The Royal Parks agency is set to block a major development by Squire and Partners in London's Paddington that features a 28-storey tower.
The agency is opposed to the 133m tower, which it says will ruin views from Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Long Bridge across Regent's Park Lake. The scheme, planned for a site bordering 285-329 Edgware Road, Church Street, Newcastle Place and Paddington Green, will come before Westminster's planning committee this evening. Planning officers have recommended that councillors insist Squire and Partners reduce the height of the tower and 'change its detailed design to be sympathetic with the existing buildings in the Green'.
English Heritage is also concerned about the impact of the scheme on the Paddington Green conservation area and the setting of neighbouring listed buildings, 'and will be discussing this matter with all interested parties in the near future'.
However, Squire and Partners defended the tower as 'an elegant landmark building' that will be seen from the Royal Parks as part of the cluster of tall buildings planned for the Paddington Basin, which includes Richard Rogers's Grand Union Building. 'The proposed tower will act as a stimulus for the regeneration of what has been a derelict site for many years, ' the practice said. 'The new building rises to the shoulder of the dominant Richard Rogers' proposal, with which it acts as a gateway in views into London from the West.'
The project, for developer West End Green Properties, includes a range of buildings from six to 28 storeys, including a supermarket, 291 residential units (with 87 affordable homes), 168 holiday let units, a central public space and car parking.