By Andy Sambidge
Developers release artist's impression on London development which stalled last year
Qatari developers have released the first picture of how its $3bn Chelsea Barracks project in London might look as it looks to create one of London’s most luxurious residential addresses.
The new images suggest the development of Chelsea Barracks - dubbed the “Gucci ghetto” by critics - is back on track a year after it was put on hold.
UK media have reported that Qatari Diar, which is planning to build 448 homes in blocks up to eight storeys high on a “super-prime” 13-acre site, will start major work next year.
The first detailed images of the initial phase of the project have been created by architects Squire & Partners ahead of a planning application in January and a public consultation.
The London site, bought for almost £1bn six years ago, is still a wasteland months after Qatari Diar won planning permission from Westminster Council.
The Qatari master plan will open up and reconnect it to the surrounding areas of Belgravia and Chelsea in a new integrated residential neighbourhood in a landscaped setting.
Houses and apartments will be combined with local convenience shops, restaurants, a multi-purpose community/cultural centre, a public sports and fitness facility and a medical centre.
The landscaped areas will feature productive gardens, public art and more than 100 new trees set in some of London first new squares for more than a century.
Qatar, which owns a string of property assets in London, including 80 percent of Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard, Harrods and the US embassy, won approval for the 13-acre site in the summer of 2011 but work on the project has not progressed.
The gas and oil-rich state was forced to scrap a modernist scheme designed by Lord Rogers following intervention by Prince Charles.
The heir to the throne personally wrote to the prime minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, urging the Gulf state to “bequeath a unique and enduring legacy to London”.