Neighbours object to Claridge’s expansion bid
World-famous hotel wants to add an extra 68 rooms
30 August, 2019 — By Tom Foot
Claridge’s in Brook Mews, Mayfair. Photo: Chris Sampson (Wikimedia Commons)
A MAJOR expansion of one of the most famous five-star hotels in the world will damage the lives of “ordinary people” living nearby, its neighbours have warned.
Claridge’s in Brook Mews, Mayfair, wants to build an eight-storey extension that would take the hotel from 203 to 271 rooms. Often referred to as an “annexe to Buckingham Palace” it says the growing needs of its “demanding clientele” must be met – but neighbours say the proposal is “excessive”. A decision by the planning committee is expected next week.
One objector said: “Westminster Council must not forget that there are people who do live in Brooks Mews: ordinary people who work in London and who have the right to a decent quality of life. If Mayfair wants to live up to its standards it must not only protect the rights of property developers, hotels and restaurants.
“The interests of Claridge’s have to be balanced with the right of the occupants of our flat, current and future ones, to a quiet enjoyment of the property.”
One objector said: “A huge enterprise like Claridge’s, with its bottomless funds, will strip away the rights to which we are entitled on the pretext of ‘improving’ the street. This is a commercial enterprise and should not be allowed to dwarf the needs of residents.”
Residents have been hit by noise from work to redevelop parts of the Claridge’s building that have been ongoing for more than a year.
Another objector said: “I have limited my complaints to only two occasions, where in the middle of the night vibrations and noise were unbearable. I have shown significant restraint given that I have been a ME sufferer for many years.”
A new restaurant would open as part of the changes following the closure of Michelin-starred Fera at the end of last year. The advice to councillors is to approve the application and the conversion of office space to hotel space is said to be in line with regulations.
Frederick Fischer, the managing director of Lalique Limited, wrote in support of the application, saying “Claridge’s is at the very heart of Mayfair’s rich heritage” which “would not be the same without it”.
Claridge’s application said “the hotel requires considerably more suites for its demanding clientele”, adding: “The building will be outward facing, with restaurants at lower ground and ground floor, and allowing public into the beautiful courtyard space behind. In townscape terms, the long view from the east of Brook’s Mews creates an interesting counterpoint to the rather ugly and unsightly blank elevation of Claridge’s 1930s ballroom wing. The intention is to work with artists to produce an eye-catching elevation as seen both from long and close up views of the building.”