BARD is here!

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November 14, 2012 by Juha Repo

Linden Homes has bought a large area of land, including 169-173 Blackfriars Road, and extending back  along Pocock Street, SE1.

They have now produced two ‘options’ for building on this site:

Option 1, their preferred scheme, is for a residential  27 storey glass building on Blackfriars Road with further buildings behind from 7-11 storeys. The development is for  206 apartments. It involves the closure of Surrey Row so that what is now a community garden belonging to Nelson Square estate is extended to provide a larger green area.

Option 2 proposed  is for a residential block with 15 storeys on Blackfriars Road and shops at ground level providing 123 apartments.

The development will mean the demolition of the terrace currently containing the Imbibe pub, local shops and a café, and the destruction of  It abuts the architecturally interesting Temperance hall. It will mean the loss of two buildings of historic interest – a pub which can be dated back to the 1820′s and the Victorian era St George’s Mansions.The proposed development is adjacent to the residential Helen Gladstone House and Pakeman House, and is close to the listed Peabody buildings, as well as the King’s Bench and Valentine Place as well as St. George’s Circus Conservation areas. Diagonally opposite to the proposed site is the Grade II listed row of houses at 74 to 86 Blackfriars Road.

Imbibe pub

St. George’s Mansion

Local residents are extremely concerned about this development and both of its ‘options’ which in reality offer no choice  just  two bad options. We are critical of:

  • Poor and unimaginative design
  • Height, massing and overshadowing of surrounding housing
  • Loss of heritage buildings
  • Lack of community facilities and insensitivity to the history and social fabric of this area
  • Inappropriate housing for local needs – we are crying out for family sized housing and housing that ordinary people can afford
  • Appropriation of Nelson Square estate gardens (fundraised for and created on the initiative of local people) for the development
  • Loss of independent and socially useful businesses

Residents have now set up Blackfriars Action for Responsible Development (BARD) and will be making their voices heard over coming weeks and months. We will also suggest alternative and far more appropriate forms of development for that site.

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