St John’s Wood barracks to be turned into luxury homes

Plans to redevelop St John’s Wood barracks into a residential estate given the green light by Westminster Council.

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to transform an historic army barracks in St John’s Wood into a luxury housing development has been given the go-ahead.

St John’s Wood barracks on Ordnance Hill has been home to the prestigious King’s Troop for almost 200 years.

But with the mounted troop set relocate to Woolwich next year, last night a council planning committee granted permission for the site to be redeveloped.

Under the plans, 133 upmarket flat and houses will be built on the site.

The existing army buildings will be demolished and replaced with 12 apartment blocks, eight semi-detached villas and seven terraced town houses to provide 74 private homes and 59 affordable homes.

The proposal also includes 16 refurbished flats in Queen’s Terrace, bringing the number of new properties to a total of 117.

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The barrack’s Grade II listed riding school building will remain and be converted to provide a new private leisure centre.

This is the second time the blueprints for the redevelopment have gone before the planning committee, after architects of the scheme were forced to rethink their designs in the face of widespread local opposition.

Cllr Robert Davis, deputy council leader and chairman of the committee, said: “This marks an exciting new phase for this historic site, and although it will be sad to see the King’s Troop leave, the proposed development will greatly enhance the local area.

“The scheme skilfully combines modern and traditional architecture, and is of a high quality design which is sympathetic to the surrounding area.

“The fact that half the homes will be affordable along with the creation of a leisure centre in the Grade II listed riding school, ensures the development benefits the whole community, while protecting the architectural heritage of this wonderful site.”

Under the terms of the planning consent, the trustees of the Eyre Estate, who own the site, have pledged to contribute more than �1million towards local early years provision, primary and secondary education in Westminster

In addition, they have agreed to invest �100,000 in an adventure playground and provide a tenant’s hall at a peppercorn rent for local residents.

The St John’s Woods barracks is one of the few barracks built during the post-Waterloo period to improve security in London. The riding school which dates back to 1825 is the only major remaining part of the original barracks.

The rest of the barracks consists of the neo-classical Officers’ Mess dating from 1921 and various modern buildings built in the 1970s.