Demolition of 1940s former police station given the nod despite criticism from planning officers

PLP’s plans to redevelop a 1940s former police station on Savile Row have been approved despite being recommended for refusal.

Westminster councillors ignored the planning officers’ recommendation to throw out the scheme, voting four in favour and two against at a committee meeting earlier this week.

The 27 Savile Row proposals will see the demolition of the former West Central Police Station, an early modernist building completed in 1940, and its replacement with an eight-storey office block.

PLP Savile Row 1

The proposal is for an eight-storey office block

The plans, described by PLP as a “homage to 1930s architecture”, had seen a wave of local support, receiving more than a 100 letters of support from nearby businesses against just four letters of objection.

They were also praised by adjacent occupiers for helping to revitalise the northern end of Savile Row, which is comparatively rundown compared to the world famous street’s southern end.

But planning officers had criticised the scheme for “failing to preserve or enhance” the surrounding Regent Street Conservation Area.

The approval for 27 Savile Row comes a month after similar plans by Fathom Architects for an adjacent site on the other side of the street were refused in a knife edge vote.

The decision came following the council’s announcement of its plans to transform Westminster into a ‘retrofit-first’ city by significantly strengthening rules on demolition as it looks for ways to cut carbon emissions.