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Doon Street Tower Court Victory

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1 Doon Street Tower Court Victory on Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:38 pm

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Doon Street Tower Court Victory

Published on 17-09-2009 by Skyscrapernews.com
Coin Street Community Builders has won a court victory that could give it the final go-ahead to construct their new tower and leisure centre in London's Southbank .

The scheme had been challenged by English Heritage who objected to the fact it could be seen over the top of Somerset House from some parts of the courtyard of that listed building, and also that it would have a detrimental impact on nearby listed buildings such as Royal Festival Hall and damage views from St James' Park.

The court decision comes almost a year after then Secretary of State, Hazel Blears approved the scheme after a public inquiry.

Developed by Coin Street Community Builders, the idea of the project was that the 329 residential apartments in the 140 metre tall tower and adjacent low-rise blocks would provide enough profit to help fund a much needed 8,292 square metre community centre that included a new swimming pool, and 829 square metres of retail space.

Coin Street Community Builders who renovated and restored the Oxo Tower and Gabriel's Wharf which stand nearby had been unable to raise the money through public funds. As a trade-off caused by the leisure centre and associated facilities, there is no affordable housing in the project - something else that its opponents have used to attack it with.

This court decision marks yet another failure by English Heritage to stop a tall building. When it comes to public inquiries and subsequent court hearings of those buildings, they still have an impressive 100% loss rate.

With the cost of this likely running into tens of millions, and coming from the taxpayer, an increasing number of MPs are starting to question whether the quango provides value for money or is wasting funds on battles that cannot be won.

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