It was a great relief to read last night that planning permission had been refused for the block right next door to the Bevis Marks Synagogue and take away its remaining daylight. So, it is occasionally possible to stop new development, provided enough people are galvanised in opposition. But it still leaves a set of questions: why is there no-one within the City’s planning department with responsibility to maintain at least some of its remaining historic character ? Are more huge Tower blocks really necessary at this juncture or would it not be sensible to have a moment of re-think as to what the City should be POST-COVID ?
I ask these questions not least because the City has just announced a competition for the redevelopment of the Barbican and it would be good to see some new thinking round retaining the character of the Barbican and the old Museum of London.