British Land JV plans will almost double office space in block above Bond Street Station

AHMM’s plans to redevelop a 1970s shopping centre on Oxford Street with a taller scheme that boasts nearly twice as much office space on its upper storeys have won the backing of Westminster City Council.

The practice’s plans will see the demolition of much of the six-storey West One Shopping Centre, above the southern entrance to Bond Street underground station. The current building’s top four storeys will go altogether and its first and ground floor levels will be partly removed – along with the facades of the retained sections of the building.

AHMM’s proposals, drawn up for a joint venture between British Land and Norges Bank Investment Management, will see the structure rebuilt with nine storeys at ground level and above, and terraces at the third-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-floor levels.

In a report to Tuesday night’s meeting of Westminster council’s planning committee, officers said the proposals retained “the majority” of retail space in the existing shopping centre at basement, ground and first-floor levels, with an “uplift” in office space on the upper storeys.

The current building has 5,915sq m of retail space and 5,768sq m of office space on its top four floors. AHMM’s proposals would see retail space dip to 5,601sq m, while office space would almost double to 10,314sq m.

West One 1.1

Source: AHMM

The West One Shopping Centre on Oxford Street, which was consented in the late 1970s

Recommending the scheme for approval, officers said AHMM’s design represented a “significant enhancement” over the current building in terms of materials, articulation and detailing. They added that it would also provide “more and better-quality office floorspace” and a “much higher standard” of energy performance.

“The scale and particularly the height of the building does challenge the prevailing height of the area, but for the most part not in a harmful way,” they said.

“The height and scale of the building does erode the setting of some heritage assets but as identified this is to a low level of harm. On the basis that the public benefits of the scheme outweigh this harm then it is considered that the proposal is acceptable in terms of townscape, design and heritage impact.”

Among the heritage buildings said to be affected are the grade II* Ukrainian Cathedral at Duke Street and the grade I St Mark’s Church at North Audley Street, both of which are part of the Mayfair Conservation Area.

AHMM West One T4

Source: AHMM

Rear view of AHMM’s proposals to redevelop the West One Shopping Centre on Oxford Street

Nigel Webb, head of developments at British Land, said the West One proposals would bring a range of benefits.

“The redevelopment of this site will not only contribute to the delivery of high-quality, modern offices, reinvigorated retail space, and new improved access through to the West One Shopping Centre, it will be done so in a highly sustainable way, retaining 60% of the existing structure,” he said.

“Our plans wholly align with the council’s ambitions for the future of the district and the opening of the neighbouring Elizabeth Line station at Bond Street.”

AHMM is targeting a BREEAM “excellent” rating for the project.

AHMM West One T2

Source: AHMM

AHMM’s West One Shopping Centre proposals, seen from South Molton Street.