Gove steps in to halt ITV studios demolition

Levelling up secretary Michael Gove has waded into the £400m plan to redevelop the former ITV studios by issuing a demand to halt work on the project.

The secretary of state has issued an Article 31 direction which will pause the application to demolish the former studios on the South Bank in advance of any possible scrutiny of the scheme by central government.

Gove has issued a halt to demolition to give time to consider whether to call in the scheme or not. However, before he does possibly scrutinise the plans, Lambeth council will refer the scheme to the Greater London Authority.

Last month, a Labour councillor for Lambeth vowed to fight against the new scheme by developer CO-RE, which would see the construction of a 25-storey tower on the site as part of a 90,000 square metre office-led scheme.

Lambeth councillor Kevin Craig and fellow councillor Jennifer Mosley objected to the development on grounds of “excessive scale and bulk” which would “harm surrounding heritage assets”.

ITV abandoned its own plans to redevelop the site in 2018 and it was sold to a joint venture between Mitsubishi and CO-RE the following year. The scheme was given planning consent by Lambeth Council in March this year.

Designed by architects Make, the project will see all existing buildings on the site demolished and replaced by two towers, rising to 25 and 14 storeys in height, and connected by a six-floor podium.

It will provide more than 79,000 square metres of commercial floorspace, as well as up to 7,344 square metres of cultural and collaboration facilities and about 4,000 square metres of space for cafes, bars and restaurants.

There will also be new public realm at ground level, a communal space for tenants at podium level and enhanced connectivity for pedestrians.

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