The redevelopment of Whiteley’s Shopping Centre in West London has been given the green light after initial plans were revised.
The £1 billion mixed-use plans will see new homes and shops built behind the grand 1911 colonnaded façade. The development will see 78 one- and two-bedroom apartments and 7 four-bedroom homes. The heart of the retail vision will be a public courtyard lined with restaurants accessed through a retail arcade of quirky, independent shops. The scheme also includes a boutique hotel and cinema complex.
The plans have proved somewhat controversial, with local people worried that the new development, including residential towers, will block light and views, and with concerns about the depths of basement being dug, with worries about subsidence. There have also been objections regarding construction traffic and the lack of parking provision. As a result, the original plans were reviewed and the tower heights reduced, with residential units rejigged.
Architects Foster + Partners have retained the Grade II listed Edwardian façade, iconic dome and cupolas whilst working with Westminster City Council to enhance the Queensway streetscape. Founded in 1863, London’s first department store has seen many incarnations, with the current building constructed in 1935. It was gutted and remodelled in 1988 to create a shopping centre, cinema, restaurants and takeaways. However, business has been squeezed in recent years by competition from Westfield and Oxford Street. Owners, property investment fund Meyer Bergman; hope the plans for the 525,000 sq. ft. scheme will rejuvenate not only Whiteley’s but the whole of the Queensway area.