Decision clears way for Renzo Piano-designed £775m scheme

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has decided not to call in Renzo Piano’s Paddington Cube scheme in London, paving the way for construction of the £775m scheme.

Javid had blocked Wesminster city council’s decision to green light the scheme last month, which is being developed by Sellar Property and Great Western Developments.

But in a letter to the authority dated Wednesday, he said it was right that the decision be “determined by the local planning authority”.

The 19-storey mixed-use scheme had attracted criticism from conservationists including Save Britain’s Heritage and Historic England, despite the developer’s earlier decision to lop 58-storeys off the initial version of the scheme in an effort to win round objectors.

The scheme will feature a 33,500 sq m office block that will sit 12m above new public realm.

The plans also include a new public plaza, complete with £2m worth of public art, around 7,500sq m of retail and restaurant space over five levels including a rooftop restaurant and a new station for the Bakerloo underground line.

Javid’s intervention comes after campaigners had raised concerns over the scheme, which lies adjacent to Paddington station and close to St Mary’s Hospital.

Historic England had raised objections to the proposals within the Bayswater Conservation Area while Save Britain’s Heritage president Marcus Binney described the plans as a “violation” of Bayswater and Brunel’s grade I listed train station, saying that it was “gratuitously overscaled”.