Shard restaurant: nearby tower could ‘fatally undermine’ eatery

The owners of a restaurant in the Shard say that a proposed office development at the southern end of London Bridge will "significantly obscure" views and could "fatally undermine" the viability of the business.

Shard restaurant: nearby tower could ‘fatally undermine’ eatery
Foster & Partners' scheme for Colechurch House seen from the north side of London Bridge

Southwark councillors will next week decide on CIT's planning application for the redevelopment of Colechurch House, which sits between Duke Street Hill and Tooley Street at the southern approach to London Bridge.

The proposed 22-storey building – designed by Foster & Partners – would mostly be filled by offices, with the addition of a rooftop restaurant and a new subterranean venue for Southwark Playhouse at the foot of the development.

Although the original CIT scheme included the complete removal of the footbridge between Colechurch House and London Bridge station – which enables city commuters to avoid crossing Duke Street Hill at street level – a replacement footbridge is now proposed.

Southwark planning officers are recommending that councillors approve the scheme at the planning committee meeting on Wednesday 14 September.

The existing Colechurch House building and The Shard

One of the more eye-catching objections to the planning application comes from the owners of the Oblix restaurant on the 32nd floor of the Shard, who warn that the scheme could "significantly obscure" views and could "fatally undermine" the eateries in the famous skyscraper.

"Not only will the proposed development undermine one of the important aspects of The Shard’s design, which enables access by members of the public to these views, it will also affect the vitality and viability of the restaurant," wrote Danielle Zaire in an objection tabled on behalf of Oblix's owners.

"The proposed development would significantly impact the useable area of the restaurant where tables can be located, damaging the restaurant’s unique selling point and directly affecting revenue."

In their response to the restaurant objection, Southwark planning officers wrote: "It is a commercial choice for the operators of Oblix restaurant how they choose to locate tables and organise their space however the issue of views out from the restaurant is not a planning matter as there is no entitlement to a view over a third party’s land and the development site is located a sufficient distance away to ensure that Oblix is not enclosed."

Oblix's landlords, the owners of the Shard Quarter complex, have also objected to the Colechurch House planning application, arguing that "the proposed height of the new building will detract from the primacy of the Shard".

• To learn more about the development see and planning application 20/AP/3013.

Tags: Food & drink, Planning & Development, Southwark, Politics & local government

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