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Squire & Partners replaces Make on beefed-up St John’s Wood scheme

Regal london dora house, st john's wood
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Squire & Partners has replaced Make Architects on the overhaul of a sheltered housing block in north west London, submitting a fresh set of plans with an increased number of homes

Make, working with Ryder Architects, won permission in 2017 to demolish Dora House, a post-war housing block in by Lords Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood to make way for 200 homes. 

The consented scheme included two buildings, a 10-storey block of 44 units for private sale and a 13-storey block with 156 homes for people aged over 55. 

But the landowner, housing association C&C, has since reviewed the scheme arguing it is ‘no longer viable’ in current market conditions and did not ’optimise the housing potential of the site’.

Through developer Regal London it has now lodged a beefed-up proposal with Westminster Council for the 0.46ha site for 112 private apartments, as well as 170 homes allocated to people aged 55+.

While Ryder has been retained, Make has been replaced as the architect for the private sale block by Squire & Partners, where the number of flats has been boosted from 44 to 112.

The uplift in flats has resulted in additional storeys being added to both of the buildings.

A planning statement sent to Westminster Council said: ’Following a strategic review of the 2017 permission, it was concluded that the size and scale of the proposed market residential units was no longer viable in current market conditions and did not optimise the housing potential of the site.

’The proposed scheme therefore seeks to expand on the principles established by the 2017 permission whilst optimising housing delivery; delivering housing better aligned with housing need in this location; and improving the design of the buildings.’

Built in 1969, Dora House comprises 204 self-contained flats for older people comprised mostly of studios and is owned by housing association Central and Cecil Housing Trust.

David J O’Neill, a director at C&C, said: ’Designed by Central and Cecil Housing Trust and C&C consultants, in collaboration with C&C residents, the redevelopment of the previously known Dora House property is of a sophisticated and high-end design that challenges the concept of affordable housing for people aged 55+ years.’

Make were approached for comment.

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