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TfL slams Foster + Partners’ ‘completely unacceptable’ £1bn Whiteleys plans

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Transport for London (TfL) has objected to Foster + Partners’ latest plans for the £1 billion redevelopment of the Grade II-listed Whiteleys shopping centre in London’s Bayswater

The body, chaired by the mayor of London, described an increase in residential parking space for the scheme in Queensway as ‘completely unacceptable’.

Plans submitted in November would see the number of car parking spaces for residents rise by more than a third from an existing consented scheme to 145. They would also see 16 homes slashed from the development, more hotel rooms added and the size of a creche reduced.

Transport for London assistant planner Fatima Moreno Viera said in an email to Westminster Council on 1 February: ‘The uplift in car parking spaces is completely unacceptable as it’s excessive and inappropriate for this highly accessible central London location.’

She added: ‘We urge the council to insist on a car-free scheme for this site, except for three Blue Badge spaces.’

Foster + Partners beat firms including Zaha Hadid Architects and Make to win the residential-led Whiteleys overhaul more than three years ago.

Initial plans for the scheme (pictured), which is backed by a joint venture between a Meyer Bergman-advised fund and Warrior Group, were submitted in late 2015.

Consent was granted in April 2016 for demolition and redevelopment of buildings behind retained façades to create a 12-storey structure.

The approved scheme included 129 homes, retail space, a 42-bed hotel, a cinema, a gym, creche, 103 parking places for residents’ vehicles and a public car park.

Now permission has been sought to vary elements of the permission to 113 homes, 145 residential car park spaces and 50 hotel rooms, while relocating the public car park and reducing the size of the creche.

A design and access statement submitted to the council with the latest application said: ‘The aim of this proposed […] application is to optimise the planning consent for Whiteleys ahead of its implementation, taking into account the opportunity to now consider neighbouring sites which are now also in the applicant’s ownership as part of a wider pocket estate.’

Foster + Partners and the developer team have been contacted for comment.

Whiteley's department store

Whiteley’s department store

Whiteley’s department store



Readers' comments (2)

  • Phil Parker

    Are TfL totally out of sync here? I think so.

    In other more progressive cities, planning fully embraces the use of hybrid and electric cars and there is a need to park them.

    Imagine the scenario in 10 years time where the use of electric vehicles is the norm but there is nowhere to park them due to ‘Momentum’ type socio-restrictive policies in 2018. Great.

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  • Entirely agree with Phil Parker - hybrids and electric vehicles are the future. think ahead - not the now.

    Also, "....three Blue Badge spaces"....??
    A complete dismissal, disregard, lack of understanding and a disrespect for those who require Blue Badges for access to such places.

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