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Rejected: new setback for Londonewcastle's Shoreditch scheme

Plans for a contentious 14-storey scheme designed by Robin Partington Architects (RPA) in Shoreditch, East London, have been dealt a blow after a council committee resolved to reject the proposals

The plans for the Huntingdon industrial estate area - a replacement for Amanda Levete Architects’ abandoned 23-storey twisting tower scheme (AJ 15.11.12) - were considered by Tower Hamlets’ strategic development committee at a meeting last night (21 November).

Planning officers had recommended approval for the mixed-use scheme which was submitted along with a sister project for the nearby Fleet Street Hill site by Peter Barber Architects (AJ 14.08.13).

However the committee members rejected the mainly brick RPA project, raising concerns about the impact on the heritage assets, essentially the height of the building, on part of the site which is a conservation area.

Fears were also raised about the tenure mix of the 78 flats in the scheme.

The previous Amanda Levete-designed skyscraper plans were dropped last year in favour of the shorter 14-storey, ‘warehouse style’ building by RPA on the sensitive site between AHMM’s Tea Building and artist Rachel Whiteread’s studio.

Community group’s JAG and OPEN Shoreditch have been campaigning against the scheme, developed by Londonewcastle, claiming that it went against the council’s policy on mixed tenure housing, was too high and was inappropriate to its setting. The organisation had even drawn up an alternative scheme (see below).

JAGO Action Group co-chair Rebecca Collings said that the committee decision had ‘restored her faith in democracy’.

A statement from the developers said: ‘Londonewcastle is extremely disappointed with the decision made by councillors to not follow officer’s recommendation to grant resolution for planning to the residential-led mixed use schemes at Fleet Street Hill and the Huntingdon Estates sites

‘These schemes would have delivered both high quality, design led affordable and private housing at a time when there is a growing need for good quality housing stock in London and would have created numerous employment opportunities through the commercial element of the scheme. We are now considering our options on how to take these proposed schemes forward.’

JAGO Action Group's alternative plans for the Huntingdon estate site

JAGO Action Group’s alternative plans for the Huntingdon estate site

 

Previous story (AJ 18.02.13)

Revealed: Partington and Barber unveil reworked Shoreditch scheme

Developer Londonewcastle has revealed its revised plans for its major redevelopment project in Shoreditch, east London, including a replacement for Amanda Levete’s ditched ‘twisting tower’

The controverisal 23-storey skyscraper scheme on the Huntingdon industrial estate was dropped last year (see below) in favour of a shorter, 14-storey, ‘warehouse style’ building by Robin Partington Architects (RPA).

Partington’s mainly-brick building for the sensitive site between AHMM’s Tea Building and artist Rachel Whiteread’s studio will house 78 flats - 29 less than the hugely contentious Amanda Levete scheme which was branded an ‘alien’ intrusion by objectors (Amanda Levete: ‘There’s a presumption against tall buildings in this city’).

Meanwhile the developer has also revealed all new images of a sister, affordable housing scheme on the nearby Fleet Street Hill by Peter Barber Architects.

The original application for the 34-home affordable housing project was withdrawn when Londonewcastle pulled the plug on the twisting tower scheme.

Speaking about the Partington proposals, Robert Soning the chief operating officer on Londonewcastle said: ‘We are confident that our new proposal for the scheme can counteract previous objections and provide a much needed boost to the local area.’

The reworked scheme went out to public consultation last week and a planning application is to be submitted later this year.

Previous story (AJ 15.02.2013)

Amanda Levete ousted from Shoreditch skyscraper scheme

Robin Partington Architects’ 14-storey ‘warehouse style’ building mooted to replace controversial twisting tower fraught with planning problems

Robin Partington Architects has replaced Stirling Prize-winner Amanda Levete on a high-profile skyscraper scheme in east London.

The former Foster + Partners and Hamiltons star has been parachuted in to work on the Huntingdon industrial estate project in Shoreditch one year after Levete’s controversial 23-storey tower (pictured above) was abandoned.

It is understood Partington has drawn up a shorter ‘warehouse style’ brick alternative for the sensitive site between AHMM’s Tea Building and artist Rachel Whiteread’s studio.

Thought to be 14-storeys in height, the residential-led scheme for developer Londonewcastle will include retail and gallery spaces at ground floor.

A planning application for the development, alongside an affordable housing scheme by Peter Barber Architects on nearby Fleet Street Hill, is expected to be submitted early next year.

Levete’s 107-apartment twisting tower was pulled from planning last November after being branded an ‘alien’ intrusion on the post-industrial district’s landscape. Barber’s plans were withdrawn at the same time.

Robert Soning of Londonewcastle claimed the new project resolved the ‘objections and issues’ of the previous proposal.

Describing the development as a ‘warehouse style’ building with a ‘lot more use of blocks’, he said the scheme was ‘very different in terms of materials, look and feel, and space’.

Partington won the job following a bulk and massing exercise which, Soning said, ‘Slowly grew into something we all felt was really exciting.’

 

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