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9 January 2009

Dear Sirs and Mesdames,

200 Great Dover Street SE1 4YB planning application 09/AP/2128

The Trinity Newington Residents’ Association (TNRA) represents residents in the Trinity Church Square Conservation Area, I write on behalf of the Chair, Mr Simon Webster and the Committee.

We have read the documents on your website in the Planning Pages. Our concerns are:

1. Design and Size: The tower block is too high:
The seventeen storey tower block portion of the development is too high for a site so close to the grade II listed St George’s Church which is an architecturally elegant landmark. This tower block proposal is also too close to the Borough High Street Conservation Area and in a critical position between The Borough High Street and Trinity Church Square Conservation Areas. It will clutter local views when seen juxtaposed to the Shard and Empire Square towers.
The tower block portion is 53.75m high and compares with the 50.44m high of the top of the spire of St George’s. The juxtaposition and dominance of the rectangular tower proposal is well illustrated by the architects’ “Context Elevation-East” drawing no. P163. and the View Assessment p.8, view from Borough High Street 04, p.11 proposed views 01-04 and p.13 both from Great Dover Street, We note the summer-time, in-leaf views in Great Dover Street in the View Assessment do not demonstrate the leafless winter condition and so misrepresent the impact of the proposal for a significant portion of the year. We disagree with the architect’s Planning Statement p.25 that the proposal will contribute positively to the London skyline.

2 Use Proposed: Over-supply of student accommodation in Great Dover Street and surroundings
We perceive there is a danger of over-supply of student accommodation in the immediate area and would argue for a greater variety of housing in The Borough. The number of students in this vicinity (The Borough, Borough Road, and Bankside) has already changed the character of the area.
We further note that the accommodation proposed is purpose-built as student accommodation, as the plans illustrate, with small en-suite rooms, and note that this plan type is not particularly flexible or adaptable to other uses in the future such as say apartment housing for long-term residents (we also note particularly that government policy at present is to limit growth of higher education numbers).
We do not argue the point that there is need for more student accommodation in central London, but would argue that it has reached saturation in this immediate area. There is a greater and continuing long-term demand for accommodation for long term residents of London, particularly in a location so close to central London and The City and a need for housing for workers in essential services.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Holden
for TNRA

cc TNRA Committee

to Southwark Council,
Regeneration and Neighbourhoods, Planning and Transport Development Management