The Planning Application Goes In

In 1957, Chamberlin, Powell & Bon were commissioned to prepare a modified version of their 1956 plan for an outline planning application to the London County Council, but only in respect of the south Barbican area (south of Beech Street), and they were to omit the City of London School, which was to remain on the Embankment. This scheme was to integrate with the proposals in the Martin-Mealand Scheme for commercial development on the eastern and southern boundaries of the proposed residential area.

Their revised plan included towers which were taller than had previously been proposed. It also provided for a theatre and concert hall for the Guildhall School. Red Cross Street was to be retained, as well as St Giles’ church, the Coal Exchange and Temple Bar, all of which were historic buildings which had survived the Blitz. The Coal Exchange was to be practice rooms for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Later it was decided that the Coal Exchange should be demolished and a plan emerged to build practice rooms in the centre of Frobisher Crescent. In the end, only St Giles’ was incorporated in the final scheme and Redcross Street was also to disappear.

The purpose of submitting an application to the London County Council for outline planning permission, was to discover what general requirements the LCC would impose on any development. Outline planning permission was granted in June 1958.

A number of important conditions were imposed. The permitted density of housing was reduced from 300 to 230 persons per acre. 1.5 acres of open space per 1,000 residents had to be included in the development. The railway cutting had to be covered over. Satisfactory provision for car parking had to be provided.

The north Barbican area (north of Beech Street) was zoned for commercial development, not residential, so the Corporation also applied for outline planning permission for conversion to residential use, and that was also granted.