English Heritage (EH), which has challenged several commercial property builds, has defended its high legal bill.
It said it was absolutely essential to be prepared to make legal challenges – papers released to BD, the Architects’ Website, showed the heritage group spent more than £1.6 million last year.
William Palin, secretary of Save Britain’s Heritage, welcomed EH’s stance and said it was essential it could “fight inquiries and take legal action”.
“It is often the only effective way of preventing the destruction of historic buildings,” he continued.
EH’s legal director denied the group had become more hard-line and argued it had actually become more collaborative.
“EH handles 17,000 cases a year and you can count the number of public inquiries on one hand, Mike Harlow pointed out.
BD has revealed the government’s advisor on the historic environment spent more than £660,000 on inquiries for Doon Street, the Walkie Talkie tower and Smithfield developments.
Prince Charles has stepped into the current debate on new high-rise London buildings, he told developers recently they were building to high in the wrong places.