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Cat-walk fears for ‘discreet’ Grosvenor Square

Former Indonesia Embassy building could be transformed into "extended entertainment zone"

06 October, 2017 — By Chloe Livadeas

The former Indonesian embassy 

AN empty Mayfair building could be turned into an event space for fashion catwalks, photoshoots and art exhibitions.

The building in Grosvenor Square has been vacant since March and was last occupied by the Indonesian Embassy. The square is home to a number of hotels, offices and residential blocks.

Ron Whelan, chairman of the Mayfair Residents Group, said that the plans, put forward by Grosvenor West End Properties Ltd, would not fit with the surrounding area.

He said: “It’s a lovely building and the whole point of the square is that it’s a quiet, residential area.”

The plans, put forward by Grosvenor West End Properties Ltd, would transform the building open for a range of events between 7am and midnight for 18 months on a temporary license.

Residents have opposed the application with concerns about noise, late-night traffic and that the area will be transformed into a tourist attraction.

The Mayfair Residents Group has also suggested that an 18 months counts as temporary, and that a year would be more suitable period to decide what the long-term plans should be for the building.

West End ward councillor Glenys Roberts said: “I feel strongly that what used to be a discreet diplomatic area should not become an extended entertainment zone. The square is usually full of people relishing a bit of downtime who do not need to be lured there by artificial incentives.”

In its application, Grosvenor said: “The temporary use will activate an otherwise vacant building and will not cause any materially significant impacts on local residential amenity.”

It added the building would be a “‘blank canvas’ space which brands can use and flexibly curate into a working exhibition, event and interactive display space”.

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