Proposals for Italy House, East London Street
Posted on: November 9, 2023
We have no objection to the repurposing of London House to form a new Italian Consulate and Cultural Institute
Address: Italy House 20 – 22 East London Street
Proposal: Install three new 6m high flag poles at the main entrance.; new perimeter fence; roof mounted air handling unit; security bars to ground floor windows and new Italian brass emblem wall mounted at the main entrance
Reference No: 23/03587/FUL
Closing date for comments: Fri 10 Nov 2023
Determination date: Fri 17 Nov 2023
This application has been brought to our attention by several local stakeholders.
We have no objection to the repurposing of London House to form a new Italian Consulate and Cultural Institute.
We do have concerns with the proposed security arrangements, specifically the 2.4m high fence that will circle the building and associated land.
Firstly, no details are included in the application so no assessment of impact or suitability is possible. Given the interface with this street, we do not believe that it is proper for this to be addressed by condition – details should be made available for public scrutiny. Any substantive, visually impermeable structure should be avoided.
Secondly, we question the need for such a perimeter fence especially along East London Street in the first place. Consulates such as the American one on Regent Terrace and Russia’s on Melville Street (both subject to potentially much higher levels of security requirements) rely on 1.2m Georgian railings. Many others are the same. We can see no special need here.
Should such significant counter-terrorism structures be required, we would question the suitability of this location, directly opposite St Mary’s Primary School and near the Central Mosque.
In addition, we have some concerns with the impact on the setting of Gayfield House, a Category A-listed building.