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CABE ignored as Limehouse tower approved

A 16-storey hotel tower designed by Studio BG in Limehouse, near Canary Wharf has been approved by Tower Hamlets Council – against CABE’s advice

The government’s design watchdog’s said it was ‘not convinced by the architectural expression currently proposed’ and urged the architect to look for a ‘simpler approach’.

The design review panel added that, while supporting the overall scale and mass of the proposal, it was worried by the ‘use of green glass dripping down the facade’, which it feared would not ‘stand the test of time and fashion’.

Last month, Strategic Development Committee members had also voiced their objections to the scheme on the basis of its height, bulk and massing, inadequate consultation, a loss of parking and the hotel use being incompatible with the residential character of the area.

However, the planning officers rejected the notion the design was overly complex and said the proposed external materials would provide a ‘striking landmark building’ and, at the deferred committee meeting on 16 March, the authority’s councillors voted unanimously to approve the scheme.

The 252-bedroom proposal, submitted by Aitch Group, includes a catering and leisure services training scheme for the local community – though details of this have yet to be finalised by a Section 106 legal agreement.

Bernard Lee, architect and partner at Studio BG said he was ‘obviously delighted’ with the decision. On CABE’s comments, Lee said: ‘The planners and GLA were supportive of the scheme’s façade so there was no necessity to address these issues.’

 

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