The controversy over Richard Rogers’ proposed redevelopment of London’s Chelsea Barracks rumbled on this week, as SAVE Britain’s Heritage and CABE became the latest organisations to wade into the classicism versus modernism debate
Prince Charles created a storm last week (AJ online 06.04.09) when he publicly urged Qatari Diar, backer of the multi-billion project to transform the historic barracks into luxury flats, to order a redesign by classicist architect Quinlan Terry.
SAVE Britain’s Heritage chairman Marcus Binney told the AJ that the organisation is lobbying hard for Rogers’ design to be rejected by planners. ‘The current scheme, even in its slightly reduced form, still represents gross over-development of the site,’ he said.
CABE, meanwhile, has come out strongly in support of the scheme in a newly published design review. The report states: ‘We welcome this scheme as a successful response to the challenges of the Chelsea Barracks site.’
London deputy mayor Kit Malthouse hinted that the Greater London Authority could call the scheme in for public inquiry, should Rogers’ current proposals gain planning permission, on the grounds that the original brief from Westminster City Council asked for blocks of no more than six storeys. Rogers’ scheme is for nine-storey blocks.