Plans for nine-storey hotel “eyesore” by the Tower of London blocked in council meeting

Plans for a nine-storey hotel in the backdrop of the Tower of London were voted down in a town hall meeting after being described as an eyesore on the famous spot.

Despite planning officers recommending that hotel group CitizenM be given the green light to build a 370-room block on Trinity Square, a committee of Tower Hamlets councillors failed to agree last Thursday.

The hotel was set to be built adjacent to several Grade II listed buildings and the Grade I listed Roman wall.

It was described as a “horrible glass box” by planning forum Creekside.

The outcome, however, is still far from decided as the strategic development committee vote was not formally motioned which means another vote will take place and could go the other way.


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Bill Ellson, Creekside Forum secretary, said: “If permission had been granted then both Trinity House and the Merchant Navy Memorials in Trinity Square Gardens would have been totally dominated by the hotel.

“The UNESCO World Heritage Committee would have been appalled at the effect on the setting of the Tower of London.”

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Five councillors were present during the committee meeting but only one voted and the remaining four abstained.

The outcome was decided on the vote of cllr Peter Golds who branded the plans a “monstrous carbuncle”.

Cllr Golds, Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward, said: “The hotel was completely out of scale with the surroundings. At nine storeys it was far too big and dominated buildings either side of it.”

Dutch group CitizenM, which has hotels in Amsterdam and Glasgow, signalled that its application has been far from thwarted.

Bizarrely, it claims on its website a new site for one its hotels has been “just confirmed” at Tower Hill.

The CitizenM management team said in a statement: “As with any application process, there are certain stages to go through. We are discussing the outcomes of the Tower Hamlets Council meeting in our board.”

According to Creekside Forum, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is sending a delegate to assess the spot in December.

Trinity Square was at the centre of another storm just last month when an events firm was given permission to stage Christmas parties in its wartime memorial park.

After strong opposition from politicians and groups the council made a u-turn and blocked the plans.

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