King’s told to pause Strand redevelopment plans by Government minister

CONTROVERSIAL plans by King’s to demolish historic buildings lining the Strand have been put on hold by the Government.

The surprise intervention by the new Communities minister Greg Clark will allow him to consider launching a public inquiry into the proposals.

This comes after the College was given the go-ahead by Westminster City Council in April for their ambitious and wide-ranging plans to redevelop the Strand Campus.

Conservationists have been against the plans , with a petition racking up over 9,000 signatures.

The College also received a thumbs up for their plans to build a glass-floored Quad, a huge tower block next to the Strand Building and open an Embankment entrance.

The Victorian Society have “strongly objected” to the plans that they claim “will lead to a ‘blander’ London without creating enough space to provide a long-term solution to the College’s desire to expand.”

Objections to King’s plans have been picked up by the Evening Standard, BBC and Time Out.

The buildings that King’s want to demolish are in a dilapidated state and suffer from unaligned floors from one building to the next.

The sleek modern building designed by the well respected Hall McKnight architects was intended to help the College house its ever bulging student population, which is set to soar to [27k] in the next few years.

“The space gained isn’t very large for the sake of destroying London’s heritage – which is surely one of the reasons students are attracted to KCL,” the Victorian Society told Roar.

Last month the College announced it would be leasing the former home of the BBC, Bush House, and the other buildings in the Aldwych Quarter.

The Principal Ed Byrne told Roar the move would considerably shorten the disruption to students from the Strand redevelopment.

1 Comment

  1. TRT

    27 May, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I agree with the government minister. The proposals are not sympathetic with the existing architecture, and a great deal could have been done to make the space inside modern whilst retaining and restoring the Victorian frontage. The main losses will be the fresco and striped arch above the long window, the small panelled windows on the shop frontage, and the brackets on the palest frontage. These could easily be retained and incorporated into the design of a new frontage instead of that really very ugly 80s throwback that is the current proposal. It really has no grace at all.

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