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Council fails to decide over TfL’s plans for Holden-designed HQ

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Westminster planning committee has failed to make a decision on controversial proposals to convert Transport for London’s (TfL) grade I-listed office block into flats

Despite being recommended for approval, local councillors last night (21 April) chose to defer a decision over architect TateHindle’s plans to redevelop TfL’s Portland-stone clad 55 Broadway building as high-end apartments.

The authority’s planning committee raised concerns about the proposed residential use for Charles Holden’s landmark - the tallest office block in London when it completed in 1929 - with one councillor demanding that some office space should be included within any new development.

Others agreed that a hotel in the building would be ‘nice to have’.

The submitted plans included 89 private and 35 affordable flats, a gym, meeting room, bar and cinema with an extension to the tenth storey of the building.

The scheme had already been criticised due to the level of affordable housing on offer.

Last September, Tom Copley, Labour’s housing-group spokesman on the London Assembly, said that TfL’s proposal for just 22 per cent of the new homes to be ‘affordable’ was unacceptable.

Responding to last night’s outcome, Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at TfL, said: ‘We note the decision to defer the application, and will review our plans in light of the comments of the committee.

‘We remain keen to develop a scheme that maximises the value of our estate to reinvest back into the transport network for the benefit of customers and users.’

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