Westminster councillors advised to back redevelopment of 1930s landmark despite objections

Eric Parry Architects’ proposals to add 230 new homes to Pimlico’s groundbreaking Dolphin Square development are set to be given the go-ahead tonight (Tuesday) – despite the objection of heritage groups.

The practice’s plans for the quadrangle development – which has long been a favourite of MPs, peers, and society figures – will see the demolition of its northernmost block, Rodney House, for replacement with a new 10-storey building.

Retained parts of Dolphin Square, which was designed by Gordon Jeeves and completed in 1938, will see an extra storey added and some of the development’s existing 1,225 apartments will be reconfigured to deliver additional homes. A further 16 mews houses will also be constructed along the western edge of the development.

Parry’s proposals – drawn up for Dolphin Square owner Westbrook Partners – would also increase the number of serviced apartments at Dolphin Square from the current 143 to 160.

Dolphin Square - Eric Parry Architects - proposed view from Chichester St entrance

How Eric Parry’s proposals will look

Heritage group the Twentieth Century Society has been a vocal critic of the proposals, arguing that they will “irrevocably damage” the heritage significance of the development.

Government heritage adviser Historic England said it was content for Westminster city council to determine the application in line with its own policies and national guidance.

While Dolphin Square has been the subject of three unsuccessful listing bids – the most recent of which was concluded last year, it is an unlisted building of merit in the Dolphin Square Conservation Area, which was designated in 1990. But Dolphin Square Gardens – the development’s central landscaped area – was listed at grade II last summer.

Westbrook, which bought Dolphin Square a decade ago, said it picked Parry because of the practice’s “considered, artistic approach to creating beautiful buildings in sensitive historic environments”.

Historic picture Dolphin Square

Historic picture of Dolphin Square