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Squires Potters Fields Plans Mooted

New plans have finally been publicly announced for what is one of the most contentious development sites in central London, Potters Fields, called One Tower Bridge.

Located near the southern end of Tower Bridge, the famous Victorian Gothic structure, previous plans by Berkeley Homes had seen a cluster of towers designed by Ian Ritchie nicknamed "Daleks" after their resemblance to the Doctor Who baddies.

Locals and their council, Southwark, however remained unimpressed and have fought the scheme at every turn causing it to eventually be put on the back burner and replaced with today's plans by Squire and Partners.

They have seen a decrease in public space in Potters Fields, something that the previous plans didn't do, with there now being 374 new apartments hosted in seven buildings including a 20 storey residential tower of studio apartments, that sticks above the development rather like the chimney of the Tate Modern.

Incredibly, and with total seriousness, the scheme claimed to have the same dimensions as St Mark's Square in Venice and has even been dubbed a "campanile" by the developer.

Of particular concern now will be the wall-like low-rise building that lies along a north-east axis on the northern edge of the site and closes off the views into the site, something that Ritchie's cluster of towers did not do. Reverting back to the seventies, access through the block is by a series of underpasses that block the sky out to passers-by.

Gone too is the light reflective cladding replaced with solid earthen shades and horizontal strips of glass for windows working as a safe piece of modernity with none of the braveness of the previous proposals.

In one major deviation from the previous proposals, included in the plans this time is a new street that runs from the southern end of Tower Bridge to the eastern end of Tooley Street and will contain a host of new shops.

In all there will be 1,000 square metres of retail space with another 8,000 square metres for an as yet undecided artistic or cultural venue that could be anything from a dance studio to a museum.

Public permeability is further added to the scheme by the fact that all the routes through it will be accessible at all times rather than the gated semi-public developments that increasingly pepper London. This however is no different to the Ian Ritchie plans that also went for maximum public access.

It should be interesting to see how the locals greet this scheme and if it is bland and safe enough to win their approval.
One Tower Bridge at night
One Tower Bridge at night