Westminster resolves to grant planning permission for 13,700 sq m mixed-use scheme

Out-Law News | 16 Oct 2014 | 4:18 pm | 1 min. read

The London Borough of Westminster has resolved to grant planning permission for developer Derwent London's (DL) plans to build a 13,700 square metre mixed-use development on the site of three office buildings in central London.

DL has proposed to demolish three seven-storey office buildings at 25 to 33 Berners Street in London's W1 area and replace them with a single eight-storey commercial building for office, retail and restaurant use.

The upper seven stories would contain 11,458 sq m of office space under the plans, an increase of 111 sq m over the existing office provision. DL has also proposed 2,257 sq m of retail and restaurant space at ground floor and basement level, including a restaurant with up to 499 sq m of floorspace.

Under Westminster planning policy, an increase of commercial floorspace must be accompanied by the provision of an equivalent amount of residential floorspace, in order to encourage mixed-use development in the Borough. Considering on-site residential provision impractical, DL has proposed a payment of £2,050,000 towards the Borough's affordable housing fund, which "the [Borough's] valuers conclude is a reasonable offer", according to a planning officer's report relating to the proposals.

The Borough's planning committee resolved at a meeting on 14 October to grant planning permission for the proposals, subject to a section 106 agreement and approval from the Greater London Authority.

"We are excited by the prospects for this scheme, which will contribute to the continued regeneration of Fitzrovia, and adds to our significant development pipeline," said DL chief executive officer John Burns in a statement.

Work is expected to commence at the site early in 2015, following the relocation of current tenants, music licensing company PRS for Music.