Five-year certificate of immunity from listing issued for block in Westminster’s Victoria Street
AHMM-led proposals to redevelop the former headquarters of the Department for Business and Trade in Westminster have taken a step forward after a five-year certificate of immunity from listing was issued for the building.
The practice aired its plans to rework 1-19 Victoria Street with additional storeys and a new façade in November last year, ahead of the planned departure of civil servants from the building this month.
AHMM’s vision was worked up for building owners Mitsubishi Estate London and developer Stanhope, who want to turn the 30,000sq m-plus structure into a mixed-use development with office accommodation and retail running along Victoria Street.
Originally designed by the Ronald Fielding Partnership, the current building is 10 storeys at its tallest, but has lower-rise elements. Completed in 1964, the building was revamped in 1996.
Nevertheless, the development team for the refurbishment said new energy-efficiency standards meant the building could not be re-let to a new commercial tenant without major investment to bring it up to modern sustainability standards.
The CoI covering the building, which occupies an island site a stone’s throw from Westminster Abbey and the Department for Education’s Sanctuary Buildings HQ, was endorsed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last week and is set to run until 2 January 2029.
Under the plans AHMM floated in November, more than 60% of the volume of the current building’s structure would be retained. Other elements of the proposals include a pocket garden on the corner of Great Smith Street and Victoria Street and two additional storeys at the western end of the site. It will also include cycle parking and greening on the upper levels of the building.
The project team, which includes planning consultant Gerald Eve and public affairs consultant Kanda, has yet to lodge an application for the work with Westminster City Council.