The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

English Heritage fails to support listing of internationally celebrated Estate

The Twentieth Century Society is deeply disappointed by the failure of English Heritage to recommend the listing of seminal East London housing Estate, Robin Hood Gardens.

Providing six key reasons for its decision English Heritage has found the Estate does not meet the strict criteria for the listing of post-war architecture. This is surprising as these issues were all carefully considered by the Society and were largely addressed in the listing application – we remain convinced that the building does meet the criteria.

The Estate, designed by influential husband and wife partnership, Alison and Peter Smithson in 1969-72 has been the subject of intense debate and speculation since the Society forwarded it for listing in November 2007.

Now, despite English Heritage’s advisory panel agreeing with the huge numbers of campaigners and that the building should be listed, EH has forwarded advice to the Minister, Margaret Hodge, not to list the Estate and thereby leave the way open for the developers to demolish.

We are pleased to have learnt however, that The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), the Government’s advisory body on architecture, has come out strongly in favour of listing. This is significant and shows the campaign to save the Estate is far from over.

The Minister now has all the information required to make the final decision on listing. We hope very much that she will go against the advice of English Heritage and list the building.


For Jon Wright (jon.wright(at) telephone 020 7250 3857
Out of hours: 07855 406718