By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter
An inquiry probing plans to bulldoze ITV’s former South Bank studios for a £400m office block has started.
Plans approved by Lambeth council in March would see the 1970s television studios demolished to make way for towers up to 25 floors tall.
Former Housing Secretary Greg Clark ordered a public inquiry be held into the project, brought by developers CO-RE and Mitsubishi Estate London in August.
New Housing Secretary Michael Gove will have the final say on whether the proposed development goes ahead, based on the findings of the inquiry which is due to finish on December 23.
Gove is expected to announce his decision in spring next year.
Those against the development have dubbed it “the Slab.” They claim the rebuild will create more carbon emissions during its construction than if 4,000 workers drove into London from Surrey for 30 years.
Baroness Hoey, the former Labour MP for the area, has previously described the plans as “just greedy,” according to The Guardian.
The current Labour MP Florence Eshalomi has criticised the absence of housing in the planned building.
The inquiry into the plans is mainly concerned about the effect of the proposals on the London skyline.
In a letter to Lambeth council, former Housing Secretary Clark said he had concerns about the impact of the planned development on the heritage of the area, according to Architects’ Journal.
The developers say their plans for the building will create high-quality offices and a new art and cultural space for the South Bank. The proposals are expected to create 4,000 new jobs.
Lambeth councillors approved the plans by a vote of 6-1 in March.
Cllr Mohammed Seedat, former Labour member for Streatham Wells, compared the developer’s proposals for the site to “Marmite” at the meeting.
He subsequently went ahead and voted for the plans.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had the opportunity to block the development in August but declined to do so.
Pictured top: CGI of planned development from South Bank (Picture: Make Architects)