Camberwell’s View of St Paul’s: Update

Last year I wrote about the threat to the view of St Paul’s Cathedral from Camberwell Road posed by the developer Delancey, which is proposing to build 3 towers at 185 Park Street, next to the Tate Modern.

Thanks to objections from Camberwell residents, Delancey was required to give specific consideration of the impact of its proposal on this view of St Paul’s when it came to its application for planning permission.

In late autumn the company submitted an application. Its proposal is still for 3 towers, the tallest of which will be 20 stories. It is a mixed office and residential scheme. Delancey do not propose to build any affordable housing on the site because the current design does not allow for the separate entrance the company believes this would require, and because residents would not be able to afford the service charges.

The Townscape, Heritage and Visual Impact Assessment shows the towers would have a highly detrimental effect on the quality of this view (p.35).

The current view includes the entire drum, dome and lantern of St Paul’s, which will be framed by the Elephant Park scheme once complete. Indeed, the masterplan for Elephant Park was shaped by a desire to preserve this view. The proposed development would obscure nearly all of the drum and part of the dome, and as such the view would be destroyed.

Bizarrely, the developer describes this as only “minor” harm to the view.

Although the deadline for objections closed just before Christmas, Southwark Council will still accept responses up to the point at which it reaches a decision. The SE5 Forum has also proposed protecting this view in its draft submission to the consultation on the New Southwark Plan. Please can I encourage you to comment on the application, or write to planning.​applications@​southwark.​gov.​uk to object to application 14-AP-3842.

9 thoughts on “Camberwell’s View of St Paul’s: Update”

  1. It would indeed be a shame if our view of St Paul’s were lost or even partially obscured. It’s like a gritty, urban version of the protected view from Richmond Park. Please write in.

    I notice that planning permission has been granted for the improvements to Camberwell Green. The case officer has taken into account comments about the lamp posts, and one of the conditions stipulates that they are to be of a more traditional design. So commenting on planning applications does occasionally have an effect…

    The toilet is staying, though.

  2. Thanks for the link, Robert. We should make the objection. Ruining London will not help London. Shareholder value is a wobbly beached jellyfish.

  3. Camberwell Library has a copy already, but someone’s borrowed it. There are copies available in Dulwich and the Local Studies Library. It turns up every now again on eBay and Abe Books, but it’s usually quite expensive (it’s been out of print for some time).

  4. Plans for CAMBERWELL ARTS FESTIVAL are underway!
    Keep 20th-28TH JUNE 2015 free in your diaries.

    The 2015 Festival theme is: FEAST.
    We want this year’s festival to be a feast for the senses,
    a feast for the soul and a feast for the stomach!
    It’s time to celebrate not just about the diverse range of food that attracts people to Camberwell, but also
    the cultural feast of art and creativity.

    Whether you’re an artist with idea for a commission;
    You want to be part of the Open Studio weekend;
    You’re a fringe partner with a event that could happen during the festival and would like marketing support;
    A local organisation that just wants to be involved;
    A local business who would like to sponsor us
    …get in touch with us

  5. I have a dog-eared, slightly beaten up copy of the Camberwell Suburb book which I acquired through somebody I once worked with called Jenny — who subsequently got a job at Westminster Library in Victoria who were having a clearout of damaged book stock…

    I’m glad she remembered me! It’s a great book…

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