British Queen celebrates


A last-minute intervention from Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has halted plans to demolish the former Museum of London site.

The City of London Corporation Planning Applications-Sub Committee had recently approved the redevelopment of the 140 and 150 London Wall sites, including Bastion House and the former Museum of London. However, Gove issued an Article 31 Holding Direction, preventing demolition permission and requiring applications to be referred to him first.

Public consultation on the London Wall West proposals began in Spring 2021, with demolition of the existing site expected to start in 2028 and completion targeted for late 2033. The redevelopment plans, including two large office buildings, aimed to create nearly 3,100 jobs.

Despite support, concerns have been raised, with at least 965 objection letters received, primarily focused on the demolition's carbon implications and loss of heritage. The Twentieth Century Society has strongly objected to the scheme, advocating for the retention and adaptation of the Museum of London and Bastion House buildings.

The City of London Corporation argued that the site is at the end of its design life and Bastion House is no longer suitable for modern office facilities. Additionally, it highlighted the site's obscured historical features, notably the Roman Wall.

Meanwhile, the Museum of London is in the process of relocating its exhibits from the Barbican to its new Smithfield site, set to open in 2026. Photo by Jim Linwood from London, Wikimedia commons.