Housebuilder Berkeley Homes has appointed architect Ian Ritchie to design a housing scheme next to London's Tower Bridge.
Berkeley has started discussions with CABE, English Heritage and London mayor Ken Livingstone – whose new headquarters building is next to the proposed scheme – over its plans for the Potter's Field site.

Paddy Sweetnam, managing director of Berkeley Homes (London), said it was not yet decided whether the project would be a mixed-use or purely residential. He said: "We are at an incredibly early stage – we've got to decide whether or not we're going ahead."

Sweetnam conceded that the historic location is likely to be controversial. He said: "The people in the borough are going to be extremely interested – we want to talk to the local community."

Berkeley does not expect Ritchie's designs to emerge until early summer. In the mid-1990s, Ritchie drew up plans for a temporary Royal Opera House at Potter's Field, but the scheme did not proceed.