New Scotland Yard design tweaks follow London mayor’s rejection of proposals to boost development’s housing numbers
The firm behind Squire & Partners’ redevelopment of the Metropolitan Police’s former headquarters in Westminster has submitted a new planning application for the scheme after its efforts to hike its new-homes count by 10% fell foul of London mayor Sadiq Khan.
BL Homes has planning permission to redevelop the New Scotland Yard site with a mixed-use scheme featuring offices, shops and 268 homes in six residential towers, ranging in height from 14 to 20 storeys.
Earlier this year Westminster council approved BL’s plans to rework the scheme to provide 27 additional flats at the same time as removing one of the development’s four basement levels and changing its landscaping.
But Khan threw out the request because the proposals did not include any additional affordable housing and would have further diluted the 4% affordable housing delivered by the consented scheme, approved under his predecessor Boris Johnson.
Now BL’s new planning application seeks to amend the 2016 scheme with revised landscaping for the two four-storey podium blocks and the redesigned basement, but omits additional housing.
Rejecting the earlier amended proposals, Khan said it was “simply unacceptable” to seek to deliver more homes on the site – in a prime central London location, near Westminster Abbey and St James’s Park – without any additional affordable units.
“It beggars belief that the initial application was approved under the previous mayor with a paltry 4% affordable housing, just days before the mayoral election.
“This is a site which has only recently been transferred from public ownership and sits within one of the most expensive areas of the country. Having carefully considered the evidence available to me, I have decided to refuse permission for this amended application.”