Campaign update: Paddington Cube placed on ice by Secretary of State

23 February 2017

Campaign update: Paddington Cube placed on ice by Secretary of State

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, has issued an Article 31 holding direction preventing Westminster City Council from granting planning permission for the Paddington Cube, a 19 storey office tower within the Bayswater Conservation Area.

The direction allows additional time for the Secretary of State to consider whether the application should be called in for a public inquiry, as has been requested by SAVE, the Georgian Group, the Victorian Society, and others.

Issued on the 20 February 2017, the Secretary of State’s letter to Westminster City Council can be read here.

Article 31 Directions are not routinely issued in relation to planning applications where a call in request has been received, usually being reserved for complex applications that require greater scrutiny.

SAVE has been leading the campaign against the highly controversial proposals, which raise important issues around Conservation Area protection, the impact of tall buildings, ambulance 'blue light' access to St Mary's Hospital, and Westminster City Council's handling of the application.

SAVE considers these important points warrant robust scrutiny by an independent planning inspector at a public inquiry.

SAVE has also written to the new leader of Westminster City Council to request a meeting to discuss Conservation Area protection within the city, and its future tall building policy.

The Paddington Cube

The Paddington Cube is a 19 storey, 54m office tower proposal, adjacent to the Grade I listed Paddington Station and within the Bayswater Conservation Area. Its construction would require the demolition of a handsome former Royal Mail sorting office, a noted building of merit within the Conservation Area.

The application was opposed by SAVE, the Georgian Group, the Victorian Society, the South East Bayswater Residents’ Association, and Historic England. The latter describe the proposal as being 'fundamentally at odds with the prevailing character of... the conservation area,' and consider it would have, 'a major harmful impact'.

Objections were also submitted by the London Ambulance Service and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, due to blue light emergency access routes to St Mary's Hopsital. SAVE understands both organisations continue to object to the proposal. A press statement from Imperial can be seen here.

More information can be seen in SAVE’s previous press release here.

Documents (click to read/download)