Heads in the clouds

There seems to be a creeping stack of Very Tall Buildings (VTBs) being announced one after the other in our vicinity. This is causing shivers of alarm among our light sensitive neighbours and along our leafy streets. Good news for some is that the Westminster City Council has announced that they will not be presenting their Skinny Shard proposal at the Planning Committee Hearing on 8th March. No sooner had that VTB been temporarily pruned than, like a Japanese Knotweed, another springs up, this one proposed at Notting Hill Gate where the Newcombe Building is, the one next to Waterstones. The, lets admit, pretty ugly 14 storey Newcombe Building will be demolished, but there are huge objections to what has been proposed in its place, a VTB which will rise up to 17 storeys (pic).

A long line of objections include Sheffield Terrace residents who say: ‘The artist impressions show a concept that can be called ‘McArchitecture’. As you may know, the expression indicates that the architecture is not influenced by the local townscape, and could be found anywhere in the world … we do support a new site for the wonderful farmers’ market … it is the tower(s) that provide the main cause for concern. The design quality is quite substandard. A clone of so many buildings that are popping up all over the city … The views of the many small terraced streets will be blighted and the residents will be overlooked. Lessons on what makes Newcombe House so hated need to be learnt. The scale is not right for the area.’

Another says: ‘The proposal to add additional floors to what is already significantly the tallest building in the area should be rejected. It creates a precedent for other tall buildings which do not match the character of the area. I completely agree that the existing building is an eyesore, and that the area could benefit from redevelopment. However the additional height is not merited.’

Someone else says: ‘This is an outstanding location and the flats will, no doubt sell for millions. I think the developer is unreasonably trying to maximise profits by submitted a bland, cheap and unoriginal scheme.’ rbkc.gov.uk

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