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Mayor gives go ahead to Foster's Bishop's Place

Foster + Partners’ Bishop’s Place scheme has been given the green light by the Mayor of London

The £500 million project from developer Hammerson was approved by Hackney Council in September and has since been awaiting final approval from the Greater London Authority.

In a letter to the council Boris Johnson said: ‘I am content to allow Hackney Council to determine the case itself, subject to any action that the Secretary of State may take, and do not therefore wish to direct refusal.’

The project, which includes five buildings of varying height – the tallest standing at 51 storeys - went back to the drawing board earlier this year to incorporate the 19th century Light Bar which sits on the site and was originally due to be demolished.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council cabinet member for regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: ’ The new offices, hotel, affordable and private homes, shops and open spaces will bring opportunities for residents and make a great contribution to Hackney’s economy. The Council welcomes the developer’s response to local requests in embracing 233 Shoreditch High Street into this approved version of the scheme.’

Previous story - 05.11.09

Foster’s redesigned Bishop’s Place wins green light

Hackney Council has rubberstamped Foster + Partners’ revised Bishop’s Place scheme in Shoredtich, East London

The practice went back to the drawing board this summer to rework the 139,000 m² development - featuring a 51-storey residential skyscraper and two office towers - to incorporate the 19th-century Light Bar which sits on the site.

Previous designs would have seen the 1890s former electricity generating station flattened. However the local landmark was incorporated into the Shoreditch Conservation Area and Foster, and developer Hammerson, were forced to think again.

According to the developer, no timescales have been set for when the massive scheme will come out of the ground. It is understood Hammerson’s is waiting on a ‘substantial pre-let on the office accommodation’ before starting on site

Previous story - 02.09.09

First picture: Foster’s revised Bishop’s Place scheme

This is the first image showing how Foster + Partners will keep the 19th-century Light Bar at the heart of the £500 million Bishop’s Place scheme in Shoreditch, East London

As revealed by the AJ last week (see below), developer Hammerson has amended its previous proposals which would have seen The Light Bar demolished. The developer has now submitted revised plans to Hackney Council which will ‘ensure the restored building is reinstated to its status as a bookend building at the southern end of Shoreditch High Street’.

The massive develpoment will still feature a 51-storey residential tower sitting alongside alongside two office buildings, the tallest of which will be 32 storeys.

Following local protests, the developer asked Foster to rework its designs and incorporate the 1890s former electricity generating station, operated until 1932 by the Great Eastern Railway company.

Previous story - 24.08.09

Foster revises Bishop’s Place plan to save Light Bar

The 19th-century Light Bar at the heart of the controversial Bishop’s Place scheme in Shoreditch, East London will be spared

Foster + Partners is understood to be redesigning the £500 million office and hotel scheme, which will feature a 51-storey skyscraper, to include the local landmark.

Late last year it was thought the unlisted, former railway building at 233 Shoreditch High Street would be flattened to make way for the tower after protracted talks, and a ‘last-minute’ out-of-court settlement, between pub landowner Bandol Estates and Developer Hammerson.

But Martin Jepson, managing director at Hammerson released this statement to the AJ claiming the design team may have found a way to save the bar.

He said: ‘Following the local campaign to preserve the Light Bar building, we are currently in the process of preparing amended proposals for our Bishop’s Place regeneration project.

‘We have taken on board the concerns of the planning committee and the local community and we are pleased to announce that we believe we have found a way to incorporate the building into the proposals. Whilst it has been a challenging revision, we are now preparing a scheme to submit to the Council that recognises this Shoreditch landmark alongside delivering much needed investment for Hackney.’

A revised planning application is expected to be submitted shortly.

Previous story - 12.12.08

Foster’s Bishop’s Place scheme clears legal hurdle

Foster + Partners’ controversial Bishop’s Place scheme in Shoreditch, East London, has edged closer to becoming reality after a last-minute deal was thrashed out with tenants on the site.

Developer Hammerson announced it had brokered an out-of-court settlement with Bandol Estates – leaseholder of the Light Bar, a 19th-century building which the property group wants to flatten – just days before a case was to be brought in the High Court.

The settlement will almost certainly mean the demolition of the unlisted building at 233 Shoreditch High Street, which the developer wants to replace with an office tower as part of a wider scheme including 65,000m² of office space, a hotel and residential units.

Martin Jepson, managing director of Hammerson London Group, denied the deal would necessarily mean the bar would be razed, but said the agreement was a ‘sensible decision which clarified the situation’.

He added: ‘Bandol Estates have assurance that they can continue to operate from the premises in the near future [while] our future development rights are protected.’

It is understood the developer will now help Bandol Estates find suitable alternative accommodation and the ‘popular’ Light Bar will continue to trade as normal in the meantime.

A revised application will be submitted in mid 2009.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Not a lot to do with Foster, more to do with this

    After deferral of the planning application OPEN Shoreditch then successfully campaigned for the inclusion of the building within the Council's newly defined Shoreditch Conservation Area boundaries. Inclusion would provide protection from uncontrolled demolition. OPEN lobbied the Secretary of State and English Heritage which had commended the building's restoration and strongly recommended its inclusion in the Conservation Area. They have power to intervene and themselves designate conservation areas where the local authority finds itself in a position of conflict of interests, as in this case where Hackney stand to make millions if a redevelopment scheme is given planning permission. Hackney Council eventually relented, on the advice of English Heritage, and the buiding is now within the conservation area.

    The way to save the building was found by including it in the conservation area!

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  • What a terrible blot that over-high development will be. Pure unadulterated greed allied to sheer stupidity.

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  • Totally, absolutely, hideous.

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  • he's lost it...the business is now bigger than it needs to be IMO....

    This is ghastly with or without the retained building.

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  • Ahhhh, the glass and steel tumour grows in Bishopsgate. A particularly malignant strain...

    As if we learned nothing from the lessons of Spitalfield, we now have more vague glass boxes to contend with.

    Manfred has no problem with the scale just the fact it's booooooring.

    The light bar it would seem is the immoveable object versus the unstoppable Foster.

    Ha ha...manfred makes manfred laugh.

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  • Foster - take control of your firm's work - they are not capable on their own, its as simple as that.

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  • the man has lost all control...its difficult to believe that this office produced some modern masterpieces over the its seemingly fully of mercinaries.


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  • Dark streets in the shadow of huge towers- what’s the obsession?

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