Campaign against demolition & monstrous development.
Campaign for refurbishment and sensitive redevelopment.
Autumn 2023 update: despite over 500 objections, including from Historic England and dozens of experts, Camden officers are recommending approval of this monstrous scheme.
Councillors will decide at the Planning meeting on Thursday 16th November 2023. Please join us at the Town Hall to show that local people care about this, and that the democratic decision would be to refuse it.
Summer 2023 update: a slight revision of the design has been made, and applied for under Camden planning application ref. 2023/2510/P.
It is 6 metres lower but much bulkier than the previous scheme. It’s certainly no better, and arguably less sympathetic to its surroundings.
We couldn’t really do better than this simple, and oh so chillingly relevant, poster from our 1970’s campaigns.
A new office block proposed to replace Selkirk House would be over 80 metres tall – 70% as high as Centrepoint, and many times more bulky. Standing a short distance from the British Museum it would tower over our narrow streets and be seen from the capital’s most precious conservation areas in places like Bloomsbury Square, Seven Dials and Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Covent Garden Community Association, Bloomsbury Association and many auspicious organisations have joined with local residents and businesses to urge the developers to think again. Take a look at our campaign brochure and get involved.
The Guardian published an article on 24th July which cites this destructive scheme at its conclusion, in the context of history’s continual struggle between people who know and love the place where they feel they belong versus those who come in wanting to change it forever.
There is so much that we believe is wrong with the proposed scheme, not just to demolish Selkirk House but to develop an entire block of buildings between High Holborn and New Oxford Street – sheer lack of sympathy with its surroundings, overshadowing, under-provision of housing, no public space, 4 years of works & congestion, the environmental abuse of demolition instead of refurbishment, an ugly blot on views from many beautiful parks and squares, a new cut-through that is likely to attract crime, the busy ongoing servicing needs of a big mixed-use site at all hours, and paving the way for a cluster of high buildings in this historic area.
Selkirk House, which was built as Trusthouse Forte’s HQ in 1968 and later became a Travelodge, is already out-of-place. But with some TLC and a new finish it would be so much better than this collossus.
An extensive objection has been submitted by a coalition of groups including CGCA, which outlines the many problems with the scheme. CGCA has also submitted an individual objection.
Comments can be addressed to Planning@Camden.gov.uk quoting application ref. 2021/2954/P.