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Tower of Babel

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As the Heron Tower inquiry reaches its conclusion, it is worth reviewing some of the highlights. First impressions were correct - that the event was mainly of benefit to lawyers, of whom there were large numbers. This was of necessity given the issues and parties involved, but it did not help that amateurs from SAVE and planning Lone Ranger Tony Tugnutt engaged in pretty useless crossexaminations which delayed everything and added to the bills. There must be a more rational way of conducting such affairs.

Second impression: English Heritage is incredibly old-fashioned in the way it reviews applications. In this instance, extraordinary sophistication and skill was put into visual presentations by Hayes Davidson, only to prompt absurd and trivial complaints from EH, a number of which had to be withdrawn. Why doesn't EH carry out this work, or commission it, for itself? The only visualisation coming out of Fortress House in respect of tall buildings, as analysed by KPF's Lee Polisano in his excellent evidence, was downright dishonest, not only in what it suggested could happen, but in terms of the accuracy of drawings of what already exists.

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