Response: Secretary of State approves 72 Upper Ground planning permission

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The Secretary of State has approved the Mitsubishi Estate redevelopment of London Television Studios site, otherwise known as 72 Upper Ground. 

Responding to the decision by Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities, to approve planning permission for the Mitsubishi Estate office block on London’s South Bank, David Hopkins, Director of Community at Coin Street Community Builders said:

“It is extremely disappointing that the Secretary of State has decided to approve the Mitsubishi Estate building on 72 Upper Ground, disparagingly known as the “Slab”

“Given the reservations Mr Gove clearly has about this development, particularly the way its design will impact on the iconic skyline of London’s South Bank, it is hard to understand why he has chosen to let it go ahead.

“What’s more, a YouGov poll of adults in Britain commissioned by Coin Street Community Builders[i] last year found that less than 1% of Britons, including less than 1% of Londoners believe offices should be a priority when building on brownfield land. This decision seems to fly in the face of the Secretary of State’s own position that new housing should be built on brownfield sites like this, in cities like London.

“For three years, our community campaign, led by dedicated residents, volunteers, and allies, has passionately opposed these misguided plans because of the vast bulk of the scheme and the lack of any much-needed housing. We all care deeply about our neighbourhood. This monstrosity of an office development will change what it feels like to live around and visit the South Bank, robbing natural daylight from local people’s homes and casting the South Bank riverside walk into shadow.

“We will work to make sure the wellbeing of our community is considered as this development progresses and continue to fight for the soul of our neighbourhood.”


[i] All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,020 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th - 28th August 2023.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). London figures are based on a sub-sample of 191 people in London surveyed as part of the wider GB poll.


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