In the News: Protecting music heritage through development

Written by: Colin Marrs
Published on: 18 Mar 2016

Anna Snow, IceniLast week, development firm Consolidated Developments won planning permission for a mixed-use scheme next to Denmark Street in central London – known as London’s “Tin Pan Alley” and home to music shops and venues. Anna Snow is director at Iceni Projects, the planning consultancy which advised on the scheme.

Q. How did this scheme land on your desk?

I have been working on it for six years. I only joined Iceni five months ago but the client came with me from my previous job after we built up a strong relationship.

Q. What is the planning history of the site?

The scheme actually had got planning permission in 2014 but this scheme has made some changes due to the engineering challenges of the site.

Q. Why did you need to change the application?

The site sits on top of part of the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road. We have a joint working group between our engineers, Crossrail and London Borough of Camden. As the planning progressed, it was realised that Crossrail hadn’t taken into account the implications of the fact that some of the buildings on the site have listed status. We had to come up with a new plan that enabled them to do their piling work while protecting as much of the heritage as possible.

Q. How will that work?

We spent time with heritage watchdog Historic England to ensure they were happy with the approach and so we could identify what was of value and what wasn’t. The new scheme will demolish one building and replace it with a modern replacement. Another listed building will be braced and moved across the site in one go. GPS tracking and mapping will enable it to be moved back to its exact position after the work is completed.

Q. Were there any other challenges?

There is a lot of sensitivity and concern, given the musical heritage of Denmark Street. We have worked to provide a large venue holding about 800 spectators in the basement and a smaller, grassroots venue with a 250 capacity. In addition, the section 106 agreement means that the ground floor retail space will go back to use as music shops.