A new development by the architects behind the Shard has come under fire by a group who claim the project will damage Southwark's industrial heritage.
The Vinegar Yard plan would see a Victorian Warehouse in Bermondsey transformed into a new office block.
The Victorian Society says it has concerns about the height of the new tower, and the impact it will have on the existing building, which was built in the 1800s.
However, the architects behind the proposal have said that their design is the product of detailed and sensitive consideration.
A Sellar spokespersons said in a full statement:
"Sellar and Renzo Piano Building Workshop disagree profoundly with the Victorian Society’s statement about our proposed plans. Our design is the product of detailed and sensitive consideration, together with extensive consultation and engagement with the planning authority and local stakeholders.
The Vinegar Yard warehouse has been vacant for over 10 years and is in a poor state of repair. Its significance is limited. The warehouse is not listed or even listable. It has no immediate connections to the area’s character or spaces. The Victorian Society appears to have forgotten that the building was so badly damaged by a V1 in 1944 that it had to be substantially rebuilt and as a result the Society attributes greater heritage significance than it really has.
Most of it will have to be disassembled to repair it whether this development proceeds or not. The application submitted to Southwark involves a restoration of key elements of the warehouse and the retention of many of its characteristic original architectural features. The original exterior walls will be restored and the interior elements will be carefully examined and repaired as necessary for reuse. The unstable rebuilt south wall was originally a party wall and if removed can connect to Snowsfields.
The beautiful glass extension will transform the warehouse from its present derelict state into a new building with a long-term working life. Furthermore, the Piano design sets the rehabilitated warehouse within a new piazza at the heart of a new vibrant district immediately south-east of the recently enlarged London Bridge Station.
With regards to height, tall buildings already exist in the vicinity and are envisaged by policy to be placed this area. We strongly believe that we have managed a carefully considered transition from the character of Bermondsey Street to the metropolitan scale around London Bridge Station and that our proposals will make a positive contribution in many ways to the area."