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Hoxton hotel development is too tall

The Victorian Society is opposing plans to build an eighteen storey hotel in a conservation area in east London.

Park Plaza Hotels has applied to build a 350-room Art'otel inside the boundaries of the South Shoreditch Conservation Area. The area has a distinctive nineteenth-century industrial character, with most of the buildings just 3 or 4 storeys high. At eighteen storeys the Art'otel will appear vast, visually dominating the area.

'We fully support plans for new development on this site but strongly believe that any new building must relate to the conservation area in which it stands,' said Heloise Brown, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'The proposed tower has more in common with the commercial buildings further west on Old Street, than with its immediate neighbours in Shoreditch'.

The site has been earmarked for regeneration by Hackney Council and plans for the hotel include a top-floor restaurant, a spa, an art-gallery and artists' studios.

'We are not saying that the building must look like its neighbours, but that its size should be dictated by the South Shoreditch Conservation Area. Here is an opportunity for an exciting new building in the capital, but plans for the site mustn't be to the detriment of this historic part of London.'

At 61 metres tall the drum-shaped Art'otel would be nearly 10 metres taller than Nelson's Column, in an area of London where most buildings have just 3 or 4 storeys.

Background

The site of the proposed development is at 84-86 Great Eastern Street and 1-3 Rivington Street in Hackney. It falls within the boundaries of the South Shoreditch Conservation Area. The industrial character of the area was shaped by its proximity to Liverpool Street Railway Station, Bishopgate Goods Station and the Regent's Canal.

Thursday 12 November, 2009

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