By Sarah Townsend
BL Development is redeveloping the former police headquarters in Westminster
Plans from an Abu Dhabi-owned developer to convert the former Metropolitan Police headquarters, New Scotland Yard, into a mixed-use scheme are still on track.
BL Development, which is owned by Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), won planning permission last April for a 268-home mixed-use scheme at New Scotland Yard in London's Westminster.
One of the conditions of the planning consent was to build a certain number of ‘affordable’ homes for lower-income buyers, and/or make payments in lieu to the local authority.
BL Developments has since sought to increase the number of homes by 27 to 295 with no increase in the number of affordable homes, according to London mayor Sadiq Khan, who did not approve the revised planning application earlier this week.
A spokesman for BL Developments said: “The initial plan by BL Development Limited for the mixed-use development of the former New Scotland Yard site at 8-10 Broadway (‘The Broadway’) in Westminster with 268 residential units was approved with full planning permission in April 2016 by the then London Mayor Boris Johnson.
“In 2017 BL Development submitted a separate proposal to increase the total number of homes on the site by 27 units with a proportionate increase in affordable units. The amended plan was not approved.
"The initial planning permission for the Broadway is not affected by this decision and the development plan is firmly on track. The Broadway is a world-class mixed-use development that will transform the former New Scotland Yard HQ to create a new vibrant community in the heart of Central London.”
Under BL Development’s plans, the 1.78-acre New Scotland Yard site would be converted into six residential-led buildings ranging from 14 to 20 storeys.
Sadiq Khan was quoted as telling London media: “This is a site which has only recently been transferred from public ownership and which sits within one of the most expensive areas of the country.
“Having carefully considered the evidence available to me, I have decided to refuse permission for this amended application.”
He added: “The scheme put forward for this site is simply unacceptable: it fails to provide the maximum amount of affordable housing that could be delivered on this landmark site.
“A shortage of affordable homes is at the heart of the housing crisis in our city.”
ADFG bought New Scotland Yard for £370 million ($488 million) in December 2014 and appointed major shareholder Northacre as development manager.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.