London

Green light for £1bn Whiteleys shopping centre revamp

Whiteley Image copyright Foster and Partners
Image caption The new retail hub will have 103 homes in two 10-storey blocks

A £1bn plan to create new shops and flats at Whiteleys shopping centre in Bayswater have been given the go-ahead by Westminster Council.

The Grade II listed Edwardian facade will be retained, but two 10-storey blocks will be added with more than 100 new homes, a hotel, cinema and shops.

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition against the plans.

Campaigners say the towers will block light to nearby flats and alterations will "dismember" the building.

Architects Foster and Partners said the scheme would "rejuvenate" the area.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The historic facade will be retained

Whiteleys was founded in 1863 and the current building was constructed in 1908.

The facade at Douglas Place was remodelled in 1935, but the building was extensively damaged during World War Two.

It was gutted and re-modelled in 1988 to create a shopping centre with cinema, restaurants and takeaways.

Campaigners from Get Whiteleys Right said the towers will "dominate" the skyline of the Bayswater Conservation area and block daylight to nearby flats.

It also criticised the affordability of the new flats.

Image copyright Foster and partners
Image caption The new development will have a boutique hotel, a cinema and shops

The Save Whiteleys Heritage group said it was unhappy the building's octagonal glass dome would be demolished and the Italian staircase moved to a side along with the pillared entrances.

Carl Montgomery, from the group, said: "The decision by Westminster City Council will dismember some of the principal heritage features of the... building."

Foster and Partners said the facade will be retained and the dome will be raised, with a central atrium underneath.

The firm added: "The proposed development will restore Whiteleys to the centre of a rejuvenated Queensway and replace a failed shopping centre with a location that will be used daily by local residents and tourists, revitalising the area."

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