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Fosters wins planning for Whiteleys shopping centre revamp

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Foster + Partners has won planning for its £1 billion residential-led redevelopment of the Grade II-listed Whiteleys shopping centre in Bayswater, west London

The controversial project will see the 1980s shopping centre behind the historic Queensway facade demolished and replaced with more than 100 homes.

The iconic central dome of the building, designed by architects John Belcher and John James Joass in 1911, will be retained with the proposed flats and townhouses arranged around a new inner courtyard.

Backed by a joint venture between a Meyer Bergman-advised fund and Warrior Group, the scheme also includes new shops, a boutique hotel, gym and a basement cinema.

The scheme had come under fire from local campaigners, with a group named Get Whiteleys Right launching a petition against the scheme. Garnering 1,040 signatures, the petition stated that Fosters’ proposals would ‘dominate the skyline of the Bayswater conservation area’. It also added that digging down to create a basement could risk subsidence to neighbouring buildings, and called for the height of the development to be capped at five storeys and limited to two basement levels.

Conservation groups including Historic England, SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the Victorian Society had also objected to the plans.

When it first opened, the building was seen as ‘the height of luxury’ and included both a theatre and a rooftop golf-course.

The store closed in 1980 and was empty for a number of years before it re-opened as a shopping mall in 1989.

The practice beat Zaha Hadid Architects, Ken Shuttleworth’s practice Make and Stiff + Trevillion to win the project last year.

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