The independent London newspaper

Slabs of Portland stone to be laid in Piccadilly Circus

But Victorian Society says designs are "poor imitation" of famous original

09 February, 2018 — By The Xtra Diary

NEW slabs of Portland stone will be added to the ground floors and façade of the famous listed building in Piccadilly Circus, where adverts blink continuously at the traffic and pedestrians below, despite opposition from heritage groups.

A redesign submitted for the Grade II listed building on Glasshouse Street, by its owners, Land Securities, won the backing of Westminster Council this week, ignoring objections by heritage group The Victorian Society.

Calling it “nothing more than a poor and partial imitation of the original building” and adding the scheme would substantially harm the building, the society had hoped to halt the project.

But council officers said it should be passed and its planning committee agreed.

The building was designed by architect Edward Keynes Purchase as a bank in 1910.

Now architects group Fletcher Priest says its tweaks to a scheme, granted permission in 2016, would “preserve the existing façade proportions.”

They add the plans would also improve the building by opening up windows and balconies that are currently closed due to the building behind being used as a night club.

The work will include new offices, shops, restaurants, and seven homes by adding a new floor and creating extra sections of Portland Stone at ground level.

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