Westminster Council has given permission for London Transport’s iconic headquarters building to be converted into flats. Permission was granted yesterday at the Planning Applications Committee meeting.
55 Broadway was the tallest office building in London when it opened, and won the RIBA London Architecture Medal in 1929.
A recent change to the planning application will see some office space retained, but the rest is to be turned into flats, and the ground floor returned to its original layout.
The approved plan details the delivery of 23.5 percent affordable and social housing, which TfL notes includes family sized homes, and while that is one of the highest ratios in the area, it falls short of the council’s own target of 25 percent social housing.
The proposed scheme involves 89 units within 55 Broadway, as well as 35 affordable units in the adjoining Wing-Over Station — which is not part of the main building, but off to one side. It will also be further separated following the conversion by the demolition of the office block that currently sits between the two sites.
An indication of the sorts of people expected to live in the main block can be infered from the provision of valet parking.
The plans will however enable TfL to maintain the heritage of the building and reinstate Charles Holden’s original design for the ground floor. The redevelopment will also increase the amount of the retail space at St James’s Park Tube station.
The removal of 100 Petty France also opens up the area around the side of the building which should help the original 55 Broadway stand out a bit more.
Charles Holden designed the building between 1927 and 1929, and it was constructed as a new headquarters for the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL), the main forerunner of London Underground.
The redevelopment is part of TfL’s wider commercial plans. In January 2015, TfL launched a tender process to identify a number of property development partners to work with on 50+ sites across London. In March of this year, TfL received over 50 responses from a broad range of property companies. TfL has now shortlisted 16 companies and they will undergo further evaluation and a select number will be invited to submit final tenders.