Since June, I have been in regular correspondence with residents of the Golden Lane Estate in regard to their concerns over the proposed redevelopment of the site comprising Bernard Morgan House. For those who are unfamiliar, Bernard Morgan House was originally built in 1961 as a police section house and was designed to remain in keeping with the existing layout of the Golden Lane Estate. In an area that is defined by its high calibre post-war architecture, Bernard Morgan House has long been a key contributor to the distinctive charm of the Golden Lane.
Bernard Morgan House is now subject to redevelopment proposals from the City of London Corporation which have caused disquiet amongst residents who are, understandably, keen to preserve the character of their community. Beyond the conservation of a building with real historic and architectural merit, residents voiced their serious concerns over the lack of affordable housing provision in the application, the effect it would have on public open spaces in regard to the blocking of sunlight and also the potential conflicts of interests for some on the City’s Planning Committee.
Having listened carefully to concerns and considered the facts, I took the step of writing to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to lend my support to the residents of the Golden Lane Estate and encourage him to call in the planning application for independent scrutiny. Additionally, I made representations to the City’s Planning and Transport Committee chairman making the case in the strongest possible terms.
Initially, I was pleased to learn that the Secretary of State had agreed to call in the application and to cast his eye over the plans. However the Government ultimately decided that this was a matter for the City and that it would not intervene further. The City also assured me that this matter was given thorough and comprehensive consideration by the Planning and Transportation Committee and that a dialogue remains open should there be further concerns which need addressing. I continue to keep a close eye on proceedings and am due to meet with residents of the Golden Lane Estate before the end of the year to discuss this and much else.
You can read my letter to the Secretary of State below.
|Letter to Minister-Bernard Morgan House.pdf||8.07 KB|