Decision on Bishopsgate Bathhouse proves City of London needs to step up its heritage protection

Despite 366 objections the City of London has given permission to cantilever over a gem-like, much loved, Grade II-listed building.

City of London must refuse permission for tower over the top of listed Victorian Turkish Baths to avoid being branded failing on heritage protection

Photo: The Grade II listed Victorian bath house

366 people objected to the construction of a 23-storey tower over the Grade II-listed Turkish Bathhouse (1894-95) in the City of London. The Society’s Conservation Adviser, Guy Newton, spoke at the Planning and Transport committee of the City of London on Monday 20th November 2023, warning that The City should not be seen as a soft touch on heritage protection. Developers would be closely watching the decisions made that day and plotting out the future of the capital’s heritage. Land value in London is high, airspace over listed buildings is equally so. We offered a reasonable compromise: set the building back and remove the cantilevered aspect, making up for the lost commercial space elsewhere within the development. This compromise would have mitigated the great harm to the Turkish Bathhouse and enabled this proposal to go ahead with all the proposed public benefits. This reasonable request was not entertained. The majority of the committee voted to permit the development. This does not bode well for the protection of heritage in the City of London and for the future of the Grade II* former Great Eastern Hotel where Network Rail is proposing to build a tower through and cantilevered over it. The City needs to step up its heritage protection rather than prioritising the endless cycle of wasteful demolition and rebuild.



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