While Towers are going up in City of London ( check out the Principal Tower ), it was good to see RBKC overturn an application for two Towers to replace the Forum Holiday Inn on the Cromwell Road last Thursday night in a marathon session that lasted over 6 hours!!!
It is one of the Towers that sticks out like a sore thump in the West Central London skyline for many years and had a planning application (PP/18/03461) to replaced it by a taller and bigger set of two Towers. On massing and height grounds alone it was objectionable. It would have been a 100 per cent increase in volume of the hotel building as it hang over the neighbourhood of six storey Victorian houses with wide streets, quite out of character from the rest of the neighbourhood. Lets also not forget the loss of light and air as well to adjoining neighbours. Not surprisingly the council received hundreds of objections to the proposed scheme on these grounds alone.
The developers made a big deal of the Garden Square being retained but this is a legal requirement for them anyway and the proposed footprint of their scheme would have taken over 50 per cent of the overall plot from the 30 odd per cent presently. So plenty was being packed into the site to retain the square by the developers.
So while l congratulate the councillors for throwing out the application after it was given an Officers recommendation to approval, l suspect this one will come back again. If only because the developers think it complies with the requirements of the London Plan as the constant reference to the GLA during their presentation made clear.
This while the report to the Councillors stated quite clearly ” ..the scheme doesn’t comply with the London Plan and draft London Plan but possible remedies could address these deficiencies” from the stage 1 response from the GLA. I suspect we will see a lot of focus on those remedies right now during the 14 days when the Mayor can take over the case. So watch this space, quite literally.