A new London Stock Exchange development in Shoreditch is already in its neighbours’ bad books before it has been built, with representatives of the soaring One Crown Place (OCP) warning that its construction will result in an “incredibly poor environment for future residents”.
Councillors granted permission for Technico House on Christopher Street after hearing a row between the two parties, with planning committee chair Cllr Vincent Stops quizzing OCP on whether it had a right to be shocked.
He said: “Your developer built a very high building right on the edge of your site where one would expect another building to pop up at some time in the future. To be a bit provocative – how many floors did they think were going to be built just over the road from them?”
Technico House had already drawn acerbic criticism from the Hackney Society, which says the proposal for the building has “been through the mincer” and called for more consistency in the design.
The Society added: “One suspects that too many people have put too many ‘oars’ into the design development so that it has now arrived at a point where the design has lost cohesion and a sense of self.
“Like a game of architectural Twister it stretches and contorts itself across the site trying to be all things to all people – acknowledge the scale of the street here, cut back for the rights of lights there, a bit for the public realm, a bit for the retained facades, not forgetting heritage over there and the viewing corridor from over here.
“It has ended up the sum total of the pragmatic forces acting upon it but fails to transform those forces into a cogent whole. By trying to be all things to all situations it ends up not satisfying any.”
Planning officers said the scheme had been “significantly refined and developed”.
While the Stock Exchange is understood not to be moving into the Technico House scheme, the new block will feature over 65,000 square metres of office space, with large roof terraces alongside retail units and restaurants.
Of the total floorspace, eight per cent will be let at an affordable level of less than 40 per cent of market rates – less than the 10 per cent council target but accepted by officers due to the sheer scale of total floorspace.
OCP developers next door say 56 per cent of all rooms in their tower will see a “noticeable change” in the amount of sky visible from their windows, with over 60 per cent seeing an 80 per cent loss.
OCP development manager Chris John said: “Residents will be moving into the development in the next couple of weeks. Our primary concern is related to the daylight and amenity impacts on the OCP residents, as a result of this proposal.
“At the outset we wish to make it clear that we are not against a building of scale coming forward on the adjoining site, in this location, and recognise it is a site in the City Fringe opportunity area and central activities zone.
“However, we do have very real concerns about the amenity impacts in the OCP residents in the North Tower, primarily in the bulk and scale of the proposed development being pushed to the south-east part of the application site.”
Planning officers accepted that “very significant impacts” will hit the northern facade of the luxury block as a result of Technico House’s construction, but said they are unavoidable if development to a similar scale as OCP and other buildings in Shoreditch is to take place.
Representatives of the London Stock Exchange PLC said: “In the first instance, we reached out at pre-application stage to the owners of OCP through our consultation organisation. The offer to meet and discuss was not responded to. We don’t know why that happened, but the offer was made. If there was a breakdown in communication, I don’t know where that existed.
“With regard to daylight and sunlight, clearly there is a difference in professional opinion. You have your views and advice, and we have had our views and advice. [Hackney] officers have assessed it and aligned their judgments with our own.
“The south-east corner is where we have introduced a cutback. The whole modelling of the proposal is to allow us to make sure that we have what we regard as a comfortable relationship with our neighbours.”