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New calls for listing protection as more of Broadgate faces demolition

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The Twentieth Century Society is urging the government to list Arup’s 1-2 Broadgate on the 1980s London office campus after plans emerged to pull down the blocks

Landowner British Land recently applied for a new certificate of immunity (COI) for the buildings in the south-west corner of the City of London development, following the expiry of a previous certificate earlier this year.  

Historic England (then English Heritage) had recommended Broadgate Square, including the surrounding Arup structures, for Grade II* listing in 2011 when the developer asked for immunity certificates for numbers 3,4 and 6 Broadgate.

However, the heritage organisation’s pleas fell on deaf ears and British Land was handed COIs for all three buildings, paving the way for both Make’s £460 million Five Broadgate (which replaced 4 and 6 Broadgate) and Orms’ ongoing overhaul of 3 Broadgate – a cylindrical oddity in the heart of the office complex.  

5 Broadgate, London, by Make Architects

5 Broadgate, London, by Make Architects

5 Broadgate, London, by Make Architects

The developer subsequently demanded certificates for numbers 1-2 and 8-12 Broadgate, 100 Liverpool Street and the Octagon Arcade. Immunity from listing for those blocks was granted in early 2013 but ran out in January 2018.

Now, according to a scoping report seen by the AJ, British Land and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) wants to flatten 1-2 Broadgate and replace it with a 14-storey office-led building designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

Consultation on the new certificate, which requires a fresh appraisal of whether the buildings deserve listing, concludes later this week.   

A Twentieth Century Society spokesperson said the campaign group would be opposing the COI and supporting listing ‘as we have done consistently since this first came up as a possible listing case’.

They said: ’We again hope that Historic England’s advice will be to recommend listing, and we will be very disappointed if Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) again choose to ignore this advice, especially in light of the considerable losses that have occurred since the last COI was issued.

’If DCMS does not follow Historic England’s advice, questions will be raised by us about how listing decisions are conducted, as the number of cases turned down against Historic England’s recommendation is growing at an alarming rate.’

Historic England refused to comment on what it the latest advice to government had been until the DCMS had made its final decision.

Explaining its decision to submit an application for immunity from statutory listing, a spokesperson from British Land said: ’As part of the COI application British Land and GIC – based on expert advice from the architectural historians Robert Tavernor and Kenneth Powell – concluded that 1 and 2 Broadgate do not possess the special interest required for listing at any grade.

’British Land and GIC have a long-term plan to invest in Broadgate to transform the campus into a world class, seven-day, mixed use, central London destination, centred around its distinctive public spaces.

’A certificate of immunity will provide the certainty required to bring forward proposals for the future of these buildings to ensure that Broadgate continues to adapt and respond to changing customer requirements and work practices.’

Proposed section of AHMM's plans for 1-2 Broadgate

Proposed section of AHMM’s plans for 1-2 Broadgate

Proposed section of AHMM’s plans for 1-2 Broadgate

Extract from 1-2 Broadgate EIA Scoping Report

The proposed redevelopment of the site will involve the demolition of the existing building and construction of a ground plus 13-storey building (reaching approximately 74.5m above ordnance datum (AOD) to deliver a new mixed-use building, comprising a mixture of retail, leisure and ‘competitive socialising’ uses (use classes A1/A3/A4/D2/sui generis) uses at lower levels (LG-2nd floor) with office (Use Class B1) on the upper floor levels (3rd-12th Floor). The existing basement level on site will be expanded to cover the same footprint of the proposed building and will be deepened.

  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • Phil Parker

    Whilst the buildings in question may not warrant listing re their architectural merit, if it stops developers such as BL buildings such as 5 Broadgare which is devoid of any merit, please list ahead.

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  • I took this video just before buildings were demolished for Make's UBS scheme. It really was a beautiful bit of place making from a decade which will now have very little representation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOhpt_sMkqw

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  • Broadgate, Peter Fogo's masterwork, is quite the best office development in the city. It is uniquely generous in the public ammenties it offers and deserves protection.

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  • Are we getting to the stage when Historic England would be better re-branded as Feeble England Ltd - when the DCMS is really Philistine Central?
    Kate MacIntosh is surely right, and the 'expert advice from architectural historians Robert Tavernor and Kenneth Powell' deserves to be challenged.

    ps - what's 'competitive socialising'?

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