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Nouvel's St Paul's scheme to win green light

Jean Nouvel's One New Change scheme, proposed for a site that neighbours St Paul's Cathedral, looks set to win the green light from planners next week.

The medium-rise project, which will be the French architect's first-ever scheme in the UK, is being recommended for approval by Corporation of London planners.

The scheme has been subject to only very limited opposition from the conservation lobby, despite it requiring the demolition of the New Change building, a significant but unlisted post-war structure.

If the plans do win approval at the planning meeting on Tuesday, they will see the construction of a mixed-use development that includes one of the first retail developments in that part of the City.

While the project has won limited support from both English Heritage and CABE, there has been some opposition from groups such as the City Heritage Society.

'We dislike these proposals,' a letter from the society to the corporation says. 'Because of the great importance this site holds for the city's architectural quality, four of our most qualified members have examined the proposals and find little, if anything, to commend it.

'The proposed buildings would appear as a massive lump, their elevations completely wrong - great sheets of glass staggering and lurching in what we can only describe as an architectural nightmare,' the letter adds.

However, observers will be surprised if the scheme does not win the go ahead next week.

by Ed Dorrell

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