Many people have heard about and experienced the views of St Paul’s Cathedral from locations such as Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park, which are protected by law. This prevents the construction of tall buildings across large swathes of central London. You can see a map of the areas affected here.
But did you know that Camberwell has its own splendid view of St Paul’s? Walking north on the west side of Camberwell Road from the Green, the dome of the cathedral is clearly visible for a 100m stretch of road. It is a particularly stunning and unexpected sight at night-time, and a pleasant reminder of how close our neighbourhood is to the centre of London. The view is highlighted in the Camberwell Green Conservation Area Appraisal, which states that it should be protected and enhanced. Indeed, even the masterplan for the redeveloped Heygate estate has been shaped by a desire to protect this view.
However, it is now under threat from a potential development further north in the borough. Delancey have submitted an application for a Scoping Opinion to build three residential towers of 10, 14 and 23 storeys on Park Street, near Tate Modern. The tallest of these, at 80 metres, sits directly on the line of sight between Camberwell Green and St Paul’s.
It would be such a shame if this view was lost because of the desire of a developer to cram yet another skyscraper onto the London skyline. There is still time, though, for Camberwell’s voice to be heard. Please consider emailing your views to Southwark at firstname.lastname@example.org (citing application number 14-AP-0528), and help save our view for future generations. The consultation period ends on 27 March. And if you have not yet seen it for yourself, have a look next time you are on Camberwell Road.