Jestico + Whiles has won permission for plans to rework Make’s 25-storey twin towers on the Albert Embankment as a hotel after the residential scheme received limited interest
Make won planning permission in 2017 to build the 166-home scheme for developer Ocubis on a former Texaco garage site and neighbouring Vintage House.
But the developer has changed tack and is pursuing a ’hotel-led’ scheme instead. The tweaked scheme, approved by Lambeth Council’s planning committee earlier this week, includes 660 rooms to be run by an unnamed international operator.
James Dilley, director at Jestico + Whiles, said: ’We were called upon to replan the building as a hotel, with limited changes to the original architectural design by architect Make, which had previously won the planning permission for the residential building.
’The approval signals a new lease of life for the site, championing the coveted hotel and leisure sector, in a high-profile location on the Thames.’
In planning documents, Ocubis said ‘softening residential values’ and slow rates of sale, not to mention plenty of new housing in schemes such as Foster + Partners’ The Corniche and RHSP’s 18-storey Merano scheme, had been among the factors that hindered the sale.
It is yet another setback for a contested site, which has seen a number of proposals fall by the wayside.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners had previously drawn up plans for the Thamesside plot in the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea opportunity area on behalf of Foxtons founder Jon Hunt.
In 2009 – and before the Vintage House warehouse site was included in the scheme – Ken Shuttleworth’s practice Make had also come up with proposals for a blade-like, 75m-tall building. However, Lambeth Council refused permission for the project.
Make’s original residential proposal (left); and Jestico + Whiles’ reworked hotel scheme (right)