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Eyesore Rejected and Curzon Revealed
Residents and admirers of the Brunswick have breathed a sigh of relief at the news that Camden have refused planning permission for the so-called ‘Eyecatcher’ restaurant, dubbed the Eyesore by campaigners. The portico (below left) overlooking Brunswick Square is one of the main architectural features of the Brunswick – both the garden and the building are Grade II listed by English Heritage – and Camden agreed that the proposed restaurant would harm the character and appearance of the building and the Bloomsbury Conservation Area, due to its scale, bulk, footprint and design.
In addition, the thorough objections submitted by the Brunswick TRA campaign led to a decisive rejection from Camden on the further grounds of:
– lack of a signage stragegy resulting in visual clutter
– absence of an adequate extraction system threatening neighbours with unpleasant fumes and noise
– the external lift and stair-case obstructing the public realm, especially for those with visual impairments
– a misleading Pedestrian Comfort Level Assessment which didn’t take into account the tables and chairs outside the Strada restaurant
– the impact of construction on the local highway.
Read the full Planning application decision Brunswick Centre.
Ricci de Freitas of the Marchmont Association reports that the new owners of the Brunswick have alternative plans for optimising their income from the building, including making ‘better’ use of the levels below the shopping concourse, once the current works to address the serious drainage problems have been completed in the summer of 2016.
The TRA are extremely grateful for the support they received from C20 Society, who lodged a formal objection to the proposal, and to the many architects, historians and members of the public who wrote letters to Camden or signed the petition.
In further good news, the hoardings have finally come down from the refurbished Renoir, opening next weekend as the Curzon Bloomsbury (above) with an Auteur Film Festival. It is great to be able to welcome back the cinema without the threat of the Eyesore hanging over the building.