Urizen Heights 5

Dear Historic England

I’m writing to express my disappointment at your decision to support the development of more tower-blocks around Bunhill Fields.

It was a striking pose that you would not join other groups such as the Ancient Monuments Society, Blake Society, Georgian Group, Victorian Society, Blake Society, and John Wesley’s House in an outright condemnation of the plans.

I have read the Historic England statement in which you “acknowledge the increase in height but do not believe that this is excessive or harmful to the setting of the registered open space.” You also claim the current buildings will be replaced with “buildings of much higher quality”.

This is spin. Offices are being replaced with offices. Mediocre architecture is being replaced by mediocre architecture. The most important difference is that sky is being replaced by skyscraper, 10-storey and 11-storey towers. You write of “perceived harm resulting from the increase in height” and yet you cannot perceive the harm yourself.

Watching the film Selling an Icon, I was doubly surprised to see a man from Historic England again taking a different view from campaigners by arguing the case that the iconic white chimneys of Battersea Power Station should be demolished.

What kind of association is a Historic England that argues for skyscrapers to go up by a Grade 1 Listed Park and Garden and for the most distinguishing features of a Grade II Listed Building to be destroyed?

How much longer do you think the public will have any trust in a heritage organisation that keeps taking the side of construction companies rather than the public?

A petition has been started to ask Greg Clark to call off the development. So far 3000+ members of the public disagree with Historic England.

Yours sincerely,

Niall McDevitt

About Niall McDevitt

Niall McDevitt > poet > author of b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010) and Porterloo (International Times, 2012) > urban explorer > radical pedestrian who leads Shakespeare/Blake/Rimbaud /Yeats walks, among others.
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  1. Hello Mr McDevitt,
    I was wondering whether it would be possible for me to conduct a brief interview with you about the development of these Tower Blocks by Bunhill Fields, as well as the petition to stop them

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