PROPOSAL TO LIST:-
No. 1 TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD
No.’s 14-16 OXFORD STREET & 2-3 TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD
No. 4 OXFORD STREET (n.b includes the return façade on Tottenham Court Road opposite the Dominion Theatre).
We feel these limited listing proposals should be seen in the context of the large number of development proposals for Oxford Street East – see below PART B. PART C sets out a logical approach to Oxford Street East.
The WEN is consortium of the main amenity and related groups in the city centre in Camden and Westminster. We meet periodically to discuss key issues in our city centre and all of the groups are recognised by our local authorities.
Our groups are not pro or anti development and we appraise all proposals carefully taking into account a wide variety of factors. In the case of Oxford Street East and the Oxford Street | Tottenham Court Road area there appears to be a strong lobby from freehold interests and the New West End Company denigrating this area in presumably in favour of redevelopment regardless of the merits of some of the buildings. This has been evident in recent media coverage.
It is our considered opinion that a proper façade analysis, such as those undertaken in Seven Dials and central Covent Garden (sample pages attached in PART 3 – A LOGICAL APPROACH Notes 1 + 2), might demonstrate that many of the late 19c and early 20c buildings make a significant and positive contribution to this part of London’s West End. There are of course a number of development proposals (SEE MAPS & PICS) where the 1960’s and 1970’s buildings do not make such a positive contribution. Both points are demonstrated in the interesting overall picture of Oxford Street East (kindly supplied by Councillor Ian Wilder – WCC West End Ward.
In our view all the buildings below make a positive contribution and each building constitutes a fine example of their respective periods. In both the Seven Dials and the Covent Garden areas economic regeneration has been successful through active conservation of the built heritage and it is our contention that the same applies within these areas.
We are aware of the intense pressure to maximise both freehold values and rentals in these prime streets. However at the end of the day what attracts visitors and shoppers to London’s West End is the variety of the buildings, the historic settings, the overall retail offer, theatres, restaurants, clubs and indeed the great mix of both the physical fabric and the activities on offer.
If Covent Garden had been demolished, as originally proposed in the early 1970’s, to be replaced by a West End Barbican, would it now be one of Europe’s greatest visitor attractions? We doubt it. Did a new British Library need to entail the demolition of much of historic Bloomsbury? No. At the time these proposals for demolition were only defeated through a long campaign led by our local communities in the interest of a longer term approach, and one which retained what cannot be replaced – our historic built fabric – for the benefit of visitors, workers and residents.