Planning application for £1 billion London scheme withdrawn

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 30 March 2021


UK: Queensgate Investments has withdrawn its planning application for the £1 billion redevelopment of the Kensington Forum hotel, which included serviced apartments and residential units.

Queensgate has withdrawn the application despite winning the backing of the mayor of London Sadiq Khan last year, after the scheme was “called in” by housing secretary Robert Jenrick at the start of the year, with a planning inquiry scheduled for later in the spring.

Queensgate's plans for a 749-bed hotel, 340 serviced apartments and 62 affordable homes on the Cromwell Road site in west London were approved by Khan in October after a lengthy battle.

Designed by architect Simpson Haugh, the scheme consisted of three buildings – a 30-storey tower, a 22-storey tower and a seven-storey block. It was refused by the local authority, Kensington & Chelsea, and twice approved by the mayor – after his first approval was successfully challenged by the council.

The original brutalist-style tower was designed by Seifert, the architect behind the Centrepoint tower in central London.

A letter to the planning inspectorate, written by law firm Dentons on behalf of Queensgate, said the company had “decided to withdraw the application” and that the inspectorate should “please therefore treat the application as withdrawn”.

The letter did not offer any reasons behind the decision to withdraw the scheme, which was being brought forward by developer Rockwell on Queensgate’s behalf.

Queensgate hasn't yet revealed whether it will now seek to work up a new scheme. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Queensgate had instructed Savills and Eastdil Secured to explore sale options for the site, which it acquired for £350 million in 2015. That process was paused due to the pandemic.



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