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Art hill flattened by Berkeley talks

Plans for a £150 million cultural ‘Hill’ on the Potters Fields site on London’s South Bank, between Tower Bridge and City Hall, are ‘dead in the water’.

According to its backer, Simon Elliot of arts charity Ahh, The Hill was to be a ‘constantly changing gallery’ where large artworks could be exhibited.

However, despite pro bono input from Frank Gehry in 2005 and, more recently, Kathryn Findlay of Ushida Findlay Architects (see picture), a source at Southwark Council said the ambitious scheme was a ‘non-runner’.

‘Does it [Ahh] own the land, does it have planning, does it have any money? The scheme
is dead in the water – in fact it hasn’t even got in the water.’

The source was speaking hours after the council revealed plans to ink a development deal with Berkeley Homes which will see the re-working of Ian Ritchie’s controversial eight-tower scheme for the site (AJ online 20.03.08).

Although Elliot conceded ‘London had lost its chance’, he revealed that Ahh was ‘in talks with the owners of seven other sites, including ones in New York and Beijing’.

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