City of London landmark
The London Custom House is a Grade I listed building on the north bank of the Thames, just upstream from the Tower of London. It was built to the designs of David Laing, a pupil of Sir John Soane, and was completed in 1817. After a partial collapse, the whole building was underpinned and the central block rebuilt by Robert Smirke between 1825 and 1828. The building has been vacated by HM Revenue and Customs. An application to convert it to hotel use went to public inquiry in January 2022 after an appeal against non-determination of the planning application by the City Corporation. From the outset, the proposals had been opposed by the Georgian Group (the national amenity society and charity concerned with the protection of Georgian buildings) and others, on account of the harmful impact on the historic plan form of the Custom House. At the inquiry Neil Burton, a director of AHP, acted as the Georgian Group's expert heritage witness. In June 2022 the Inspector dismissed the appeal, principally on the grounds put forward by AHP on behalf of the Group.