Hopkins’ plans to redevelop ITV’s headquarters and studios on London’s South Bank have been approved by councillors despite warnings from conservationists that the proposals will ‘seriously compromise’ the high-profile riverside site
Lambeth Council’s planning applications committee granted planning permission for the proposal to demolish CH Elsom & Partners’ 1974 London Television Centre and replace it with two towers of 31 and 14 storeys on the same site.
The scheme – which will go to the Mayor of London for a final decision – provides about 44,400m² of offices, 3,600m² of television studios, 210m² of retail space and 213 homes on the high-profile plot between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges.
The AJ reported last month that The Twentieth Century Society had written to Lambeth Council objecting to the scheme, partly on grounds of increased height.
Meanwhile Historic England warned of an impact on views of St Paul’s Cathedral from Westminster Pier.
But planning officers recommended approval of Hopkins’ proposals.
They said a ’slightly adverse impact’ on the view of St Paul’s due to ‘loss of sky’ would be outweighed by the scheme’s public benefits. A planning report also said officers were ’supportive of the proposal’s scale and layout, which would not appear dominant in the townscape’.
It added: ’Officers are strongly supportive of ITV’s intention to return to the Cultural Quarter on the South Bank in a new headquarters building, which provides both offices and television studios. ITV is considered to represent an important bridge between the other existing cultural uses within the area, such as the National Theatre and the Royal Festival Hall.’
However, the approved scheme will face extra viability scrutiny from the Greater London Authority (GLA), because it only offers 10 per cent affordable housing.
City Hall is set to use recently adopted planning powers to review the scheme as it progresses, in order to get closer to the mayor’s target level of 35 per cent of new homes being affordable.
A report by the GLA said the scheme’s proposal for 22 on-site affordable units out of 213 was ‘wholly unacceptable’.
‘An early stage review will be required and if, after further interrogation, the maximum level of affordable [housing] provision is still below 35 per cent, a late stage review will be required,’ it added.
The Lambeth Council planning report said: ‘ITV’s offer of 22 intermediate units, together with a £3.7 million payment in lieu towards the offsite provision of affordable housing, is considered to be the maximum feasible amount that can be provided by the development.
‘Given the level of affordable housing being offered, officers have therefore balanced the development’s viability and public benefits flowing from ITV returning to occupy the site.’
In a planning document prepared on behalf of ITV, Hopkins last year said the existing London Television Centre production centre was becoming outdated.
The design and access statement said: ‘The building fabric and services are dated and no longer support the needs of ITV, nor reflect the open and collaborative way in which ITV works.
‘A new building also has the potential to strengthen and contribute to the Strategic Cultural Area.’
Construction could begin by the end of this decade.
View the planning application in full here
The london studios itv
Source: Soloman McKenzie