Heritage campaigners to ask Michael Gove to decide Liverpool Street Station’s future

Heritage campaigners to ask Michael Gove to decide Liverpool Street Station’s future
credit Unsplash

The campaign to Save Liverpool Street Station (LISSCA) will ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, to call in plans to partially demolish Liverpool Street Station and build a tower over the Grade II former great eastern hotel and make the decision himself.

After seeing ‘no significant changes’ at the latest round of consultation, LISSCA is ramping up its campaign to save the site.

Campaigners say the new tower would set “such a terrible precedent” for the treatment of listed buildings, conservation areas, Network Rail’s care for London’s termini and views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

They said it is “clearly a case” where the Secretary of State should intervene.

Griff Rhys Jones OBE, President of LISSCA and President of the Victorian Society said: “The final version of this scheme is as bad as we expected. It is insensitive and unnecessary and traduces a famous gateway to London, a listed working part of our history. I know all the heritage bodies combined are appalled by the precedent it would set. It must be rejected, and we will fight to ensure that it is.”

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Network Rail, developer Sellar and rail network operator MTR plan to demolish much of the listed sympathetic 20th century trainshed which closely matches the Victorian original, severing the link between the two listed Victorian buildings, and cantilevering a 21-storey tower above the hotel and station.

The Victorian Society and 10 other amenity societies and heritage organisations believe that if plans are approved it would set the tone for similarly listed buildings to expect the same fate in future.

The Victorian Society is chairing the reformed Liverpool Street Station Campaign, which stopped the station’s total demolition in the 1970s.

The committee is comprised of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, The Twentieth Century Society, Historic Buildings & Places, The Georgian Group, The Spitalfields Trust, Civic Voice, London Historians, The Betjeman Society, The Council for British Archaeology, London and Middlesex Archaeological Society and The Victorian Society. The Victorian Society is now fundraising to cover the legal costs.

The Secretary of State has the power to direct local planning authorities to refer an application to him for decision. Anyone can comment on or take part in an inquiry on the application.

The Planning Inspectorate will ask for a copy of the planning application, accompanying documents and plans. The Inspectorate will confirm that an inquiry will be held and confirm a timetable.

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