Plans to turn a Sir John Soane church into an upmarket beauty haven are set to be rejected by Westminster council.
George Hammer, who opened the upmarket beauty store Urban Retreat on Harrods’ top floor, planned to turn the Holy Trinity Church at Marylebone Road into a 32,500 sq ft retail centre complete with rooftop restaurant and sculpture garden.
But, after complaints from a number of agencies, Westminster is now recommending to reject the ‘contentious and unacceptable’ plans when they go to planning committee next Thursday.
The concerns, lodged by English Heritage and the Sir John Soane Museum among others, centre on the proposal for a 3,200 sq ft roof-top restaurant.
A planning document made available yesterday reads: ‘The addition of the proposed rooftop pavilion will result in this part of the church becoming more visually prominent, which will significantly alter the architectural integrity of the building and fundamentally change the architectural composition.’
Soane, one of Britain’s most revered architects, designed the church as one of three projects for the Church Commission. It was completed in 1827.
The grade II listed building, opposite Great Portland Street tube station, is characterised by its prominent tower which the council is concerned would be de-emphasised by the restaurant.
Other concerns regard the addition of a canopy at one end of the building, inadequate provision for parking, other transport issues, and the loss or damage of trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order.