A planning proposal that involves gutting a Victorian warehouse to build a 17 storey glass office block in Bermondsey, South London, has been heavily criticised by a conservation charity.
The Victorian Society, who campaign for the protection of Victorian and Edwardian buildings, says the project by developers Sellar would contribute to the â€˜steady destructionâ€™ of Southwark and it is â€˜crucialâ€™ this building is protected.
Architects Renzo Piano Buildings Workshop, who also designed The Shard, have drawn up plans which would only retain the outer shell of the warehouse. The projectâ€™s website says it will be surrounded by offices designed to attract â€˜makers and creatorsâ€™ such as media and tech start-ups.
The Victorian Society says the new tower would â€˜eradicate the integrityâ€™ of the warehouse, which was built in the mid-1800s and still retains many of its original features.
Bermondsey played a key role during Londonâ€™s industrial revolution, with several manufacturing plants as well as a busy dock. It was also the location of the worldâ€™s first food canning business.
Olivia Stockdale, conservation advisor for the Victorian Society, said: â€˜The proposed plans would render the remains of the warehouse as wallpaper to the plinth of a glass office block. The proposed use of glass rather than brick would further create an extreme contrast with other buildings in the conservation area.
â€˜It is important that despite its proximity to London Bridge, Bermondsey maintains its own historic individuality, and any development should be sympathetic to the area and its characterâ€™.
Planning NewsÂ has asked Sellar to respond to the Victorian Societyâ€™s objections.