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Grimshaw chops £360m Paddington tower in half

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Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners is set to resubmit proposals for the £360 million redevelopment of London's Paddington Station, halving last year's plans for a 200m-high, 42-storey tower. But it will continue to insist that the Grade I-listed station extension, built in 1916, is demolished (AJ 6.7.00).

Westminster council refused planning permission last December, and revised plans are due to be presented over the next four to six weeks. The practice will have a battle on its hands, however, as it has yet to win over conservationists. English Heritage and the Victorian Society are reluctant to consent to the destruction of Paddington's 'span 4'.

Both groups refuse to be drawn on a final decision until they have seen definitive proposals, but they remain cautious. 'What Grimshaw is proposing is, in effect, the demolition of one-quarter of a Grade I-listed building, ' said Richard Holder, senior architectural advisor at the Victorian Society. 'To do that sort of thing the proposal should be exceptional. Until a concrete scheme is on the table, we want to see span 4 retained.'

Although Grimshaw's tower proposals are reduced, other plans are much the same: a raised taxi deck above new railway platforms will still appear in the scheme, as will links to the neighbouring canal and the St Mary's health campus.

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