Chartered Architectural Technologist
I am a Chartered Architectural Technologist based in Northampton. My specialisms are historic building conservation and fire safety in relation to building design. I am the author of a book, "A Building History of Delapre Abbey, Northampton" and I have a Post Graduate Certificate in Historic Conservation, as well as full IHBC accreditation. I also maintain the Buildings at Risk Register for Northamptonshire, on behalf of SAVE Britain's Heritage. Where fire is concerned, I am a member of the CIAT Fire Safety Task Force and sit on the International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) Coalition, Standards Setting Committee. I also have membership of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). I am currently involved in a research project into the behaviour of fire on the exterior of high rise buildings, looking at the influence that shape, form and architectural features have upon the spread and behaviour of fire.
This is one of the most ridiculous buildings I have ever seen and it is good that it has been rejected. It does not serve a useful purpose, and is a vanity project which cannot be justified. Views of London can already be enjoyed from the Shard and other buildings, so yet another viewing platform simply isn't necessary.
From my experience this is happening already, and it is only the projects which involve significant amounts of alteration where Historic England has an input. It falls to independent heritage consultants, accredited conservationists, conservation architects/architectural technologists and local authority conservation officers to provide the advise
There has been much criticism in the wider press and from campaigners about the delay, but these critics do not understand the complexity of the technical issues involved and the need for thorough evaluation and analysis of large amounts of evidence. Such a task cannot be hurried and it is vital that the findings in the report are accurate when it is released. The delay does not mean that building safety cannot be improved in the meantime, especially as many of the risks have already been identified. The recommendations of an Inquiry are also not set in stone and there is no legal obligation to enforce them. Therefore, there is no need to wait for the Inquiry and those who say that the delay is putting lives at risk are ill-informed. Indeed, things are happening already; we have a ban on combustible materials in external walls (although in my view it could go a bit further), and the Government has set aside £200m to replace ACM cladding (although there are many buildings with other types of dangerous cladding which do not yet have any funding). There has also been a thorough review of the building regulations
Whatever replaces the lost spire needs to be fire resistant
Just like its proposed Tulip tower in London, the practice is involved in yet another scheme where complete disregard for heritage is shown. Fortunately in this case, sense has prevailed and the heritage of Melbourne has taken precedence