Hurrah ! Hurrah !
The Inspector, Paul Griffiths (he was also the Inspector for the Bell Foundry redevelopment) has recommended refusal of planning permission for the development of the Custom House, such an exceptionally important historic building, as – how did you guess ? – another luxury hotel.
Maybe this is a signal that the planning department of the City of London is beginning to recognise that over-intensive new development may not necessarily be the best strategy for the Square Mile; and that it needs to retain as much as possible of its historic fabric and the creation of new civic space to counterbalance the skyscrapers.
Now, it just needs an imaginative scheme as to how it might be developed as public space: a competition is needed perhaps. It could be a public reading room (vide what has happened to the British Library); a modern version of a bazaar; a centre for London fashion is what I think it should be (such a good space for a catwalk) ?
There are lots of better and more imaginative uses for it than a luxury hotel.
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