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Demolition news fuels Chelsea Barracks speculation

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The last remaining buildings on the Chelsea Barracks site in west London are to be razed in November fuelling speculation that the controversial £3 billion scheme may finally be off the ground.

Developer Qatari Diar has confirmed that in less than two months the two 13-storey modern tower blocks and a warehouse will go the same way as the 1860s main barrack building which was demolished in 2008.

The news is the latest twist in a convoluted saga which has rarely been out of the headlines since Qatari Diar and the Candy Brothers stumped up the best part of £1 billion for the 5.2 hectare site in 2007.

Towers on Chelsea Barracks site

The scheme’s original architect Richard Rogers was thrown off the job in 2009 following an intervention by Prince Charles.

The current masterplan, which has outline planning permission, has been drawn up by  Dixon Jones, Squire and Partners and Kim Wilkie Associates and features 448 residences including 123 affordable homes.

The future of the site’s 19th Century Grade II-listed Garrison Chapel remains unclear. AJ understands that Heatherwick Studios was not, contrary to reports, working on the scheme.

In January this year The Guardian announced that the job was on hold, saying the developer was ‘refining its strategy’ in light of the ‘prevailing economic environment’ and in March the Standard reported the chief executive of Qatari Diar, John Wallace, had resigned only two months after the company was ordered by Westminster City Council to “start or sell” the much delayed scheme.

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