St Giles Hotel Proposes to ‘Dig Deep’ – New Spin on ‘Intensification’

Backdated from previous BA website

St Giles Hotel Proposes to 'Dig Deep' - New Spin on 'Intensification'

A planning application lodged by The St Giles Hotel is imaginative to say the least – but is it acceptable? Images of war ravaged Londoners in subterranean bunkers spring to mind!

In times of war, threatened by uninvited guests, Londoners slept underground for their safety. In times of peace, Londoners again feel threatened.

They are concerned about the provision of accommodation for their invited guests deep underground.  We exploit the depths for our infrastructure, for our energy and for its resources but to what extent does the intensity of our spatial exploitation become unsustainable? Are there no bounds to the degree that we will accept degradation of the environment that we and our guests inhabit?

London’s first underground hotel is proposed beneath the streets of Bloomsbury. Read more about it in Fitzrovia News and, if you have not already done so, express your views to Camden

The Bloomsbury Association supports local residents in their objection to the application. The Association encourages good quality design that will enhance Bloomsbury’s streetscape, which this proposal clearly does not. A summary of our concerns about the proposal follows:

1. Cumulative over-development of the site for hotel use – Through a series of incremental developments for the associated St Giles Hotel, this will increase the number of rooms in the building to 850.

2. Loss of off-street car public parking and the effects this will have on the demand for on-street parking.

3. Strategic planning precedent.

4. The threat to public health, safety and security.

5. 24-hour use and encouragement for the nighttime economy to extend out of Soho and Covent Garden.

6. Intensification of servicing and refuse collection, already severe problems.

7. Intensification of coach, minicab and taxi movements.

8. Intensification of noise from air-conditioning plant, again already a severe problem.

9. Impact on residential amenity and quality of life.

10. Loss of public access over the public footway.

11. Visual impact on the quality of the adjoining Bloomsbury Conservation Area and, in particular, on the Grade I listed setting of Bedford Square.

12. Impact on the prosperity of other businesses in the area.

13. A planning strategy that utilizes parallel applications to intensify development on the same land to the extent where impacts are so great as to be unmanageable.

112A Great Russell Street London WC1B 3NP
Application for planning permission: 2012/1825/P – Change of use of basement levels -4 and -5 from car park (sui generis) to 175 bedroom hotel (class c1), creation of entrances from Adeline Place and Great Russell Street and installation of a metal gate onto Adeline Place. Comments by 14 June 2012.

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