Westminster resolves to grant permission for redevelopment of Labour HQ

Out-Law News | 17 Sep 2014 | 4:45 pm | 1 min. read

Westminster Council's planning applications committee has resolved to grant permission for developer Anquila's proposed redevelopment of the headquarters of the Labour party in Victoria, central London, according to a report in the Estates Gazette.

The proposals include the demolition and replacement of two buildings on Brewer's Green, Palmer's Street and Buckingham Gate and the refurbishment and partial change of use of a 16-storey tower at 64 to 65 Buckingham Gate. All three buildings are located within London's Core Central Activities Zone and the Victoria Opportunity Area.

The existing building at 64 to 65 Buckingham Gate contains 42 residential flats on the ninth to 15th floors, with office space on levels one to seven and 381 square metres of retail space on the ground and basement floors. Under Anquila's plans, the residential space will be expanded by 3,500 sq m to cover the fifth to sixteenth floors, with a total of 65 one- to five-bedroom flats. A payment of £3.65 million has been proposed in lieu of the 25% affordable housing provision required under Westminster's City Plan.

The first to fourth floors of the tower will remain in office use under the scheme and the ground floor will contain two retail units. Anquila proposes to triple-glaze the tower and re-clad it with a black anodized curtain wall system.

A three storey building at 1-3 Brewer's Green and 30-42 Palmer Street will be demolished under the plans, and replaced by a six storey brick building. The 1,383 sq m of office space in the existing building will be increased to 3,546 sq m in its replacement, but the retail space provided will be reduced from 812 sq m to 728 sq m.

The replacement of a second three storey building, at 63 Buckingham Gate, with a new three storey building for office and retail use will involve a gain of 336 sq m of office space and a loss of 53 sq m of retail space.

The plans were on the agenda for a meeting of the Council's planning committee on 11 September. A planning officer's report said that the loss of class A1 retail space under the proposals was contrary to policy and asked the committee to consider whether the loss was outweighed by the benefits of the scheme. According to the Estates Gazette report, the planning committee resolved unanimously to grant permission for the proposals, subject to the negotiation of a planning agreement.