Friday18 August 2017

Heritage bodies put boot into Foster's Whiteleys scheme

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Plan involves turning west London shopping centre into luxury flats

Heritage groups including Historic England, Save Britain’s Heritage and the Victorian Society are objecting to plans by Foster & Partners to turn the Whiteleys shopping centre in west London into block of luxury flats.

The scheme is due before planners at Westminster council on Tuesday with the council due to rule on whether Whiteleys can be demolished leaving only its stucco façades in Queensway and Porchester Gardens standing.

Historic England has lodged an objection to the plan, particularly the loss of the building’s landmark domes while the Victorian Society has also objected, citing “unjustified harm” to the building, which dates from 1863.

Save Britain’s Heritage said “the proposals fail to preserve or enhance the building’s significant heritage value and special qualities, and the proposed public benefits do not mitigate the harm caused”.

Though some façades would be retained, the store, founded in the Victorian era and rebuilt in 1912, would be gutted and its distinctive Edwardian glass domes removed.

The 10-storey scheme includes 103 flats and 139 basement car parking spaces along with shops, a gym, a boutique hotel, an underground cinema and a crèche. It is being developed by a wealthy Brunei-based private family trust.

As well as conservation groups, local residents are also objecting to the plans which are the centrepiece of a wider scheme to spruce up Queensway.



Readers' comments (4)

  • Seymour Alexander

    "Heritage bodies put boot into Foster's Whiteleys scheme" - not a very fair headline. Haven't heard you talking about anyone "putting the boot" into the Garden Bridge or the Paddington Pole.

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  • Beavis

    spot on Seymour

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    You should not a consistent approach from this magazine.

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  • What a stupid scheme, but it is the client that is at fault, not Fosters. The surviving Edwardian interiors have real flair and panache. The scheme should be declined and then hopefully it will be sold on to a more imaginative and responsible owner.

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