Opponents of a highrise proposed next to Victoria Park say their efforts are gaining traction after the London Advisory Committee on Heritage took the unusual step of deeming a consultant's report 'insufficient.'

Before the multi-million dollar highrise can go up, a pair of heritage buildings facing the northeast corner of Victoria Park would have to be torn down, setting the stage for a possibly lengthy development fight.

The 25-storey highrise tower proposed by Auburn Developments at 560 and 562 Wellington Street would be the first to overlook London's premier park and event space.

A Heritage Impact Assessment report prepared by a consultant hired by the developer concluded, "The removal of these buildings would not have an adverse effect on the WWHD (West Woodfield Heritage District) since these buildings are not original to the site and furthermore would not undermine the integrity of the District."

The ways in which the report was found to be insufficient were not agreed upon by the London Advisory Committee on Heritage, which instead took the unusual step of a formal resolution simply deeming the assessment insufficient.

And thre is growing neighbourhood opposition, with hundreds of signatures already on an online petition opposing the development.

Kate Rapson with the Woodfield Community Association says, "The developer's impact assessment did not include Victoria Park, and it overlooks it and it would have a huge impact on Victoria Park."

For planning and heritage purposes Victoria Park is designated part of the West Woodfield Heritage Conservation District.

And on a scale of A through D, the buildings involved have a B rating, which means they are of "high cultural heritage or interest."

The heritage district policy states "Demolition of heritage buildings in the district is strongly discouraged...and shall require approval from the municipality."

And there are worries demolition could put protected buildings in heritage districts across the city at risk, Rapson say.

"That could potentially again set a precedent and it puts all the B buildings, which is a huge percentage of our heritage districts, at risk."

Ultimately the concerns raised by the advisory committee will be included, but not be a deciding factor in a re-zoning report being prepared by city planners.

Jim Yanchula with the City of London's planning division says, "Their comments will be taken into account with the other comments on the application and there will be a report on that full application coming back in a few months."

Attempts to speak with Auburn Developments on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The London Advisory Committee on Heritage expects the issue to be back in front of them before a formal re-zoning request goes before the planning committee.