Fenwick department store redevelopment plans approved

Plans for offices, shops and a rooftop garden at the former Fenwick department store have been approved by Westminster Council.

Its planning committee voted in favour of a plan to partially demolish the old store and redevelop it.

Some nearby residents and businesses submitted objections, citing "loss of light", but others supported the plans.

Fenwick, which has occupied the New Bond Street site since 1891, closed earlier this year.

When the building's sale was announced in 2022, Fenwick's chairman Simon Calver said it had "been a difficult decision for the Fenwick family".

'Appropriate combination'

Due to the large scale of the plans, the proposal will need approval from the mayor of London, whose office initially expressed concerns about the height and design of the planned building.

Under the plans for "high-grade retail and office space", new floor slabs and façades will be created and the site's lower two levels will become shops, while the second to ninth floors will be office space with a roof garden above.

Councillors expressed concerns over the scale of the proposals, but praised the developer for planning to keep much of the existing building and façade.

Owner Len Lazari told councillors the existing building was not suitable for modern-day retailing and said the different levels of flooring made it inaccessible for some.

He said: "Over 100 years, Fenwick's organic expansion across six buildings resulted in the department store with 37 different levels."

In a council planning report, officers wrote: "The proposal will provide an appropriate combination of modern retail and office accommodation that accords with the relevant London Plan and City Plan policies, and is therefore considered to be acceptable."

Although the project would see a 7,600 sq m (81,806 sq ft) reduction in retail space, the council report says this is due to a "need to reconfigure the site to its optimal layout for office use".

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