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Is it a Fair Cop in Victoria?

26 February 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

The demolishing of New Scotland Yard in central London with a replacement £1.5 billion luxury development has raised some questions over its lack of affordable housing and aesthetics.

The 1.7-acre site was originally bought by the Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) in a deal that will see the Met Police move from the offices it has occupied since 1967 to Curtis Green building on the Victoria Embankment.

In its place will be complex of skyscrapers that will house 268 apartments, shops and offices but controversially with only 10 ‘affordable’ housing units. One architectural expert has stated it was a “mediocre rehash of 1960s’ design”, while others living and working in the area complain of an over-development of the site.

The revised plan for Ten Broadway was put forward by BL Developments to Westminster Council and included:

  • A re-design of the two buildings closest to St James’s Park Underground Station and a reduction in height of one of the buildings by one storey, to better relate to the materials and scale of the adjoining buildings.

  • A reduction in footprint and re-design of the retail pavilion, to provide a larger public space next to St, James’s Park Underground Station.

  • A re-design of the office podium, to better relate to the scale of the adjoining buildings.

  • A new colonnade at Victoria Street, providing a more generous pavement area at ground floor.

  • Subdivision of the some of the larger residential flats, to provide more flats overall.

  • A slight increase in restaurant/café uses which will now also be provided on Victoria Street as well as next to St. James’s Park station.

  • A revised planting and landscaping design to better relate to the ground floor retail and restaurant/café uses and to encourage pedestrian movement through the area.

  • Changes to the servicing of the building to provide more active retail frontages at ground floor.

Planning permission was granted this Tuesday, 23 February but is conditional on a s106 legal agreement, which will see a payment of £10 million for affordable housing in Westminster. 
Developers will also be expected to provide free lifetime car club membership for residents, tree planting on Victoria Street and a payment of £500,000 towards public realm improvements at nearby Strutton Ground which houses a busy market. There is also a requirement for a site environmental management plan and the funding of regular environmental inspection.

“This is an exciting mixed-use scheme that will continue the renaissance of Victoria,” said Cllr Robert Davis, Cabinet Member, Westminster City Council for the built environment. “We are turning what was by necessity a closed and well-fortified police building into an attractive open space with high quality retail outlets, offices and homes in the very heart of London.”

Not surprisingly there was great satisfaction from the companies involved in the Ten Broadway redevelopment.
“Ten Broadway will be a landmark mixed-use scheme of 1 million sqft, nestled between the historic attractions of Parliament and Buckingham Palace,” stated Niccolo Barattieri di san Pietro, CEO, Northacre, the development managing company. “The development is set to complete in 2021 and will feature six architecturally striking buildings which will each offer outstanding views.” 

He went on to insist that the design had been carefully considered to incorporate materials sympathetic to the sandstone and brick of the area. “Thanks go to our planning consultant, Bilfinger GVA and the architect, Squires and Partners for their unwavering commitment to the scheme.”

Picture: New Scotland Yard will make way for Ten Broadway which will open fully for business by 2021 after planning approval by Westminster City Council this week






Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 26 February 2016


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