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Eric Parry's £50m West End production to go ahead

Planning approval granted for scheme to redevelop area around Piccadilly and Jermyn Street, despite objections from the Victorian Society

Westminster Council approved the 14,000m² mixed-use scheme, known as St James’s Gateway, which will involve the demolition of eight historic buildings. Boris Johnson has indicated he will not overrule the decision.

Jim Yates, head of development for Crown Estates, which owns the site, said: ‘The Crown Estate welcomes the committee’s decision… The outcome represents a culmination of over two years’ work including a comprehensive programme of consultation with local residents, businesses and amenity groups… As with all of The Crown Estate’s work across the UK, our approach to regeneration at Piccadilly and St. James’s is at all times guided by our core values of commercialism, integrity and stewardship.’

The Victorian Society objected to the development, saying the buildings could be renovated and even extended. Tim Boucher, owner of Bates the hat maker, told the Evening Standard his business would have to close as it would not be possible to move elsewhere while work was carried out. Crown Estates stated: ‘The distinctive retail character of Jermyn Street will… be preserved, with long-established Jermyn Street retailers such as Trumpers and Herbie Frogg returning to the development once it is completed.’

The Crown Estate is valued at over £6 billion, and includes substantial blocks of urban property - such as properties on Piccadilly, Haymarket, Pall Mall, Regent Street and Jermyn Street - 146,000 hectares of agricultural land and around half the foreshore, together with the seabed out to the 12 mile territorial limit.

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