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Appeal victory for Sheppard Robson’s Tower Hill citizenM scheme

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Sheppard Robson has won planning permission for a 370-bedroom citizenM hotel in Tower Hill, London following an appeal

The planning inspector, approving the scheme, praised the project for its ‘contribution to the cityscape’ and ‘high quality design’.

He said: ‘The design is based on a thorough understanding and evaluation of the defining characteristics of the area and would establish a strong sense of place, both as an individual piece of architecture and in its contribution to the cityscape.’

The scheme for the hotel chain went to public inquiry earlier this year after being rejected by local authority Tower Hamlets on the grounds of height, design, and impact on the nearby historic Tower of London.

At the time, practice creative director Tim Evans said the studio was ‘dumbfounded’ by the decision which had gone against planning officers’ recommendations.

The scheme was approved on a previous occasion and an earlier Sidell Gibson-designed office scheme has already been consented for the site.

Commenting on the approval, Evans said: ‘We are delighted at the decision and comments from the planning inspector. I see this as a vindication of our design approach and the efforts of a highly talented team working on a sensitive site of international significance.

He added: ‘It has been a very challenging and frustrating process, the planning officers have supported and recommended the scheme throughout the two years, yet inexplicably the lay planning committee members have chosen to ignore and veto this recommendation.’

The scheme features a café, bar, restaurant and meeting spaces alongside a landscaped terrace overlooked ruins of London’s Roman wall.

Featuring combined bedroom and bathroom units which will be prefabricated off site , the development has been designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating and also aims to be London’s first carbon neutral hotel.


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