Marylebone car park gets green light for controversial housing development

A Marylebone car park is set to be knocked down and turned into a major new housing development despite widespread objections from resident groups and local councillors.

Westminster Council last week controversially granted permission for the eight-storey residential development with health and fitness club and retail accommodation to be built on the site of the Chiltern Street car park.

Prior to the decision the Marylebone Association, three Marylebone ward councillors and a number of local residents had all objected to the plans.

Marylebone High Street Cllr Harvey Marshall says the councillors’ main concern is the impact the new development will have on the neighbouring Paddington Street Gardens.

“We thought the scheme was far too close to the park and was going to overshadow it,” he said.

“We have got very few green spaces in our ward and we want to preserve them. That was the principle reason for our objection but there were other concerns as well.”

The Marylebone Association submitted a detailed objection with 15 points including the loss of two trees, development on an old burial ground, and the lack of “genuinely” affordable housing. It also questioned the capacity for development to take place while retaining the Apollo pub which is not included in the plans.

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Marylebone Association chairman Stephen Quinn said: “I’m quite surprised that it has got permission when there was such a long list of objections from so many people.

“The car park is very under-used and it’s right in the middle of Marylebone. It’s an extremely ugly building so we welcome some development, but we are very surprised this application has been accepted.”

Sixty new homes will be built including 16 affordable units, while a basement fitness centre will be constructed alongside 23 new parking spaces for residents. Two trees which will be lost on the site will be replaced.

Triland, who submitted the planning application, are set to buy the site from Westminster Council once planning permission is finalised.

Chairman of Westminster’s planning committee Cllr Robert Davis said: “The designs for the new development are exceptional and have presented us with an exciting, modern building.

“The existing car park is an eyesore on the area. It is currently under-used and we are satisfied with the alternative parking facilities.

“New developments must maintain and improve the character of the city, and we are happy this has been done.”