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To: Edward Byrne, Principal of King’s College London, Members of the Council, and Jamie Ritblat Chair of the Estates Strategy Committee

Save the Strand, London: Don't demolish 152-158 the Strand

Thanks to you the campaign was a success and the buildings have been saved!

We haven't stopped there, working with architect John Burrell we have devised a scheme to bring the buildings back into use, addressing Kings' concerns, and improve the urban environment around them. We are preparing the scheme as a publication of several drawings that will be distributed in hard copy and as an e-brochure in September.

Please see the front cover of the alternative scheme here:

Stop the demolition of 152 – 158 the Strand. This delightful group of buildings represent London as it was before and after the Great Fire giving character and life to one of London's most historic streets. Save these buildings from destruction and incorporate them into the development proposals for the campus.

Why is this important?

King’s College London has received planning permission to demolish the unlisted 154-158 and to façade the Grade II listed 152-153 the Strand.

These charming buildings with their narrow medieval plots provide important context and setting to the Grade I listed Somerset House and St Mary-Le-Strand. Their loss will be hugely detrimental to the conservation area, the surrounding listed buildings, and will substantially harm one of London’s most historic thoroughfares - the processional route from St Pauls to Buckingham Palace.

The buildings are protected by both national and local planning policy as designated heritage assets: Nos 152-153 are listed and part of a conservation area; 154-158 Strand are identified as Unlisted Buildings of Merit, which contribute to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

The proposed design of the replacement building does not respect Westminster’s heritage and local distinctiveness - it removes a group of buildings with distinctive façades and replaces them with something bland. It will also be dominant in its environment, unbalancing the composition of Somerset House, and repeating the mistakes of the past: when the neighbouring Brutalist building was built a large group of precious late-17th and early-18th century buildings were destroyed, similar to those at 152-158. At the planning committee meeting on the 21 April Westminster Councillors regretted the loss of these buildings and construction of the Brutalist block, yet still approved the demolition of 152-158 Strand.

No further encroachment of this kind should be allowed. The character of central London depends on a balance between large institutional and commercial buildings and smaller scale buildings on narrow plots.

This case has triggered national interest. The amenity societies have made substantial objections, and there were many individual objections. The proposal has struck a nerve with all who love London.

As a national institution and a seat of learning, King’s should be leading the way in respecting heritage and planning law. Demolition would fail on both accounts.

We call upon King’s College London to shelve the plans for demolition, and reconsider their proposals. Historic buildings are an asset to a historic campus, and should be celebrated as such. Britain is respected worldwide for its sensitive approach to historic buildings, indeed John Ruskin himself was an alumnus of King’s College London.

Do the right thing by history, and by the future: save these buildings.

For more information and images see our press release here: or contact SAVE on 0207 253 3500/[email protected]

152-158 The Strand, London

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL




2017-10-24 22:02:23 +0100

Petition is successful with 10,441 signatures

2016-06-09 18:34:35 +0100

Petition is successful with 10,408 signatures

2016-05-02 18:25:52 +0100

Petition is successful with 10,399 signatures

2015-12-21 15:59:29 +0000

Petition is successful with 10,320 signatures

2015-08-26 18:25:52 +0100

Petition is successful with 10,250 signatures

2015-06-07 03:30:24 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2015-05-27 11:34:47 +0100

Great piece from Simon Jenkins in the Evening Standard yesterday:

2015-05-21 13:16:32 +0100

Press release: Change of position from Historic England on the Strand buildings; Michael Palin adds his voice to the campaign -

2015-05-15 13:34:30 +0100

The Architectural Journal:

Building Design:

Time Out, London:

The Financial Times:

2015-05-15 13:33:31 +0100

Over the past two weeks there has been considerable press coverage of this case. Please follow the links below for more information:

The Times:

The Evening Standard:

The BBC:

London Live:

The Daily Mail:

2015-05-15 13:32:57 +0100

In addition, you can write to the principal of King’s College, Edward Byrne, at [email protected] or King’s College London, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS, asking him to reconsider the plans to demolish these buildings.

2015-05-15 13:32:41 +0100

How you can help

Please write to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, requesting that this application be called in for a public inquiry. Make sure to quote planning references 14/12215/FULL and 14/12116/LBC.

Letters should be emailed to [email protected] and copied to [email protected], or posted to the Department of Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU.

2015-05-15 13:31:31 +0100

Great news! Last night (Thursday 13th) Secretary of State for communities and local government, Greg Clark MP, issued Westminster Council with a holding direction following our request, that suspends planning permission for Kings College’s plans while ministers consider whether to call in the proposal for public inquiry.

2015-05-05 22:32:28 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2015-04-29 13:35:50 +0100

1,000 signatures reached