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EPR-designed Lambeth flatsface local opposition

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A curved glass design for penthouse flats has been called a 'carbuncle on the face of an old friend' because it will dwarf a Grade I-listed palace, campaigners say.

The design by epr Architects, proposed for a site by London's Lambeth Bridge on the River Thames, is also next to Lambeth Palace. A spokesman for the Whitgift Tenants and Residents Association said the 'glazed curving snake' would rise to 40m, well over double the height of the palace. The area was clustered with inappropriate buildings and needed no more, he said.

'This will be a disaster, cutting off the Thames from the people. There is also no affordable housing in the scheme so it will create ghettos; areas exclusive to rich people and poor people.'

The flats would cost up to £3 million each and Richard Rogers Partnership's sloping-roofed Montevetro flats at Battersea were nothing compared to the scheme, he said. The group has written to deputy prime minister John Prescott asking him to intervene.

epr Architects said many local residents were not against the development and it was supported by the Royal Fine Art Commission and English Heritage.

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