I have been approached by my constituents to express a view on the planning application by Barratts on the major site at the bottom of Blackfriars Road, which is coming before the planning committee this evening.
It is of course for local councillors to express their views and make decisions on local planning applications and councillor David Noakes, as a Cathedrals ward Liberal Democrat councillor, will I understand make clear his objections at the meeting this evening.
There are however three broader and larger issues which seem to me to be reasons why this application should not go ahead. The impact of the proposals on the adjacent Conservation Area will be significant, adverse and fundamentally change the character of the area of St Georges’ Circus, the local library and other, older residential buildings nearby. Secondly, this is yet another application which does not comply with the council’s official policy for affordable housing, which requires all but the smallest developments to provide 35 per cent affordable housing. Thirdly, if this proposal was to go ahead the area would also lose significant B1 accommodation which should be protected and preserved in London’s central activity zone.
I sincerely hope the committee will turn down the application tonight.