Griff Rhys Jones calls for public donations to fight Network Rail and Sellar’s planning application which will mean ‘no listed building is safe’

The controversial planning application for the partial demolition of listed Liverpool Street Station to build a tower through and over the Grade II* former Great Eastern Hotel has now been published after many months of delay.

Griff Rhys Jones calls for public donations to fight Network Rail and Sellar’s planning application which will mean ‘no listed building is safe’

Photo: Interior shot of Liverpool Street Station. Photo Copyright: Guy Newton for the The Victorian Society.

Griff Rhys Jones OBE is urging the public to donate to fight the scheme and attend a free public meeting about the proposed development on 21st November 2023 from 6pm at the Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH.

Griff Rhys Jones, President of campaign to Save Liverpool Street Station LISSCA and the The Victorian Society said,

“It is unacceptable that Network Rail has ignored the 22,363 people who have signed the petition against the plans and the experts in the heritage and architecture sectors who say not to do this. These plans are insensitive, unnecessary and traduce a famous gateway to London, a listed working part of our history. I know all the heritage bodies combined are appalled by the precedent it would set. It must be rejected. We will fight to ensure that it is. I urge the public to donate to our fundraiser to ensure we can match the developer’s deep pockets.”

The public can object to the planning application here and come to our public meeting. The planning reference is 23/00453/FULEIA.

LISSCA states that, in its view, the planning application is as bad as the plans previously consulted on. The overall scheme is unchanged and is therefore totally unacceptable. The new tower would set a terrible precedent for the treatment of listed buildings, conservation areas, Network Rail’s care for London’s great termini and views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The public outcry against these plans has not caused Network Rail and Sellar to rethink the controversial plans. So far 23,336 people have signed a petition against the plans and £10,342 or 25% of its target has been raised on the LISSCA fundraiser to cover legal fees to fight the plans.

LISSCA will ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, to ‘call in’ plans and hold a public inquiry.

The plans by Network Rail, developer Sellar and rail network operator MTR will demolish much of the listed sympathetic 20th century trainshed which closely matches the Victorian original, severing the link between the two listed Victorian buildings, and cantilevering a 21-storey tower above the hotel and station. This is unprecedented over a Grade II* listed building.

The Victorian Society and 10 other amenity societies and heritage organisations believe that if these plans are approved it would set a terrible precedent which would mean that no listed building is safe from harm. The Victorian Society is chairing the reformed Liverpool Street Station Campaign (LISSCA) which stopped the station’s total demolition in the 1970s. The committee is comprised of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, The Twentieth Century Society, Historic Buildings & Places, The Georgian Group, The Spitalfields Trust, Civic Voice, London Historians, The Betjeman Society, The Council for British Archaeology, London and Middlesex Archaeological Society and The Victorian Society.



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