Yes, that's the typical thing that seems to happen these days while the future of the central space is obviously undecided--partly because of the regrettable division between transport and land use planning that means there's little co-ordination, and also little planning despite the names of these disciplines, and partly because there's really no money around at the moment for a big replacement project. Many people obviously love the IMAX as a cinema, but it would be fairly easy to rebuild on a corner of the junction and would probably end up being a better building. In the meantime, failing a proper top-down approach to the hierarchy of intervention, people, with the best will in the world, are trying to do something while the key question isn't addressed.
The inevitable threat of an appeal over the 'Tulip':
Here's an interesting case--a plucky gay fetish club against a (smallish) tower block proposal:
I expect that to Tower Hamlets planning watchers, this may not come as a surprise, as it may well be laid down in planning guidance, but it does seem to have gone to a Public Inquiry, so perhaps not.
I have seen many traditional pubs been saved by being classed as a community asset. It doesn't last mostly.
Developers often up the rent to make it unfeasible..no one takes it on for years and as a derelict building the council relent and finally allow for 'luxury' flats.
Repeated many times.
Yes, as ever, there are ways of getting around the provisions. To be fair, in quite a few cases the spirit of the law has been obeyed, but you're right. Reading the London Drinker, you do hear about those that got away.
Unfortunately, 'fixing' the housing market would mean bringing the cost of residential accommodation back in line with that of other types of premises, which would lead to a lot of people seeing their overvalued investments readjusted in value. Well, I don't know if it's ever going to happen, 'house prices' being such a fetish, but it's the only way of increasing home ownership rates and consistently building social housing again.
Already posted elsewhere by @kl:
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