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Mayor backs Orms Oxford Street scheme after nightclub reinstated

Orms' redevelopment of Wells House Oxford Street
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Sadiq Khan has waved through an Orms office and retail block on Oxford Street after using new rules to ensure a nightclub was reinstated into the 10-storey scheme

The mayor of London declared that he was happy to allow Westminster Council’s decision on the redevelopment of Wells House to stand following amendments made by the AJ100 practice to comply with the draft London Plan.

The project, backed by M&G Real Estate, involves the demolition of a seven-storey 1960s building on the corner of Oxford Street and Wells Street in the capital’s West End.

Khan advised at consultation stage last summer that the loss of the Scandal nightclub, based in the basement of Wells House, was unacceptable.

The scheme was subsequently amended to include a new home for the nightclub within the building and was approved by the local authority’s major applications planning sub-committee in September.

Now Khan has written to Westminster planning officer Mark Hollington saying he will not direct refusal or to take over the application. City Hall said this marked the first time a policy in the draft London Plan had been used to require a developer to find a home for an existing venue in a new project – and cover the cost of soundproofing.

The policy follows a study by City Hall and the Night Time Commission showing that jobs in the night-time industries were growing faster than the economy as a whole.

Orms’ scheme will include retail space on the ground, first and second levels; office facilities on the six storeys above; and the nightclub, along with plant and cycle spaces, below.

Night czar Amy Lamé said: ‘London’s night-time culture is the most diverse in the world. Our beloved pubs and venues play a vital role in London life.

‘That’s why we are so determined to protect and champion them. We’ve taken unprecedented steps to protect these venues and I’m delighted to see one of our policies in action for the first time.’

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