committed’ to achieving high 'green' standards – despite the inclusion of a combined heat and power system.

In addition, the government's design watchdog agreed that the scale of SMC Alsop’s proposed Putney Place towers was too tall for the low-rise suburban area.

The design review went on to question the winter gardens in the taller of the towers – which leans towards East Putney station – due to ‘the resulting lack of definition of the floors’ which ‘exacerbates the perceived scalelessness of the building'. But the commission did admit the building's 'tapered form [had gone] some way to moderating its monolithic appearance’.

Elsewhere in the report, CABE took the opportunity to hit out at Wandsworth Council, stating ‘there remained a tall buildings policy vacuum’ in the London borough.

Both developer Oracle Residential and SMC Alsop have refused to comment on the planning decision or the design review report.

It is unclear at this stage how the scheme will progress or whether the developer will appeal the council’s decision.

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