write to michael gove

Please write to the Secretary of State urging him to call in the LWW Planning Proposals

As you know the The City Planning Applications Sub-Committee voted to approve the LWW proposals. Given that the City is both the applicant and the planning authority, we should not be surprised at this. As you also know, the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, issued an Article 31 Holding Direction, which gives him the right to call in the application for determination under Article 71 of the Town and Country Planning Act.

We need to do everything in our power to urge the Secretary of State to proceed with the call-in so that there can be a full enquiry. 

We need as many people as possible to write to the Secretary of State in support of the call-in and give their reasons as to why this must happen. Please do this as soon as possible. Mr. Gove cannot make his decision until after the local elections – which means that it is perfectly possible that on next Friday May 3rd the City could receive the green light to proceed with their Decision Notice which formally approves the proposals.

Below is our suggested opening paragraph and the principal points to include in your letter. If you can possibly adapt using your own words, all the better. You are writing to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, and the email should be addressed to all three of the following:


Subject of email is: Planning Casework Unit: Reference PCU/RTI/K5030/3342033 (London Wall West)

Dear Secretary of State

Request to retain Section 31 Holding Order and Call-in

Planning Applications:Planning Applications: 23/01304/FULEIA; 23/01277/LBC and 23/01276/LBC

Address: London Wall West, 140 London Wall, 150 London Wall, Ironmongers’ Hall, Shaftesbury Place, London Wall Car Park, (including Void, Lifts and Stairs at 200 Aldersgate Street and One London Wall), London EC2Y.

I write urging you to retain the Section 31 Holding Order on the applications named above and to consider the call-in of the applications. This is necessary to ensure there is a full and proper consideration of the scheme and that the applications should be reviewed by the independent Planning Inspectorate, especially as the development site is owned by the City of London Corporation and the applicant is also the City of London Corporation. 

Here are the key reasons for the SoS to consider a call in:

  • The applications conflict with national policies on heritage, design and the environment. 
  • The proposals represent a significant failure to comply with local planning policy. 
  • Heritage concerns by Historic England and the Purveyor to the Fabric of St Paul’s Cathedral were simply brushed aside without rationale at the Committee meeting. 
  • No independent peer design review of the scheme took place. 
  • There is no compelling justification for demolition. Interest by developers who responded to the Soft Market Test to retain and refurbish the buildings was swept aside and has never been published.
  • Committee Members were denied the opportunity to debate the application despite asking to do so.

Based on these points, these are wholly unacceptable proposals and there is every compelling reason to call in the applications. 

Please do write and urge everyone you know to do the same. 

Thank you as always for your continued support.