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Carmody Groarke wins green light for Paddington tower


Westminster Council has approved plans by Carmody Groarke for a 20-storey tower in Paddington, central London 

Proposals for the major scheme in Sheldon Square include demolishing the existing office block on the site to provide a hotel with between 185 and 200 beds, as well as restaurants and shops. 

The site is currently occupied by a two-storey building called the Management Office. The glass-fronted building with a pitched roof, faces on to a private road. The planning report says it is ‘not regarded as a heritage asset’.

The report also shows that objections to the scheme were received from the Royal Parks, which is against is ‘excessive height’, and South East Bayswater Residents Association, a local group opposed to the loss of light to the building’s surroundings. Although the Greater London Authority (GLA) did not object to the scheme, it did raise concerns about the ‘acceptability of the proposed tower in design and townscape terms, particularly in relation to its height and detailed design’. 

The document adds that the design of the tower is ‘considered to be acceptable’ and is ‘broadly’ in accordance with the borough’s design policies.

‘The proposed new building will be a prominent introduction into the townscape,’ it reads,  ‘but its height and slender form would complement its immediate context (the Paddington Opportunity Area) and would, on the whole, have a neutral impact on the wider historic townscape.

‘The materials, modelling and relief of the design will introduce a crafted and visually stimulating new building of high quality. The design will also utilise large areas of currently underused space beneath the current Management Office, thus offering the potential to further animate the public realm and contribute to a thriving mixed-use sustainable neighbourhood and destination.’


Readers' comments (3)

  • Well, acceptable is about right? At least Paddington has an urban marker? One in the eye for Barbara Weiss, and her low rise friends? Next time a bit more Chrysler dramatics? It’s all you can expect from the “opportunity area” And wake up in Paddington with a view of Hyde Park.

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  • Geoff Williams

    Lets hope that due vigilance is given to fire protection in this high rise edifice. Fire rated electrical standards and codes should not be linked to the minimum requirements. All fire rated and life saving applications must have a 2 hour fire rated cable to maintain the electrical supply. This what the BS 6387 standard means:
    BSI Statement.
    “BS6387 does not attempt to provide any guidance as to the suitability of cables to any given installation, or purpose. The choice of a particular cable to given installation and purpose must take into account all relevant building, electrical installation and fire regulations and codes pertaining to the building concerned, also taking into account the survival time required for the particular circuits the cable will serve. Such a choice must be made by suitably qualified persons having the requisite expertise to make those decisions and is a far wider issue than the use of just one standard".

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  • There are no 'before and after' images, the site plan is as clear as mud, and - despite the positive comments from the planning authority - is this an example of densification at a major transport hub risking 'over-stuffing' the locality, to the benefit of no one except the developer?

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