Westminster Council blocks Paddington Central tower scheme again

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Officials voted last night, 7 January, to refuse the application for a 21-storey office tower at the scheme – in support of their own planning committee – on the grounds that it would harm the character and appearance of the area.

Previous owners Development Securities and Aviva Investors originally received the greenlight for “the final phase” of their £600m Paddington Central development 10 years ago. This came after Westminster Council granted detailed consent for two office blocks: the 10-storey 4 Kingdom Street and, at that time, the 13-storey 5 Kingdom Street.

British Land, which took ownership of the scheme in 2013, has been attempting to receive approval for a revised scheme and taller tower at 5 Kingdom Street.

The scheme would have delivered 570,000 sq ft of office space, 18,000 sq ft of cafes and restaurants and an 86,000 sq ft flexible events space and auditorium called The Box.

It would also have seen the temporary Pergola drinking and dining destination at the location replaced.

“We are disappointed with Westminster’s decision to refuse planning permission for 5 Kingdom Street,” British Land said in a statement following the latest setback.

“We believe that the scheme would deliver much needed workspace, capitalising on the significant recent investment in Paddington, as well as providing many direct benefits to Westminster and its residents through a mix of employment, leisure, cultural and community uses. We will now consider our options.”

Paddington Central is a 11-acre development near Paddington railway station. Tenants include Microsoft, Kingfisher, Finastra, Vodafone and Mars.

British Land’s revised plans met with resistance when submitted last summer and were initially blocked on the grounds that they did not meet mayor Sadiq Khan’s London Plan.

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