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Wilkinson Eyre axed from Blackfriars twin tower project

Wilkinson Eyre Architects has been dropped by the developer behind its project on Blackfriars Road - ending a seven-year involvement with the site

Landowner Circleplane has decided to turn to another architect to take forward the high-rise project near Blackfriars Bridge, south of the Thames - despite Wilkinson Eyre having successfully guided the 42 and 23-storey towers through a public enquiry just two months ago.

According to the practice, ‘owing to the changing markets’ the developer ‘is reviewing the brief for the development and has appointed other architects’.

The practice had worked on various schemes for the Southwark site over a seven year period. The company was originally appointed by J Sainsbury Developments to develop proposals for the site in 2002 - but a year later the plot was snapped up by Land Securities which commissioned the ‘now consented’ scheme. Following the submission of the planning application, the site was again sold on, this time to Circleplane inm 2007.

Wilkinson Eyre Architects was retained until the conclusion of a joint public inquiry - run together with the planning inspector’s inquiry into Ian Simpson’s neighbouring 52-storey Beetham tower - in March this year.

Secretary of State Hazel Blears dismissed concerns from both Westminster Council and the Royal Parks and agreed with the planning inspector’s report stating that the riverside location was ‘appropriate in principle’ for tall buildings.

It is currently unknown who has replaced Wilkinson Eyre.


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