Annual Appeal 2023: Save Liverpool Street Station!
As many of you will know by now, Liverpool Street Station and the grade II* former Great Eastern Hotel, face a grave threat. Network Rail and Sellar, the property developer behind the Shard, are proposing a 21-story tower that requires the partial demolition of the station and would cantilever over the grade II* Great Eastern Hotel.
This scheme must be stopped if we are to remain a country which values its heritage. These plans will not only harm listed buildings in a conservation area but also obscure views of St. Paul's Cathedral. Worst of all, it could set a dangerous precedent, placing listed buildings across the country at risk. If a listed building can be partially demolished for a huge tower to be built over a grade II* building in a conservation area nothing will be safe. This scheme will be used a precedent for similar developments at other stations and far beyond. Logically there will be no reason not to allow towers to be cantilevered over grade 1 listed buildings anywhere.
When we secured the listing upgrade of the hotel to Grade II* and the revision of the station description to include the 20th century trainshed we hoped that would have been the end of these plans. Sadly, the developers have decided to plough on.
The Victorian Society urgently calls on members to unite against this potential disaster. Our President Griff Rhys Jones OBE has already given a substantial four figure amount to support our fight. Will you join him?
Griff Rhys-Jones OBE, President of LISSCA and the Victorian Society said,
The only way to fight this is through the law. Which is on our side. But that will cost money. And they will have oodles of it. Please help give us the strength to save the dignity of Liverpool Street Station. Every penny counts.
This case is so significant that we believe it warrants intervention by the Secretary of State. Once the planning application is submitted we will make a request that the Secretary of State calls the decision in to decide the application himself. To cover the estimated £60,000 needed for legal costs in a public inquiry, we urge you to donate to our fundraising campaign.
The great rail terminus stations and their terminus hotels encapsulate the engineering and technological achievements of the Victorians. These cathedrals of steam are some of the most important Victorian buildings. The hotel is the last historic hotel in the City of London.
The Liverpool Street Station Campaign (LISSCA), which successfully halted the station's total demolition in the 1970s, has been revived to stop these new plans. This formidable committee includes The Victorian Society, The Twentieth Century Society, Historic Buildings & Places, The Georgian Group, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, The Spitalfields Trust, Civic Voice, London Historians, The Betjeman Society, The Council for British Archaeology, and the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society.
The decision to focus our annual appeal on this joint campaign underscores the gravity of the threat to Liverpool Street Station and the former Great Eastern Hotel (now the Andaz London Liverpool Street). Yet this is not a battle which is only going to affect London. It will set a precedent that will harm heritage up and down the country. I hope that you will consider giving something so that we are as prepared as possible to fight this battle.
Photo credit: Interior of Liverpool Street Station by Joris Vanbillemont