"Boris Johnson’s support for a luxury high-rise development on Bishopsgate Goodsyard illustrates his contempt for localism"
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"The 11.6-acre site is one of the largest left in central London, a piece of redundant Victorian railway infrastructure that is partly listed, a thick sliver running eastward from the edge of the City, through the territories of the boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets, and crossed by the hipster high street of Brick Lane. The proposal, by a joint venture of Hammerson and Ballymore, is of a kind now familiar in London: a row of towers stuffed with luxury housing. At their highest they will reach the level of the Gherkin or the Walkie Talkie.It is better than some such proposals, to the extent that it offers something more than a wasteland of Chinese granite at its base. A preserved section of brick viaduct will be converted into a shopping area, with a small park on top designed by some local architects. When it comes to placebo greenery, this is more convincing than the Walkie Talkie’s 'Sky Garden' or the urban parsley of the Garden bridge. It will, however, thanks to the proposed towers, be cast into shadow on late summer afternoons, which is when it is most likely to be in use."The Tech City people oppose it because it offers little of the kinds of flexible space that small- and medium-sized enterprises need, and disrupts the “cluster” effect – the benefits of having many businesses in close proximity on which they thrive. Conservationists oppose it because the towers will crash into views down Victorian and Georgian streets in neighbouring conservation areas, because the design of the new work is could-be-anywhere generic, and because the relationship of the new to the old is clumsy. Local residents oppose it because it will cast a slab of shadow hundreds of yards to the north, including on the 1890s Boundary estate. This is poignant: the estate was a world-leading pioneer of council housing, whose charming arts-and-crafts architecture was based on maximising daylight to its homes, whose light will now be reduced."