Proposals would see 1930s Westminster building replaced with high-end care facility

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Squire & Partners plans for a new care facility in Westminster

Squire & Partners has unveiled plans to demolish a nine-storey Art Deco block in Westminster and replace it with a high-end care facility.

A planning application has been submitted to Westminster council for the redevelopment of Dean Bradley House on Horseferry Road, close to the Home Office and the Department of Transport.

It will see the existing late 1930s building, which currently houses office and ground floor retail space along a street-front colonnade, flattened and replaced by a 10-storey building for care home operator Medici Lifecare.

The proposals are a rejig of an earlier consent for the site granted in 2017 for developer Mayfair Charities Limited which were not implemented, but would have seen a new office, retail and residential block built on the site.

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Source: google

Dean Bradley House, the existing building on the site, was built in the late 1930s

Medici Lifecare is eyeing up two options for the redevelopment, a 126-unit care home or a clinical facility housing 2,800sq m of post-operative care space, 6,900 sq m of clinical space and 360sq m of retail.

Squire & Partners said the new plans will replace the “inflexible and unsustainable” existing building with a “low carbon development utilising renewable technologies in order to minimise its carbon footprint”.

Although unlisted, Dean Bradley House was identified as a building of merit in the local conservation area. 

Squire & Partners argued the building does not “comparatively make as positive a contribution” to the conservation area as other nearby buildings and “sits uncomfortably” next to its grade II-listed Edwardian neighbour, Belgravia House.

The practice also criticised the existing block’s “ruthlessly regular” grid of windows and said the facade’s grey-brown brick was “dull and out of keeping” with the red brick facades seen on many other buildings in the area.

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Developer Medici Lifecare is looking at two options for the new building’s use

The 2017 plans received 21 objections, with many focusing on the loss of much of the site’s retail space. 

One objector said there was “clearly no valid reason that would require the demolition of such a beautiful property”. Another said the “ghastly” design of the proposals would not be in keeping with the conservation area and criticised the loss of a building with “such merit and such a beautiful facade with clear historical background”.

The new plans, which were submitted earlier this month, will retain the earlier scheme’s key design principles including its massing and height.

Local group The Westminster Society has not objected to the revived proposals but said the existing building has “considerable architectural merit”, adding that there is an established need for care facilities in the area which justifies the loss of office space.

Medici Lifecafe and Squire & Partners have been contacted for comment.

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View of the rear side of the proposed development