Letter : Views on an even bigger tower for London

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Catherine Pepinster writes as though the building of the Foster tower on the site of the Baltic Exchange is virtually assured ("Our tower's bigger then yours...", 11 August). May I remind your readers that planning permission has not yet been sought for the tower, nor is it a fait accompli. The consent granted is for a building on the site that would incorporate the listed remains of the bomb-damaged Grade II* Baltic Exchange. We have not seen details of Sir Norman Foster's proposals, but as the government's principal adviser on the conservation of the built heritage we have many reservations about the impact a tower of this scale would have on London, quite apart from the issue of the future of the Baltic Exchange. As I wrote to the City Corporation in March: "The total demolition of a Grade II* listed building is not a matter to be taken lightly." This remains our position.

Paul Drury

English Heritage

London and South-east Region

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