A planning application for Renzo Piano’s contentious 72-storey skyscraper next to London’s Paddington Station has been submitted today (14 December)
The west London scheme, which has grown in height by 30m to 254m since it was first unveiled in October, has already come in for heavy criticism from both Historic England and Skyline campaigner Barbara Weiss.
The heritage watchdog claimed the skyscraper, dubbed the Paddington Pole, would have a ‘seriously detrimental impact’ on the surrounding historic built environment while Weiss feared the project could open the flood gates for a raft of new towers across London (AJ 10.12.15).
However the backers behind the huge mixed-use scheme - Shard developer Sellar Group with Great Western Developments, a subsidiary of Singaporean company Hotel Properties - said the redevelopment of the former Royal Mail sorting office at 31 London Street would ‘dramatically transform’ the area.
The development team insisted the Paddington Place project would deliver more than ’an acre of new public realm’ next to the station, a sky garden and 5,000m² of ’high-quality retail and leisure space’ in Praed Street.
The entrance ramp into Paddington Station will be removed and the area in front of the station opened up.
Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property Group, commented: ’This exciting transformational development will enhance this important part of central London. Paddington’s transport interchange will be fit for purpose for the 21st Century and the wider mixed-use development and public space will enhance the way residents, visitors, businesses and their people live work and play, and will make a major contribution in revitalising this district.’
Adam Hug, leader of the Westminster Labour Group
’This project will have a huge potential impact on Paddington and the surrounding area so it is imperative that Westminster Council takes its time to ensure everyone has a chance to have an informed say on the proposals. The scheme must not plough ahead unless everyone is confident it delivers the best deal possible for Paddington residents and businesses.
’The scheme must not plough ahead’
’At the moment Labour councillors are deeply concerned that the proposals do not contain any onsite affordable housing, despite planning policy requiring 30 per cent affordable housing provision. The developers must urgently put forward clear plans for a substantial amount of new social and genuinely affordable housing in the local area if the scheme is to truly benefit the community.’
A height comparison of London’s newest skyscrapers