Westminster approves 1,000-home regeneration – and names demolition contractor

Westminster City Council has approved its own plans for a 1,000-home estate regeneration – as it appoints DDS Group as demolition contractor.

Last week, Westminster City Council’s planning committee approved the Church Street regeneration scheme near Edgware Road, which will see 17 housing blocks – containing 400 homes as well as shops, a pub and a library – demolished and replaced by a major mixed-use development.

The scheme, designed by architects Bell Phillips and submitted by Savills, will deliver up to 1,120 homes, of which at least half will be affordable, along three sites around Church Street, with Church Street market running centrally through the area.

As well as tripling the number of homes on the site, the development will include a library, community space, shops and market infrastructure.

Westminster council has already begun the process of appointing a builder for the scheme, with contractors and housebuilders needing to submit expressions of interest by 13 March. The authority will issue invitations to tender to shortlisted bidders around 13 April.

Several changes were made to the scheme as it went through the planning process, including an increase in the number of affordable homes available for social rent and the addition of a secondary staircase in a high-rise block to improve fire safety.

The redevelopment will result in the loss of a large number of trees, according to planning documents. However, it will deliver a comprehensive hard and soft landscaping scheme, including the replacement of trees and increase in open space, resulting in a 10 per cent biodiversity net gain.

The council concluded that the proposed scheme would create a high-quality neighbourhood for both existing and new residents. It also said public realm improvements and increased affordable housing provision outweighed the negative aspects of the scheme.

Planners at Westminster City Council said: “The site is well-located, and the proposal is a high density form of development designed to meet the objectives of national, regional and local planning policies which seek to intensify the use of land and optimise the delivery of new homes including affordable homes.

“While the development will cause harm to residents’ amenity and result in a loss of retail, on balance, the proposed development is in accordance with the development plan when read as whole.”

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