English Heritage (EH) has hit out at EPR’s proposal to increase the height of a 36-storey tower at the Ram Brewery in Wandsworth
The heritage body has formally objected to a revised planning application which would increase the landmark tower’s height by 2.7 metres to 122.7 metres.
EH has already criticised the 3.1 hectare masterplan – which won planning last year – on grounds the tower would ‘challenge the visual dominance’ of the All Saints Church and harm the setting of the grade II*-listed houses on the Georgian terrace Church Row.
In a recent letter to local authority Wandsworth Council, the organisation reinforced its concerns about the tower and added: ‘The proposed increase in the height of the tower would only further exacerbate these identified issues.’
The revised plans, which were submitted on July 24, have received more than 10 objections by local residents, who also complained that the changes had been proposed during the peak summer holiday season.
Writing to Wandsworth Council, Peter Farrow from The Wandworth Society said the society would welcome a reduction, not an addition in height for the scheme: ‘We object to this application to increase the height of what we consider to be the already excessively tall Block 5 and to increase the density of the development.’
He continued: ‘The applicant reports that in developing the design in detail it has been found possible to reduce the height of the building. We calculate that the reduction in the height would be in the order of 3.4 metres. This is an alteration that we would welcome.
‘However, we think it likely that the applicant was reluctant to accept this loss of height to the approved scheme, but felt unable to add a single additional storey as the rhythm of the elevation is formed of two floor multiples.’
In May 2013, EPR drew up a number of amendments to the Minvera-backed scheme in south London in response to feedback from key stakeholders and planners.
The studio submitted fresh plans for the 2.4 hectare former brewery in November 2012 more than two years after an initial 1,000-home attempt, also opposed by English Heritage, was vetoed by public inquiry.
The studio’s 2008 proposal featured two residential towers of 29 and 39 storeys alongside buildings rising to eight floors which could not be seen from Church Row.