Qatari Diar wins approval for $4.8bn London project

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An artist's impression of the Chelsea Barracks plan

An artist's impression of the Chelsea Barracks plan

Qatari Diar on Monday won approval for its £3bn ($4.8bn) redevelopment of the Chelsea Barracks site in London.

Revised outline plans for the 13-acre site were supported by councillors at Westminster Council with conditions.

Consultations will now continue and an application giving detailed designs for the various buildings will be considered by councillors in the future.

The property investment arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund won the green light despite protests on Friday when Chelsea residents chained themselves to railings outside the proposed Chelsea Barracks site.

Residents from the Chelsea Barracks Action Group said that the developer had broken its promise to show residents how the tallest nine-storey, 100ft tower within the scheme would affect views of buildings in the surrounding area.

The plans have been in the pipeline for two years after a modernist scheme designed by Lord Rogers was withdrawn by Qatari Diar following an intervention by Prince Charles.

The new plans by architects Michael Squire and Dixon Jones are more in keeping with the existing styles of the area than the steel and glass vision of Lord Rogers.

The application is for up to 448 houses and flats, of which only 123 will be "affordable".

Qatari Diar, which is also shortlisted to own and manage the Olympic Village in London, is offering £78m towards the council's affordable housing fund.

Other proposals are for a sports centre, shops, health centre and "non-residential institution/leisure uses".

The scale of the scheme means that Westminster will refer the application to the Mayor's Office. It is not thought that Boris Johnson will object.

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