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Minister grants listing immunity for Broadgate Square

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Culture secretary Maria Miller has granted a certificate of immunity from listing for the remaining parts of Arup Associates’ 1980s Broadgate office complex

The decision, which went against English Heritage recommendations, will effectively scupper attempts to list numbers 1-2 and 8-12 Broadgate, No 100 Liverpool Street, the Octagon, Octagon Arcade, the landscaping and a number of scultpures for at least the next five years.

In June 2011, then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt issued immunity certificates for number 3 and the now-demolished 4 and 6 having controversially refused to list the City of London commercial campus.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said: ‘[Miller] noted no new significant information had been provided on the buildings’ special architectural or historic interest since the previous decision not to list was made in June 2011. Buildings 4 and 6 have since been demolished which, she believes, has impacted the complex as a whole.’

Current estate owner British Land now looks set to press on with a major Hopkins-designed overhaul of the wider estate. Work is already well underway on Make’s new headquarters for Swiss bank UBM - the replacement for buildings 4 and 6.

In August (AJ 07.08.2012) Arup Associates won planning permission to rework the famous arena at the complex, which will see the central circle dropped and the loss of two existing staircases.

Speaking about Miller’s decision, a spokeswoman for English Heritage said: ‘While we regard the buildings and structures associated with Broadgate Square as having particular interest, we respect that the Secretary of State is minded to grant them a Certificate of Immunity from listing.

The buildings would’ve become eligible for listing in 2015 and we’d have liked the opportunity to undertake a further assessment

‘In our view, these buildings represent an important architectural, artistic and place-making achievement. They are principal monuments to the world of deregulated high finance which help define the significance of the 1980s in British culture.  As the buildings are less than 30 years and are not under threat, they are not yet eligible for listing at Grade II. They would, however, have become eligible for listing in July 2015, at which point we would have liked the opportunity to undertake a further assessment.’

A spokesman for British Land said: ‘We have not received formal notification from English Heritage that the Secretary of State is minded to issue a Certificate of Immunity for Broadgate Phases 1-4 but if correct we are pleased with the decision.’

The decision however has not been welcomed by the Twentieth Century Society which claims that Broadgate remained ‘one of the most significant commercial developments [architecturally] in London of the post-war period’.

A spokeswoman added: ‘This latest decision from the secretary of state to grant a COI to the remaining complex flies in the face of their own heritage advisers’ recommendation – for a second time. On the back of the decision last year, it comes as no surprise, but we remain disappointed by this short-sighted decision that future generations will regret.’




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