DSDHA’s plans to demolish the tower are set to be approved amid warning of backlash
Officials at the north London local authority have recommended its planning committee approve proposals to replace the former 17-storey Travelodge building near the British Museum in Holborn.
DSDHA’s plans for the One Museum Street project include creating a mixed-use development featuring office, residential and flexible space, including a 19-storey tower.
These plans have been the subject of a campaign opposing them on environmental and heritage grounds.
But the officers’ report, which will be considered by the planning committee on Thursday (November 16), says: “The only parts of Selkirk House that could, in principle, be retained (floors 4 to 13) constitute only 25 per cent of the total building area.” Structure (by weight).’
They added that it would be difficult and expensive to retain only this part of the building.
“Officers have considered whether retaining the premises should be required, but accept that doing so would require significant works to bring the building up to the standard of a modern hotel, or convert it to a residential building, particularly in relation to meeting fire safety standards.” The report says.
He adds that DSDHA’s proposals allow for “more efficient use of the land.”
Counter-proposals were unveiled last August, and were supported by more than two dozen groups. It involves rehabilitating the entire building instead and providing office space, new homes, a roof garden and a tourist information point.
It was developed by MBH Architects and led by Jim Monahan, a long-term opponent of the DSDHA project.
“If they give it the go-ahead, Camden’s credentials in terms of so-called climate emergency policies will be completely shredded,” he told the AJ. It would be completely ridiculous if they tried to claim that from now on.
It has caused a lot of problems in the local area. They will take a huge hit in the local area if they agree to this. “There will be people leaving the Labor Party and the like.”
He claimed that there is a large wave of opposition in the region after a number of unpopular developments in the past few years.
Monahan added that he believed the officers’ report “legally leaves itself largely open to criticism,” but declined to go into further detail about any potential legal steps.
Elsewhere in the report, officers say DSDHA’s proposal is positive in terms of its urban design, with a new open, publicly accessible, mixed-use ground level with active ground facades, new-look public spaces and a new road linking West Central Street. “And High Holborn.”
The proposed buildings on West Central Street and Vine Lane connect the proposals to their context by overhauling existing urban blocks, creating a cohesive and cohesive cityscape, they add, praising the “high-quality architecture that is evident through its composition and detailing”.
As the project includes a building more than 30 meters high, Camden will not have the final decision on the scheme, as the Mayor of London will be able to veto it.
Camden Council said it was unable to comment before the planning committee meeting.
AJ contacted DSDHA for comment and received this response from Development Director Simten
“This rejuvenated neighborhood provides new affordable homes and replaces an empty hotel and redundant parking lot with new sustainable work space.” We are also creating a green oasis at Museum Street and Vine Lane, a place where people can get away from the hustle and bustle of the West End.
Camden officers have welcomed these public benefits and are satisfied with the justification for the new development. Our proposals are designed to be sympathetic to the Bloomsbury Conservation Area, including preserving and enhancing heritage buildings. We are contributing to the character of the neighborhood by restoring the historic facades and interiors of five listed buildings, returning three of them to their original form of townhouses above shops.
The development team will retain a quarter of the existing Selkirk House by maintaining the basement levels, the spokesperson added, adding that “it is fundamental to sustainability that we deliver a high-quality, adaptable, flexible development that will have a long and useful life.” .