London Mayor Boris Johnson has intervened over proposals to redevelop the site occupied by the headquarters of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi in the West End.
Earlier this month Camden Council, against the advice of officers, refused permission for developers Derwent London to redevelop the site in Charlotte Street with a scheme which would involve demolishing the nearby The Pregnant Man pub and add 15,000 sq ft more of office space to the already existing 40,000 sq ft office building. The scheme would add extra storeys and include new retail floor space and restaurant uses.
The development would also trigger a £1.6m contribution towards Crossrail, regarded as vital to the future success of the West End, and improved transport across the capital.
Councilors and the local MP have complained that the proposals represented overdevelopment of the site and that Derwent had not offered sufficient affordable housing and public space in their plans.
The plans will now be scrutinised by the Mayor under new powers which allow him to determine strategic developments.
Johnson said: “These buildings have been home to some of the most creative and innovative minds for the last 40 years, making the area an internationally recognised hub for the global advertising industry. Redeveloping this prime location will contribute to the competitiveness of London’s wider economy bringing with it new jobs and business. This proposal clearly meets the test of a planning application of major significance to London and I therefore believe it is right that I scrutinise it in greater detail.”
30 June 2011