'Polar bear sanctuary' next to Tower Bridge proposed by GLA?

A proposal for a 'polar bear sanctuary with snow slide' to be constructed in The Scoop amphitheatre next to the former City Hall has been accidentally published online by the Greater London Authority.

'Polar bear sanctuary' next to Tower Bridge proposed by GLA?

Anyone perusing this week's list of major London planning applications referred to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan might be surprised to see a proposal for a "polar bear sanctuary with snow slide".

The address given is "The Scoop, third step down" – a reference to the amphitheatre outside the Greater London Authority's former offices in the More London complex – and the local planning authority for the proposal is listed as Southwark Council.

The application is dated 2021 – when the Greater London Authority was still based at the old City Hall in SE1 – but has appeared on this week's list of new schemes.

Any Southwark Council officials who stumbled across the application might have been inclined not to write it off as far-fetched, given that in 2020 developers in the borough put forward an apparently serious proposal for an alligator park in the Old Kent Road.

At least GLA officials created a mock planning application for testing purposes, unlike colleagues at Swale Borough Council in Kent who accidentally approved and rejected a swathe of genuine planning applications with spurious reasons during IT testing in 2021.

In Swale, plans to demolish a pub were given legally binding approval with conditions including "2) incy," "3) wincy" and "4) spider".

Another application was refused with the reasons given as "1) Don't even bother re-applying LOL" and "2) Not even joking LMAO".

The council was forced to seek judicial review of its own decisions in order to regularise the situation.

Tags: Planning & Development, Southwark, Greater London Authority

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