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Shell Centre revamp tipped for go-ahead despite English Heritage fears

Planning officers have recommended planning approval for the Squire and Partners-masterplanned redevelopment of London’s Shell Centre

The controversial towers scheme has been endorsed despite objections from English Heritage and Westminster Council over its potential impact on views from nearby Parliament Square and St James’ Park.

English Heritage called for tall buildings on the developments’ north east corner to be scaled-down or relocated to another part of the site to avoid damaging views.

In a report to Lambeth’s planning committee, planning officers claimed harm to views would be ‘less than substantial’.

The report said the scheme would ‘result in a true “mixed use” development whilst facilitating the retention of Shell Petroleum who would act as an anchor.

‘This secures certainty to the delivery of the scheme and in turn offers impetus for development objectives of the wider Waterloo Area by their continued commitment to be located here.’

The proposal is set to go before Lambeth’s planning committee on Tuesday next week (21 May).

The scheme – which features buildings designed by Squire and Partners, KPF, GRID, Patel Taylor and Stanton Williams – replaces most of Howard Robertson’s 1961 Shell Centre complex apart from a 27-storey, river-facing skyscraper.

Submitted to local authority Lambeth Council late last year, the 2.15 hectare masterplan features 790 apartments, 48,300m² of offices, 7,500m² of retail, cultural and leisure uses.

Around 20 per cent of the scheme is affordable housing and up to £24 million could be contributed to the local authority as part of a section 106 deal which has yet to be agreed.

A spokesman for the joint venture developers of the Shell Centre site, Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar, said: ‘Our application for planning permission is being considered by Lambeth Borough Council. That process is ongoing and it would therefore be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.’

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