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Herzog & de Meuron's 'Shardettes' towers face the chop

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Herzog & de Meuron’s controversial Three Spires skyscraper scheme in Southwark, south London, is facing a huge redesign following plans to overhaul the area’s strategy for tall buildings

The yet-to-be-revealed proposal, dubbed ‘the Shardettes’, could be sent back to the drawing board and drastically reduced in height within the year if councillors succeed in changing the high-rise development policy.

Councillor Fiona Colley, cabinet member for regeneration at Southwark Council, confirmed new plans could scupper the 30-, 53- and 64-storey Sellar Group-backed towers.

She said: ‘[We aim] to present a revised draft supplementary planning document to the council’s cabinet next year that will include the revision to the boundary to the tall buildings zone at London Bridge that some local residents are seeking – namely the removal of the sites 40 and 42/44 Bermondsey Street from that zone.’

Without opposition the proposal could be made official policy within 12 months.

A spokesperson for the developer confirmed the Swiss-practice would stay on the job whatever the outcome. He said: ‘As far as Sellar’s concerned, the council is still going through the consultation process, following all that we will review the scheme and submit plans accordingly.’

Local residents have previously hit out at the hotel-and-residential project, which they describe as a ‘satellite’ to the 72-storey ‘Shard’ at London Bridge Station. A public consultation was launched earlier this year.

Russell Gray of anti-tower campaign group BSTowers said: ‘The site they were going to occupy is no longer zoned for high rise so in that case the scheme is dead.’

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Great example of the power of manipulation with a local developer with a history of clashes with Southwark having organized a anti tower campaign based of false renders and models and is now extending his tendrils to stop any significant development around London Bridge.

    What makes it worse is the way Southwark have caved into his demands and makes a mockery of urban development. Guys has been looming in view for at least thirty years. A policy that promotes tall buildings around such a busy interchange at London Bridge which has been policy in the London plan for years can be jettisoned with a well organised malicious campaign.I’m surprised he hasn’t campaigned for the Shard to be demolished.

    Well done Southwark Councillors.

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  • I totally agree with the comments above, but what is the major problem here? It is, that you do have to much democracy in the whole country. What is the matter - a big majority of people is voting and therefore making a decision on the the temporary leader till they vote again. Why is it possible for minorities to create a group and change whole schemes and decisions - this has nothing to do with democracy, where supposedly the majority rules. We had some comments from 2 old blokes on a project about using the same existing green tiles from a pub nearby to clad our new building. And surprisingly for us, the client and council really wanted us to do so. What is wrong here is the power of minorities during processes. If you want to stop this, you have to change the whole system or at least let the minority pay for the financial problems they are creating.

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