Historic England – the Government’s heritage watchdog – says that the tall buildings proposed in the Canada Water masterplan would have “a profound and far-reaching impact on the London skyline” and would harm the setting of two of the capital’s most famous landmarks.
Historic England’s Alasdair Young wrote: “… we have identified the impact of the development in views along the northern half of London Bridge towards the Grade I listed Tower Bridge as being particularly harmful.
“This is because the cluster of tall buildings, as accentuated by the 162m tower in Plot D would block the silhouette of Tower Bridge’s south bastion in kinetic views along London Bridge, visually competing with its monumental character and reducing its landmark status along the Thames.”
Historic England is also concerned about the impact on the protected view of St Paul’s Cathedral from Greenwich Park.
“We consider that the encroachment created by the tall buildings would cause harm to the landmark status of St Paul’s Cathedral,” wrote Mr Young.
He adds that the proposed tall buildings would also spoil the view of the spire of St Mary’s Church in Rotherhithe from Waterside Gardens in Wapping.
The watchdog acknowledges that the proposed tall buildings “largely” [their italics] accord with local planning policy.
The townscape assessment documents referred to in the HE response are available on the planning file for the masterplan application.