Application 19/01660 - St Cloud Gate, St Cloud Way
Comments on Application 19/01660 - St Cloud Gate, St Cloud Way
Demolition of existing office building and construction of a new Grade A office building with associated cafe, communal roof terrace, car parking, new pedestrian access and landscaping.
Whilst there are many positive aspects to this redevelopment, there are two major concerns with this proposal. The first issue is the overall height of the building. In spite of several references to a height of "nine" storeys, it is evident from the visual representations within the application that there are in fact eleven storeys. The Point which is diagonally opposite on the Cookham Road roundabout has nine storeys, and is within the area of the Town Centre designated for the potential development of tall buildings. This does not apply to this location which is on the north side of St Cloud Way. Furthermore, the pending redevelopment of the Magnet Leisure Centre site and surrounding area has no indicative proposals of more than 5 or 6 storeys - similar to the existing height of the Kidwells Park flats on the western side of Cookham Road.
The second issue relates to the stand alone setting of the proposed St Cloud Gate office block. The Point has two buildings of similar height to the west, and is therefore compatible with adjacent buildings and not intrusive visually. St Cloud Gate is an eleven storey edifice in isolation, and not in sympathy with the setting, especially the listed buildings to the north. These are literally overshadowed and dominated by the north elevations of the proposed development. When viewed from the west the new building will be very dominant, and there is a risk that approaching drivers will experience glare from the reflection of the sun on the curved south western glass frontage of the building.
We object to the development on the grounds of overall height, and dominant setting as outlined above. However, other aspects of the scheme are welcomed. The multi use of the lower floors, including a cafe, the improved access and parking, the setting back of the south west elevations at second floor level, and the introduction of a roof terrace are all positive elements of the scheme. Whilst we approve of the introduction of more Grade A office space and the employment opportunities offered, the height and dominance of the development are unacceptable.