In its closing statements, English Heritage said the 144m-tall skyscraper would be ‘impossible to ignore’ in views from Somerset House’s northern terrace, and would ‘damage’ the National Theatre.
The heritage body’s council said: ‘The addition of the Doon Street proposal will have a detrimental impact on the setting and visual drama of the southern range of Somerset House. The tower is much too tall for the site and will cause irreparable harm to one of London’s great assets.
‘And despite comments otherwise, we do not believe the National Theatre is robust enough to accommodate such an intrusion.’
The residential tower, designed for developer Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB), will also house a 25m swimming pool and leisure facilities.
CSCB’s council said: ‘The Waterloo Opportunity Area Framework states that the site near Waterloo Station is capable of housing a cluster of tall buildings.'
It added that CABE believes the National Theatre is ‘robust enough’ to withstand the addition of the tower.
A decision on the tower is expected in the summer.