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English Heritage vetoes New Covent Garden flower market listing

English Heritage has rejected calls to list the GMW-designed New Covent Garden flower market in Nine Elms, London

Opened in 1974, the distinctive ‘space-frame’ building is under threat of redevelopment by site owner Covent Garden Market Authority which has commissioned Foster + Partners to work on the mixed-use redevelopment of the site.

English Heritage (EH) has issued a certificate of immunity from listing, rejecting a petition to list the building at grade II.

In its official report EH concluded: ‘New Covent Garden Flower Market is impressive for its sheer size and vibrant colour (provided by both the interior fittings and the flowers), but architecturally it does not rank amongst the best buildings of the 1970s, and should not therefore be recommended for listing.’

The call for listing was made by the Twentieth Century Society.

Covent Garden Market Authority chief executive Jan Lloyd said: ‘The re-use of the flower market site is an essential element in the regeneration of the existing New Covent Garden Market site and in generating the value for the re-provision of modern new market facilities on a single site.

‘The granting of immunity from listing therefore provides us the certainty of being able to extract this value and play our part in the wider regeneration of the Nine Elms area.’

Foster + Partners’ scheme is part of a larger vision to create 2,500 new homes on the 23 hectare market site which has yet to be submitted for planning. Neil Tomlinson Architects is working on the redevelopment of other parts of the site.



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