Historic England has warned that a mixed-use 48-storey Pilbrow & Partners’ scheme in south London would damage conservation areas and key views
The heritage protection body wrote to Southwark Council in response to the practice’s proposals for Southernwood Retail Park, close to the Old Kent Road.
Pilbrow & Partners has submitted a full planning application for demolition of buildings on the site and erection of a block stepping from nine to 48 storeys to house 542 homes as well as a hotel and retail and catering space.
The application also requested outline permission for a 12-storey building to accommodate a further 183 residences, a cinema, shops and other facilities.
But responding to a consultation, Historic England inspector Alasdair Young wrote: ‘It is clear … the development would have a major townscape impact in a wide range of views, many of which we consider to be harmful to the historic environment.’
These include the sightline of St Paul’s Cathedral from Nunhead Cemetry, and potentially the view of the Palace of Westminster World Heritage Site from Serpentine Bridge in Hyde Park.
He added that the proposed scheme would have ‘a major visual impact’ on historic rooflines in a number of local conservation areas.
‘Historic England considers that the proposed development would cause harm to a significant number of designated heritage assets,’ concluded the letter, adding that the cumulative impact of the development was ‘of concern’.
Pilbrow & Partners has been contacted for comment. No planning decision has yet been made.
Design development models for Southernwood Retail Park, Old Kent Road - Pilbrow & Partners