Paddington is set to be transformed after an ambitious, expensive and "game changing" project to rejuvenate the area was given the thumbs up.
The scheme, which will see a new 14-storey building nicknamed The Cube and a massive revamp of Paddington station , also promises to create more jobs in the area and provide a multi-million pound boost to the economy.
The project promises to create a new gateway for Paddington Station and the surrounding area, easing congestion as well as bringing jobs and investment to the area.
The plans had been submitted by Great Western Developments Ltd and Sellar Paddington Limited (SPL) and comes after a bid to build a 'Skinny Shard' on the old Royal Mail sporting office site was abandoned after a public backlash.
Approval was granted by Westminster City Council for the project, which has been described “as a game changer for Paddington”, on Tuesday (December 6).
A total of £65m will be invested into the Network Rail station, which will include a new Bakerloo Tube station , with other highlights featuring offices, restaurants and a piazza complete with £2m of public art.
The project has plans for the construction of a new road, to be paid for by Great Western Developments, which will maintain full and direct ambulance access to the nearby St Mary’s hospital.
Councillor Robert Davis, Westminster City Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for the built environment, said: “ Paddington is the front door of our city for many visitors with vital rail connections linking London to the country and the world.
"The Cube development will create the infrastructure we need to build a brighter future for this part of Westminster.
“Designed by Renzo Piano, one of the great architects of our time, these plans are a game-changer, breathing fresh life into the area.
"It is a big, ambitious project that secures a £65m investment in public space and transport infrastructure and will create around 4,000 new jobs."
In a joint statement the developers said: “We are delighted with yesterday’s decision which, after many months of assessment and public consultation, acknowledges the many benefits the scheme will provide to those living and working in Paddington as well as providing an international gateway to the capital.”
SPL chairman Irvine Sellar added: “We will begin work on the site early next year and look forward to creating a landmark development for Paddington and making the area a destination in its own right.
“Not only will we deliver a stunning 360,000 sq ft corporate HQ office building we will be creating a 21st century transport interchange for Paddington that will dramatically improve the area’s connectivity as well as hugely improving passenger and traffic congestion.
“In addition our £775m development will bring a range of quality shops and restaurants to the area that we believe will make Paddington Quarter a fantastic place to work and visit.
"The scheme will breathe new life into this under invested area and create a truly global gateway.”
Planning approvals follows months of negotiations and the plans secured the support of many key stakeholders including Network Rail, Transport for London, NHS (London) and the GLA.
Many business groups within the area also supported the plans, but the Victorian Society objected to the Paddington Cube , saying the design did not compliment the surrounding area.
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