Make destroys the National Theatre (8)

I’m very delighted to read that Michael Gove has ordered a halt on the works proposed for the old ITV studios near the National Theatre. If planning is to have any authority, then the proposed scheme by Make should not be allowed: not because of its architecture, but because of the extreme sensitivity of the site immediately opposite Somerset House and on the bend of the river between the Houses of Parliament and the huge scale of the proposed building, making the National Theatre look like a dwarf. This comes after denunciations of the project by Rowan Moore in the Observer, Richard Morrison in the Times, an editorial in the Times, and by Simon Jenkins in the Guardian. It demonstrates that Gove may not be such a puppet of the developers and provides an opportunity for the planning system to review an appropriate balance between conservation and new development, particularly in the central heart of London, where the scheme by Make would be such a damaging intervention. I’m so glad that Gove recognises this and has intervened.


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