Qatari Diar has withdrawn its planning application for the Chelsea Barracks site today and said it will work on a ‘comprehensive review of its plans’ and invite new architects to submit proposals for the scheme.
The withdrawal of the planning application, as tipped by Property Week this week, follows the news that Westminster planning officers declined to make any recommendation on the scheme ahead of a planning meeting next week.
Project Blue, the company set up to own and develop the site, said that: ‘after extensive and ongoing consultations with the stakeholders, it has withdrawn its current planning application for the site’.
It said it will conduct a comprehensive review of its plans and will be working very closely on this with Westminster City Council. Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners can resubmit proposals for the scheme if it wishes to but it is not thought likely that it will do so.
A Project Blue spokesman said: ‘Our shareholder’s vision for this site is to deliver for London a best in class, sustainable residential development that includes community facilities and brings real benefits to this part of London. We will continue our extensive consultation process with all our stakeholders, where our focus will be on building a consensus for one of the most important sites in London.
‘We recognise the complexity of the planning process and we are pleased to have had the support of the planners and many consultees including the GLA, CABE, The Royal Hospital and some of our neighbours.
‘We acknowledge however that there are differing views from various other quarters; we are very grateful to Westminster for the time and effort spent on the process to date and look forward to working very closely with them in the coming months. As part of the process to find the right solution we are already in discussion with The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment.’
‘In order to achieve our vision, we will shortly be inviting a broad selection of renowned urban planning practices to explore a diversity of design responses for the site. This will include international firms as well as UK practices.’
It said that the urban planner’s ideas will be discussed with all relevant parties and will lead to the selection of a masterplan which will be submitted to Westminster City Council for planning consent by the end of 2009.
‘After the grant of initial consent we envisage that development will be undertaken on a phased basis with separate architectural practices competing for each phase. Variety in the architecture will be integrated with social amenities and landscaping to create a harmonious and distinguished community.’