Westminster Council has approved plans by Carmody Groarke for a 20-storey tower in Paddington, central London
Proposals for the major scheme in Sheldon Square include demolishing the existing office block on the site to provide a hotel with between 185 and 200 beds, as well as restaurants and shops.
The site is currently occupied by a two-storey building called the Management Office. The glass-fronted building with a pitched roof, faces on to a private road. The planning report says it is ‘not regarded as a heritage asset’.
The report also shows that objections to the scheme were received from the Royal Parks, which is against is ‘excessive height’, and South East Bayswater Residents Association, a local group opposed to the loss of light to the building’s surroundings. Although the Greater London Authority (GLA) did not object to the scheme, it did raise concerns about the ‘acceptability of the proposed tower in design and townscape terms, particularly in relation to its height and detailed design’.
The document adds that the design of the tower is ‘considered to be acceptable’ and is ‘broadly’ in accordance with the borough’s design policies.
‘The proposed new building will be a prominent introduction into the townscape,’ it reads, ‘but its height and slender form would complement its immediate context (the Paddington Opportunity Area) and would, on the whole, have a neutral impact on the wider historic townscape.
‘The materials, modelling and relief of the design will introduce a crafted and visually stimulating new building of high quality. The design will also utilise large areas of currently underused space beneath the current Management Office, thus offering the potential to further animate the public realm and contribute to a thriving mixed-use sustainable neighbourhood and destination.’