Planning and Development Committee suggest minimal changes for controversial housing project
Westminster City Council's Planning and Development Committee met last night (Thursday 4 September 2008) to discuss the contested proposals by Rogers Stirk Harbor and Partners for the redevelopment of Chelsea Barracks in London. The project was slated by a panel of renowned architects including David Chipperfield, John McAslan and Will Alsop as a ‘gated community’ but the committee had no such reservations.
Instead the only recommendations were to have an awareness of the effect of the height of the buildings on the light infiltration to neighbouring buildings and to provide more open park space. The RSHP design includes 638 flats and a boutique style hotel and spa. The project was spotlighted by the record £1 billion land purchase of the 5 hectare site from the Ministry of Defence by the Candy Brothers last year.
The committee which met for an indication hearing only, with a decision on the plans due at a later date, praised the over-all quality of the architectural designs and the impressive community benefits, but said that the updated plans would need to be presented again and should seek to represent a microcosm of what Westminster could look like if it were being created from a blank canvas.
Chairman of the Planning and City Development Committee, Cllr Alastair Moss, said: "We can see that there are excellent elements to these proposals which will provide impressive community benefits such as the plans for facilities which are likely to include a sports centre, health clinic and youth centre as well as 319 units of affordable housing within the 638 available at the site.
"We have given a lot of weight to the opinions of residents and we would like to see the development inspire both the community who will be living on the site and those residents in the wider community who will pass by it in their every day lives.”