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Hackney Defers Bishops Place

The first phase of Norman Foster's designs for Bishop's Place were deferred at a meeting of Hackney Council's planning committee last night.

The Northgate site stands to the immediate north of the Broadgate Tower and partly covers a railway line, a problem that has been approached with a unique solution.

Shaped like an inverted L, Building 1 will have its structure cantilevered over the railway tracks it partly stands over and should have approximately 76,500 square metres of offices making it around 35 storeys high and roughly 126 metres tall. Providing additional offices is Building 2 that contians 19,900 square metres of space rising to 11 storeys tall and 42 metres tall.

There will also be Building 3, a 51 storey tower on the northern part of the site that is the tallest building in the project reaching around 161 metres tall. Although it's slightly shorter it will rise marginally above the tallest point of the Broadgate Tower because it stands on higher ground.

The skyscraper will contain the private housing and a hotel whilst the neighbouring blocks 16 storey Building 4 and Building 5, will have the affordable element of the housing scheme split between them.

The scheme has taken hits from numerous famous campaigners. Some like Tracey Emin worry that the character of Shoreditch, a popular area for artists, will be lost amongst the glass skyscrapers whilst others like Dan Cruickshank are more concerned with the demolition of the popular Light Bar, a restored piece of Victorian architecture, which stands on the site.

With Hackney now deciding not to decide, the next step for the project will be the result of a report into the conservation aspects of retaining, or demolishing the Light Bar. This will involve Hackney deciding whether to extend their conservation area to include the Light Bar - an extension will make demolition impossible.

Until the council's report into this is completed, the scheme will be unable to progress further except if Hammerson has a change of heart and include the bar in their proposals, something that would require a complete redesign.

If they don't do this, it appears Hammerson will still struggle as four of the seven members of the planning committee have made it clear they plan to oppose the scheme. Unless they can pull a rabbit out of a hat, the Light Bar will probably be staying.

Article Related buildings:

Bishops Place Building 1

Bishops Place Building 1
Bishops Place Building 2

Bishops Place Building 2
Bishops Place Building 3

Bishops Place Building 3
Bishops Place, Hackney
Bishops Place, Hackney