Developed by local enterprise Coin Street Community Builders, the firm hopes to build the 48-storey tower a stone’s throw from Denys Lasdun’s National Theatre.
Although the project was given the go-ahead by Lambeth Council, communities secretary Hazel Blears called in the development after English Heritage and CABE objected to the ‘adverse impact’ the scheme would have on views of the National Theatre and the Royal Festival Hall.
CABE refused to back the scheme in a design review report in July last year, stating: ‘It is a scheme that would provide much needed local and public facilities and improvements to the public realm. Sadly, however, our view on the visual impact of the tower on Somerset House means we are unable to give it our support’.
The project has been subject of furious criticism, in particular from Tory mayoral candidate Boris Johnson, who has slammed the scheme for not including any affordable apartments in the 329-unit tower.
Mayor Ken Livingstone requires all new developments to provide 50 per cent affordable homes ‘where possible’.
The inquiry will start at 10.00am at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton.