Middlesex Hospital site - View from corner of Nassau Street with the retained facade and Mortimer Street
£750 million scheme approved after last-minute concessions on affordable housing
Sheppard Robson and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands are celebrating after their controversial proposals for one of central London’s biggest development sites were approved.
The 0.5ha Middlesex Hospital site in Fitzrovia will now be turned into a mixed-use area with nearly 300 homes, retail and restaurants, offices and community uses set around a central square.
A source close to the project said it was “tense down to the last minute” because Westminster’s planning officers were unhappy with the percentage of affordable housing in the Exemplar Properties scheme.
Their report to councillors described the 17.4% of residential floor space devoted to affordable homes as “unacceptable” as the council’s policy is for a quarter of homes on new developments to be affordable.
At last night’s meeting the developer agreed to add an extra 6,804sq m of on-site affordable housing space and to pay £3.85m to the council’s affordable housing fund.
Rosemarie MacQueen, Westminster’s strategic director for the built environment, said: “The site as it currently exists has come to represent the economic downturn in recent years, and Westminster council views this project as a catalyst to breathe new life into this area through the establishment of new local facilities on the site.
“The committee were satisfied that the plans for development are sympathetic to the surrounding area, and were happy to grant approval subject to conditions.”
Alex Lifschutz, a director at Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, welcomed the news.
He added: “A large public square at the heart of the scheme will open up the area and provide new pedestrian routes to make this part of Fitzrovia more permeable than at any time since Middlesex Hospital was built in the Edwardian era.”
Dan Burr, partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “Great care has been taken to design a neighbourhood that will be welcoming and desirable, even on a wet Wednesday night in November.
“The collaboration between Sheppard Robson and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands in the development of the design proposals has created an architectural richness which will promote a sense of identity and ownership for the residents.”
Ken Shutteleworth, founder of Make which designed an earlier scheme when the site was known as NoHo Square and part-owned by the Candy brothers, congratulated Sheppard Robson and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands on Twitter.
Enabling works are already underway and the development is due to be completed in 2014.
20 February 2013
31 October 2012
21 September 2012
20 July 2012
6 July 2012
2 May 2012
1 February 2012
23 September 2011
13 December 2010
07 November 2008