Campaigners slam Bishopsgate Goodsyard proposals
PUBLISHED: 12:35 03 February 2015 | UPDATED: 12:35 03 February 2015
Campaigners protesting at towering office blocks planned for the massive redevelopment of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard site have received backing from the Victorian Society.
The society has told the campaigners fighting to protect Braithwaite’s original 1840 Eastern Counties railway arches due to the “substantial harm” it would cause to the setting of a number of heritage assets.
Property developers Hammerson and Ballymore have proposed to redevelop the goodsyard, which includes the historic Braithwaite Viaduct – one of the oldest railway structures in the world, into flats, offices and an “elevated park”.
The £800 million scheme includes four tower blocks, two which would be 48 storeys high.
Victorian Society, director, Christopher Costelloe, said: “The large buildings proposed for this site do not reflect the quality of the historic buildings that will surround them. Nor do they adequately respond to their context.
“Their design is generic and undistinctive. In a suburb of Shenzhen they would be unremarkable; in central London they are completely unacceptable.”
The application for redevelopment of the huge swathe of land off Shoreditch High Street – which has been unused since 1964 – was submitted to Hackney and Tower Hamlet councils last summer, following public consultations.
Several local civic organisations have opposed the scale of the proposal, which they claim would damage the heritage of the site, dating back to one of the first Victorian railways into London in 1840. They also fear expansion of the Liverpool Street rail network.
A spokesman for the developers said: “We believe that this is the right scheme to help to tackle London’s housing crisis, provide London’s first fully elevated publically accessible park with city views unrivalled in the world, bring the historic railway arches back into use through a unique retail offer, provide the opportunity for local creative industries to shape the new commercial space and to create thousands of new jobs which we’re committed to ensuring that local people can access.”