Updated Sep 5, 2022

Controversial former ITV studio redevelopment called in

Levelling-up secretary Greg Clark has called in a controversial plan to redevelop the former ITV studios on London's South Bank.

The move follows Mayor of London Sadiq Khan's decision not to intervene in the architect Make's plans for developer Mitsubishi Estates to demolish the London Television Centre and build a 25-storey office tower connected to two buildings of 14 and six storeys.

The London Borough of Lambeth approved the scheme in March, which had been criticised by the Twentieth Century Society for its "significant harm" to the grade II*-listed National Theatre and grade II-listed IBM Building.

Clark has now decided that a public inquiry will be held into the scheme, citing concerns about its heritage impact and whether it fits in with national planning policy for conserving and enhancing the historic environment. The proposal's consistency with the Local Development Plan will also be examined at the inquiry.

The move is a significant victory for local campaigners. The Waterloo Community Development Group, which dubbed the scheme as "the big ugly", and Coin Street Community Builders, had demanded a public inquiry into the application.

Kate Hoey, former MP for Vauxhall in which the site lies and who had lobbied against the scheme, said she was "absolutely delighted" by the move and that it was the "right thing to happen".

Current MP Florence Eshalomi had also demanded that the plans should be called in for their "substantial degree of unnecessary harm".

Previous levelling-up secretary Michael Gove issued an article 31 notice in April, pausing the demolition.