So, the City of London’s planning committee has unanimously rejected the plans to turn the Custom House into a luxury hotel, shortly after it turned down plans to building a monster tower block next door to the Bevis Mark’s synagogue. Maybe there is a glimmer of a change of heart, a recognition that it is not necessarily in the City’s own best interests to go on trampling on its history.
But what is the best way forward. A planning inquiry ? A long-drawn out and costly battle ? Is there not some way for Michael Gove and/or the Heritage Lottery Fund to intervene to encourage the architects and developers to come up with a more creative way forward ?
The keys would seem to be:-
• Making the Long Room into a proper public space
• Opening up the river frontage as SAVE recommends
• Treating it as an important architectural monument, not just as an asset ripe for conversion