Make’s 5 Broadgate proposal conflicts with EH’s listing recommendation
Chairman claims Lipton’s criticism of Make scheme is motivated by wanting to see his buildings immortalised
The City of London is stepping up its campaign to ensure Make’s plans to replace 4 and 6 Broadgate are realised in the wake of English Heritage’s recommendation to list the entire 1980s complex.
City chairman Stuart Fraser said this week that original Broadgate developer Stuart Lipton’s outspoken criticism of the 65,000sq m Make scheme in BD was “very damaging” for the Square Mile.
Fraser revealed that he would meet communities secretary Eric Pickles next week to tell him that Arup Associates’ Broadgate offices needed to be torn down and replaced with the new building, developed by British Land as a new European headquarters for Swiss bank UBS.
And City chief planner, Peter Rees, told BD this week that if culture secretary Jeremy Hunt agreed with EH and listed Broadgate at grade II* it would leave Make’s plan “dead in the water”.
Fraser said: “The Broadgate buildings aren’t worth preserving or listing. They aren’t of great architectural merit. Listing Broadgate will send out the wrong message. UBS would probably give up. Eric Pickles is very keen on bureaucracy not getting in the way of economic development.”
Lipton said in March that he thought Make’s replacement was the “worst large building in the City” of the past 20 years, but Fraser claimed Lipton was motivated by preserving his legacy as an architecture patron.
He said: “Stuart has been great a friend to the City but [his intervention] is very damaging. This is his baby so it must be quite nice to have a grade II listed building which will immortalise your name.”
EH’s report on Broadgate said it could be “confidently regarded as one of the most important and successful developments of its period. EH does not lightly recommend listing.”
But Fraser said EH “did not need to pay attention” to the economic consequences of listing commercial developments and said the heritage body’s resolve had been stiffened by Lipton’s support. “Certainly having a renowned architect/developer on board must have emboldened them in that sense.”
Make’s proposed £340 million building would have four trading floors each capable of holding 750 traders. Hunt’s decision on listing is due later this summer.
Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state, DCMS
Hunt will take the ultimate decision after colleagues John Penrose and Ed Vaizey both declared conflicts of interest. Hunt – who earlier this year waved through Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of BSkyB – is not believed to be a fan of post-war architecture.
George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer
Osborne, who just so happens to be a godson of British Land honorary president John Ritblat, would normally have nothing to do with a listings decision, but is Broadgate different? The financial sector claims its future competitiveness depends on part of the complex being demolished and rebuilt.
John Penrose, heritage minister
Penrose should have been the politician deciding the fate of the Peter Foggo-designed complex but was forced to withdraw because his wife, Dido Harding, is a director of developer British Land.
Ed Vaizey, culture minister
Penrose’s DCMS colleague Vaizey, who is also an RIBA honorary fellow, might have been expected to step in but has declared his “close personal friendship” with Broadgate developer Stuart Lipton.
Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities & local government
Pickles may also find himself dragged into the debate after the City of London signalled its intention to lobby him.