Go-ahead for conversion of Grade I listed former TfL headquarters into hotel

Plans have been approved for the conversion of the Grade I listed former headquarters of mayoral agency Transport for London (TfL) into a luxury hotel, after planners advised that the change of use "complements the design and character of the building".

55 Broadway: hotel conversion approved (pic:  Phil Beard, Flickr)
55 Broadway: hotel conversion approved (pic: Phil Beard, Flickr)

The application site comprises the 'Broadway Complex' which includes three buildings above and adjacent to St James Park underground station in central London.

These are: 55 Broadway, 100 Petty France and Wing Over Station. Of these, only the 55 Broadway building is Grade I listed.

The proposals would see the existing 22,921 square metres of office space converted to provide a 526-bed hotel with flexible retail, restaurant, bar, spa/leisure facilities on the ground floor.

Hotel firm Blue Orchid (St James) Limited sought full planning permission for the conversion from Westminster City Council.

In relation to impacts on the Grade I listed 55 Broadway, planners advised that, "in terms of the impact of the proposals on the significance of designated heritage assets ... there are some items which compromise the building's significance".

These included the removal of some of the tenth floor chimney stacks; the subdivision of the sixth floor panelled meeting rooms; and the infilling at first floor level of the building's main lightwells.

However, the planning report advised that "the overall effect is considered to be beneficial". Benefits would include "the proposed use, which complements the building and its layout, and allows a high level of public access", the report said.

The report said the buildings are located within Westminster's Core Central Activities Zone "where office uses are protected under City Plan Policy S20 unless replaced by another commercial, employment generating use".

It added that the "provision of a new hotel (a commercial, employment generating use) would therefore be in accordance with the policy".

The report concluded: "The proposed hotel use is considered to be one which complements the design and character of the building and enables public access to a truly special historic building. The series of alterations have varying impacts, but the overall effect is well-considered and respectful to the character and historic fabric."

Consultancy DP9 acted on behalf of the applicant.

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