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Campaigners fail to save listed hall of residence

Demolition work has started on the Southside hall of residence in London, ending any hope that the Grade II-listed block could be saved.

The 1963 student flats at Imperial College have been the centre of an ongoing battle between Westminster City Council and the Twentieth Century Society, which wanted to preserve Sheppard Robson's original building.

Earlier in the year, the group begged the council to reconsider its proposals to flatten Southside after it discovered the building was not, as first thought, beyond repair.

According to a report by engineer Alan Conisbee and Associates, most of the building's defects, including defective mullion panels, could have been easily restored.

However the council decided to press on with demolition and in April (AJ 21.04.05) approved plans for a new development by Kohn Pedersen Fox - despite receiving 168 letters of objection from local residents.

The redevelopment will create six halls of residence, each hall housing 150 students, and is scheduled to open in 2007.

by Richard Waite

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