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To: Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning

Stop the demolition of Soho – Save a key West End landmark!

Stop the demolition of 111 – 119 Charing Cross Road, London, and call in the planning application for public inquiry. These handsome buildings make a positive contribution to the Soho Conservation Area, and their destruction and replacement with an oversized office building would result in substantial harm to this important part of London.

Why is this important?

Westminster City Council has approved plans to demolish several key historic buildings in the Soho Conservation Area, and replace them with an oversized, bland and bulky office led development.

SAVE is asking the Secretary of State and his planning minister to call the application in for a full public inquiry to ensure this important site and the wider character of Soho is not eroded.

Soho is one of London’s most distinctive, historic areas – its diverse history and charm told through its buildings, streets and open spaces. The old Foyles building on Charing Cross Road is a landmark - strongly associated with all that makes Soho special, and is noted in the Conservation Area as a building of merit.

The proposed development is nine storeys – much higher and bulkier than its neighbours - in marked contrast to the fine grain of the surrounding streets.

Conservation Area status is meant to protect sites like this from insensitive development. SAVE is alarmed that Westminster has blithely approved the demolition of the Foyles building and adjacent ‘buildings of merit’ (their words). We consider the re-development will cause substantial harm to the character of the Conservation Area.

SAVE is calling on the Secretary of State to call-in this application for a public inquiry, and to stop the plans as currently proposed. This is our opportunity to ensure the unique character of Soho is protected from harmful re-development.

Soho, London

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Reasons for signing

  • The Foyles building is not in itself a masterpiece, but what is proposed as its replacement is frankly bland and illiterately boring. It certainly is unworthy of an historic site and city.
  • http://e-flux.com/aup/project/neon-graffiti-shadow-camouflage-explanation-apology-excuse-attempt/
  • So many of these modern redevelopments - based on nothing but corporate greed - destroy the human scale and atmosphere of our neighbourhoods. Just STOP!

Updates

2016-07-07 12:35:35 +0100

The petition is getting good coverage in the press. Two articles have been published this morning, the first in the Architects' Journal, and the second in Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Today. Please see the links:

Architects' Journal - http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/victorian-society-joins-call-in-clamour-against-demolition-of-old-foyles-building/10008434.article?blocktitle=news-feature&contentID=17135

Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Today - http://www.kcwtoday.co.uk/petition-save-historic-foyles-store-reaches-5000-signatures/

The Architects' Journal includes a statement from SAVE about the importance of this battle. It's behind the paywall, but we have posted it in full on our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/save.heritage/posts/1930356177191425

Best wishes

SAVE team

2016-07-05 14:20:56 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2016-06-17 21:33:48 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-06-16 16:09:52 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-06-15 17:31:50 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-06-15 15:48:21 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-06-15 15:20:57 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-06-15 15:09:20 +0100

10 signatures reached