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Barbican labyrinth wins go-ahead in face of opposition

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Plans to build a controversial stone-paved labyrinth at the heart of the Grade-II Barbican Centre have won planning permission this week, despite strong opposition from residents.

The Corporation of London received at least 18 letters, five emails and two petitions in opposition to the proposal. Among the opponents is the Gilbert House Group, which represents the residents in a block overlooking the maze proposed for outside St Giles' Church.

In a letter to the corporation, its chairman, C Douglas Woodward, said: 'The labyrinth proposal, although churchinspired, was, and is again, seen by Gilbert House residents as yet another threat to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes.'

A letter from the Barbican Tuesday Club went further:

'A labyrinth is based on heathen Greek mythology and out of character with a Christian church entrance, albeit there is an example in Chartres Catholic Cathedral, where it was used as a poor man's pilgrimage substitute in the Crusades.' An earlier planning application for the labyrinth was originally refused in April 2003 because it was feared the 'proposal would adversely affect the amenity of occupiers of the nearby residential properties by reason of noise and general disturbance'.

The resubmitted scheme was granted approval at Tuesday's meeting of the Corporation's planning and transportation committee.

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