SCA’s Objection to the Gargantuan Highgate Tower

We recently urged all to oppose the Highgate Tower – a 106m, 30+ storey glass alien – on the Chariots Sauna/Majestic Wine site on Shoreditch High Street.

The SCA has submitted its formal objection, wherein we note that:

“Our objection is primarily concerned with the height, massing and design of the proposed building. This building is comically over-sized. It is an incursion on the Shoreditch Triangle and conservation area. It sets a poor precedent, to be relied upon by the Goodsyard and those adding to the wall of towers.

In our view an appropriate commercial building here complements its surroundings, with height mirroring the landmark Tea Building. Remarkably everyone points to the Tea Building as a success…yet no one seeks to replicate it. This site is physically the entrance to Shoreditch, and this neighbourhood deserves something better than a City office/hotel tower.

This site should be seen as an opportunity to establish a strong statement on the very nature of Shoreditch: residential, business, creative, vibrant, historic, modern and diverse. This site merits a building worthy of the incredibly dynamic, world-leading area that surrounds it. What is proposed is in fact the opposite: dull, monolithic and spirit crushing. It will effectively undermine the fabric of this creative area and blight the surrounding conservation areas. This development is vast, intrusive and alien.”

In this light, and for every reason set forth in our objection, we believe the Application should be rejected in its entirety. See below for how you can add your voice against this madness.

We urge everyone to submit an objection as soon as possible. To object now e-mail planning@hackney.gov.uk. Suggested text is below. OBJECTIONS NEED TO BE SUBMITTED IMMEDIATELY. The formal deadline has passed but Hackney confirmed late objections will be accepted.

Please submit an objection today to help ensure a vibrant, diverse future for Shoreditch, not more towering luxury hotels. And please pass this on/share in every way you can. Follow us on Twitter at @shoreditchcomm, and get people to sign up for our email list. Let us know how we’re doing and contact us any time at sca@shoreditchcommunity.com.

Sincerely,
The Shoreditch Community Association

————————————————————————

BELOW IS SAMPLE OBJECTION LANGUAGE. PLEASE USE YOUR OWN LANGUAGE.   Individual responses carry more weight. For example consider writing about the direct impact on you. Be careful to say you are objecting, and include your postal address.

To: Hackney Planning
Re: Application 2015/2403, 201 – 207 Shoreditch High Street, Hackney, London, E1 6LG

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I write to object to the planning application for the Highgate development. My objections are rooted in the position that a 106m tower is a monstrous over-development incompatible with this neighbourhood. More specifically, I object on the following bases:

  1. The height and massing of the proposals need to be significantly reduced to not overwhelm the site and adjacent heritage assets and conservation areas, nor blight adjacent streets and homes in shadow and darkness. The buildings should integrate with existing heights and landmark buildings such as the Tea Building.
  2. The major community benefit – the mooted public spaces – is a red herring. I do not support occasional access to office space – as the price of the shadow from a 30 storey tower.
  3. There are 10 hotels being built within a 10 minute walk of this site. This neighbourhood does not need another luxury hotel. This project does little to solve immediate neighbourhood problems, like truly affordable creative workspace and housing.
  4. The site is in an area of significant heritage assets and surrounded by conservation areas, yet the proposed design is better suited to Canary Wharf or Hong Kong than Shoreditch and Spitalfields. The applications require a significant rethink and dramatic improvements.

Ultimately, the proposals represent the worst type of exploitative development, shaped by short-term economics and lacking a long-term vision for Shoreditch. Overbuilding of the Shoreditch Triangle will waste an precious asset that can’t be recovered.

If this application will be going to the Planning Sub-Committee I would like to be advised of the date. I do not consent to the release of personally identifiable information.

Sincerely,

[NAME]
[POSTAL ADDRESS INCLUDING POST CODE]

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