Labour councillors have demanded Simon Bowden Architecture’s (SBA) plans for a £250m mixed-use scheme on the Moxon Street car park site in Marylebone are scrapped
The Leicester Square-based practice is working for developers Ridgeford Properties and Concord Pacific which, earlier in the month, beat Howard de Walden Estate, CIT and St George to win the high-profile project.
The 0.83 acre plot between Baker Street and Bond Street tube stations was originally put up for sale last year by now disgraced conservative Councillor Jonathan Glanz who at the time was Westminster Council’s cabinet member for housing.
However, earlier this week Glanz ‘stepped down’ after a furore erupted over remarks he made about the borough’s poorest tenants, who he compared unfavourably to rich layabouts portrayed in TV programme Made in Chelsea.
Now Labour councillor Paul Dimoldenburg has called into question the validity of the sale: ‘Our argument is not with Ridgeford, they have participated in the tender process in the normal way; our concern is the way the council handled it.’
’It should obviously include some commercial elements, but the site is one of a few owned by the council in the West End. We should be supporting a development where community comes first; a site for a school, affordable housing and space for the farmers’ market,’ he said.
The open air car park which is also home to a Sunday farmers’ market is being mooted as a possible site for the proposed Marylebone Boys’ School; a proposal which has the backing of London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Former Aedas and Make talent Simon Bowden, founder of SBA, said the firm’s designs would be ‘kept under wraps’ until the planning process begins in the Spring of next year, in the meantime he said the firm was continuing to work up the designs: ‘We haven’t been told any different,’ he said.
At the time of writing Ridgeford was not available for comment.