Client appeals refusal of Pilbrow & Partners housing Belgravia

Pilbrow & Partners sought to demolish the 1950s Kilmuir House on Ebury Street and replace it with a six-story, U-shaped building that included shops on the ground floor. She submitted plans in 2020 and later updated them after the publication of the New London Plan.

Planners recommended approval of the scheme, although they said 7 percent of the proposed affordable housing fell “significantly below policy requirements of 35 percent”. The planners agreed to a financial feasibility assessment that said the scheme would ‘lead to a deficit’ and could not support more affordable homes.

But in June, the scheme was narrowly rejected — by four votes to three — after council members raised concerns about providing just four affordable homes.

One of the reasons for the rejection, published by Westminster, said the proposed scheme “failed to include adequate provision of affordable housing” and noted that the London scheme required “the maximum possible level of affordable housing” – adding that “conditions of [this] issue [do not] Justify an exception to these policies.

Now, the developer, Kilmuir House (UK), a company owned by Native Land via an offshore company registered in Jersey, has appealed the decision.

A statement from the case document submitted by the developer said that “there is no evidence that the proposal could reasonably provide more affordable housing than it has” and “there is no possibility of any credible evidence to that effect”.

The document notes that the Westminster Council’s decision is “inconsistent with … the independent feasibility evidence of the Council’s advisors itself”. Westminster’s financial feasibility advisor said development of the scheme would create a £8m shortfall, adding that “the scheme cannot support any affordable housing at this point”.

The developer also said that it will demonstrate that the proposed development has responded to the comments of officials during the identification of the application, has improved the number of units on the site, and also addressed inquiries regarding the design of the basement after providing a justification for it. its layout.

A Native Land spokesperson said: ‘We are disappointed by the Westminster Planning Commission’s decision to reject the Kilmuir House application.

The committee decided to cancel the planning official’s recommendation of approval. We firmly believed that development would have brought great benefits to the region.

“These credentials were illustrated by the tangible local support we received, as community representatives attended the planning committee meeting to speak in support.”

Pilbrow & Partners has been contacted for comment.

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