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Expansion of Dolphin Square sparks anger

Property giant bids for 150 new flats at historic block

25 April, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Dolphin Square: an artist’s impression of the scale of changes proposed

MORE than 80 objections have been filed against plans to give historic Dolphin Square a £400million makeover.

American property giant Westbrook want to increase the number of apartments in the block, already the largest private rented block in this country, from 1,250 to 1,395.

They also want to demolish and rebuild the northern block, Rodney House.

In some parts, four storeys are being built on top of the site while the Art Deco shopping arcade will also be replaced with shops.

A planning application, to be discussed by Westminster planning chiefs early next month, includes plans for an underground swimming pool and sports facilities, shops and a grand vaulted entrance.

One objector said: “Do we really need more penthouses to profit rich multinationals? I think not!

“Will a modern glass box on top of a 1930s building really make it better? Surely this should be a listed building. Such an iconic building should not be spoilt.”

Westbrook has bought a 30-year lease for Dolphin Square for the 7.5-acre site in Pimlico and the plans are by Eric Parry Architects.

Westbrook bought the head-lease from Westminster Council in 2005 for £180million and purchased the freehold from Friends Life Insurance for £190million three years ago. They claim to have spent £40million on improvements.

In their vision for the future of the estate, Westbrook said: “This is a major investment that we propose to pay for by remodelling Rodney House, building an additional 150 flats and a row of mews houses and refurbishing and reconfiguring some of the existing flats to create more studios, one- bed and two-bed flats to rent.”

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