Neighbourhood forum calls on Westminster council to reject Holden House redevelopment plans

The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum is urging Westminster council to reject plans by property developer Derwent London to part demolish and redevelop a cluster of commercial buildings on a corner site in the Hanway Street conservation area.

Corner of street.

A major redevelopment is planned for the northwest corner of Oxford Street and Rathbone Place.

Plans by Derwent are for the demolition and redevelopment behind retained facades of 54-62 Oxford Street and 51-58 Rathbone Place (known as Holden House or Evelyn House); and for the complete demolition of 66 and 68 Oxford Street to be replaced with a new “high quality glass-block building”.

Nick Bailey of the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum has written to Westminster council’s planners saying the application should be refused.

“This is an important early work by Percy Adams and Charles Holden and we are concerned that the integrity of the listed building will be lost if redevelopment occurs.

“This site was designed and has evolved with a series of out-buildings and an internal courtyard in 54-62 Oxford Street. This pattern of development is typical of Fitzrovia and enables a variety of businesses to locate in this and similar locations.

“While the front façade and external appearance will be retained the character of the building and its architectural integrity would be completely lost,” he says.

Image of proposed development.

Derwent London plan a glass block building on the site of 66 and 68 Oxford Street and redevelopment behind the facade of 54-62 Oxford Street and 51-58 Rathbone Place.

Derwent argues that the interiors of Adams and Holden’s building “have been extensively remodelled and its architectural interest is now considered limited to its external expression”.

Fitzrovia West say number 66 should be retained as it is an unlisted building of “architectural merit” and that its replacement would be harmful to Adams and Holden’s listed building.

Derwent say “the retention of number 66 would compromise the wider benefits of the scheme”.

The site is opposite the western ticket hall of the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station which is due to receive its first passengers in December 2018. The new transport hub has been the catalyst for a frenzy of activity by property developers which have laid waste to large areas around the new station.

Westminster council is likely to make a decision on the application later this year.

Planning application: Proposed Development Site At 54-62, 66 And 68 Oxford Street And 51-58 Rathbone Place, W1.

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