Blackfriars cluster approved

After Shoreditch and London Bridge comes another new office cluster directly connected to Brockley. Construction Enquirer reports that the Carlyle Group has had its plans for 9 buildings next to the southern exit of Blackfriars Station, comprising "494 homes, 450,000 sq ft of offices, 25,000 sq ft of retail and 18,500 sq ft of cultural space plus a ‘cultural pavilion’" approved.

The development will replace two of the ugliest buildings ever conceived - Ludgate House and this beast, which has blighted South Bank walks for decades.

18 comments:

terrencetrentderby said...

Surely the armies of Baron Nick of Greater Brockley haven't liberated the serfs at Blackfriars already?

Tim said...

I have no idea what this means.

Headhunter said...

Not sure how I feel about all these skyscrapers being thrown up around central London. What happened to preservation of the historic views/lines of sight? Why can't tall buildings be restricted to a specific cluster like Canary Wharf?

AliAfro said...

Train Moan:
Does this mean we can have more than 2 train per hour from Crofton Park? And a Bakerloo line extension to Bromley South via CP?

Bumhunter said...

Wow your nimbyism even extends to Central London

terrencetrentderby said...

Irredentism sir

Tamsin said...

Of course they do! Something that tall obviously impacts on views. Maybe not some of the hard won preserved sightlines - otherwise, indeed, they could not build them. But it cuts off light and views from those nearby and is yet another random cluster of sky-scrapers dotted around the distant prospect from high points outside London.

Tamsin said...

In fact - having done some map measuring - it seems to be bang splat between Wembley Arch and the viewing point by the Greenwich Observatory which is a bit of a pity (although maybe you can't seen round the shoulder of the hill there anyway). Need to go and check.

Brockley Nick said...

"Something that tall obviously impacts on views."


Yes, some think it makes views better, others think opposite.


"Maybe not some of the hard won preserved sightlines"


Precisely, that's the question which was asked, and which I tried to answer.


"But it cuts off light and views from those nearby"


A different issue entirely. They will also provide new views and new public spaces. I'm less bothered about what someone in the Blue Fin building will see from their window than I am about the horrific street level impact of the existing buildings, which I hope will be dramatically improved.


"and is yet another random cluster of sky-scrapers"


Not random. There are some designated spots for this kind of development and they are next to major transport hubs - in this case Blackfriars. It's the transport links that dictate the location. HH asked why not have them all in one place - because then everyone would have to commute to the same place and it would put more pressure on the transport infrastructure.


There's nothing I love more than looking out over London and seeing the variety of buildings - some tall buildings but mostly low rise - intermingled. It would be terribly boring if the only elevation in the city was in Canary Wharf. From Telegraph Hill and Hilly Fields, this will look like part of the London Bridge cluster.

THNick said...

I like the beast. Looks like something out of 80s sci fi kids TV show. Although I agree with Nick's comment about its awful connection with the street.
Grey Lubyanka isnt a great building but still seems to shame (at least environmentally) to knock down something which is still standing.
And it might not impact on protected sightlines but it'll certainly impact on cityscape from South London.

BloodThirstyJon said...

I love all of these tall buildings going up in Canary Wharf and the City, but yet another random skyscraper? Ew. London has so many tall buildings going up randomly, which looks oddly out of place alone, like that hideous Strata in Elephant and Castle. I wish they would fill in the odd looking gaps between the Gherkin, Walkie Talkie and Broadgate Tower instead.

Aunty Kate said...

I think The Beast was built as a processing centre for LLoyds Bank in the late 70s. I was working in the late St Christopher's Hse when it opened

Anonymous said...

Yes, please check. This is hugely important. Don't forget to include the height of the buildings and angles so we know the full extent of the blocking.

Brockley Nick said...

I love the way I got a vote down for stating a fact.

P Paul said...

It's great that there is money for all this, I wish some council houses could be built too. So we can all benefit coming into the country.

Headhunter said...

Not sure how my views on central London can be classed as NIMBYism - it's not exactly in my back yard - but don't let that spoil the general idiocy of your comment...

Lep Recorn said...

Bloodthirsty - the Strata (aka ladyshave) is not intended to be alone, but development of the rest of the plan has stalled.


Meantime: a couple of years ago I was giving someone a lift along the embankment when they started criticising the Shard as it was being constructed. I asked her what she thought of the building we were passing across the river. She told me how wonderful and iconic Battersea Power Stattion was. Guess what - in the early 30s it was hugely controversial.


The moral of the story. . . London is a living city not a museum and this decade's carbuncles (e.g. the National Gallery extension) are next decade's favorites.


However 16,000 offset affordable homes rather than 1600 would be very nice.

Matt-Z said...

If anything this makes it more trains from Crofton Park less likely than before in the long term. Unless the plans have changed, the redevelopments miss out the opportunity to add further bay platforms to the west of Blackfriars.


Ludgate House is built on a bit of railway land that was sold off years ago. Its presence (and that of successor developments) blocks the space needed to extend the throat of the station to allow more bay platforms to be built over the remaining, unused piers (one row was incorporated into the rebuilt station).


With extra bay platforms Blackfriars could receive many more terminating trains per hour, allowing an intensive service on the Catford Loop (which serves us at Crofton Park), the Wimbledon Loop and maybe others, all, crucially, without interfering with the Thameslink services.


If the developments go ahead as planned this opportunity will be lost for many years.

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