Consultation and responding to feedback

Amendments to the proposals

Following a first phase of public consultation with the local community in 2021, the previous owner of the site Labtech made a series of substantial changes to the proposals in response to feedback. These changes, which were submitted as amendments to the existing planning application in September 2022 by Simten on behalf of BC Partners, are summarised below.

A REDUCTION IN THE PROPOSED HEIGHT OF ONE MUSEUM STREET

The vacant Travelodge site is 17 storeys and 53.5m high.

In 2020 and 2021 we consulted on proposals for a new 21 storey building, which would increase the height by 26.5m. We heard feedback about the impact of this proposed tower on key townscape and local views and lowered the overall height.

In response, our architects DSDHA and wider team have spent the last six months reconsidering the height and shape of One Museum Street and how to deliver the benefits across the scheme, including residential and public realm improvements along with a new pedestrian route while ensuring that it is also viable.

Having taken on board feedback, we are now proposing a new 19 storey building, which would increase the height by 20.41 metres as opposed to 26.5 metres. A reduction of 6.09 metres against our previous scheme. This is a notable reduction of two storeys and reduces the impact of the tower on key London skyline views. These updated proposals include a far more efficient scheme in terms of space, and an overall increase area increase in One Museum Street floorspace.

The images below show the previously submitted scheme against the new proposals, with the existing outline shown in a red dotted line.

Use the slider on each image to move between the submitted scheme on the left of the screen and the new proposals on the right of the screen.

Bedford Square North View

View from the British Museum

Endell Street / High Holborn View

Coptic Street/ New Oxford Street View

Bloomsbury Way View

A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF NEW HOMES, WITH HALF OF THE NEW HOMES NOW AFFORDABLE BY FLOORSPACE

Our previous proposals included 29 homes, provided with a mix of one, two, three and five bedrooms. We heard from local residents and Camden that they would like to see a greater number of homes delivered here, particularly in light of London’s current housing shortage.

The updated proposals convert the entire Vine Lane block from office to residential, re-providing the lost residential floorspace from Selkirk House as well as providing additional homes on site. Under these new proposals, Vine Lane will now deliver 19 homes for market sale, in addition to the new and replacement affordable and market homes in the West Central Street and High Holborn buildings.

This will allow us to provide 48 homes overall. Of these, 18 will be affordable, amounting to 51% of the overall residential floorspace uplift being delivered by the development.

The affordable housing in our proposals will be provided as two different types:

  • London Affordable Rent (9 homes): These homes are equivalent to social rent and operated by a Registered Provider, like a Housing Association. London Affordable Rent is classed as ‘genuinely affordable’ by the Mayor of London and supported by Camden Council. The homes will be let to local people on Camden’s Housing Register.
  • Intermediate (9 homes): These homes will also be to rent, at rent levels set in line with Camden Council’s affordability requirements.

Vine Lane building residential courtyard and fourth floor terrace view

Improved Public Spaces

New floorplan

Feedback to date from statutory consultees and local residents on Vine Lane – a new pedestrian route connecting West Central Street and High Holborn has been mixed. While some are supportive of the new connectivity and pedestrian route, we understand that others are concerned that this will encourage anti-social behaviour.

Since our last consultation, we have also worked hard to further improve the pedestrian experience along Museum Street with a more generous colonnade to the One Museum Street building together with existing and proposed tree canopies, seating and a café spill out area.

Curved recessed entrances and projecting bays along Museum Street and High Holborn will further improve the experience for those walking around the One Museum Street building.

Vine Lane Building Improvements

These updated proposals include a change in the Vine Lane building to residential to replace the previously lost market housing in Selkirk House. To accommodate the new residential use, the massing is mostly amended with semi-enclosed courtyard access.

Vine Lane Building

IMPROVED PEDESTRIAN EXPERIENCE ALONG HIGH HOLBORN

High Holborn retail shopfronts and entrances

CREATING MUCH NEEDED HOMES IN A RESTORED WEST CENTRAL STREET 

Our proposals for the West Central Street buildings seek to: 

1. Create much-needed new homes in Holborn

2. Reinstate the historical courtyard to provide amenity space for all

3. Create dual aspect living spaces for all

4. Restore the historical façade, currently in poor condition

5. Provide private amenity space for all affordable homes

Current condition of the façade on the West Central Street block

The proposed courtyard and amenity space in the West Central Street buildings

RESTORING THE HISTORIC SHOP FRONTS ON NEW OXFORD STREET

While the historic facades of the New Oxford Street buildings are still intact, they are in poor condition and require repair and renovation. The shop fronts are currently in disrepair and misaligned to neighbouring properties, resulting in an uninviting frontage to the street. 

For the New Oxford Street side of the West Central Street buildings we are proposing to: 

1. Upgrade the shop fronts to consolidate with neighbouring frontages. 

2. New windows proposed to match the historic style 

3. 35-37 New Oxford Street façade repaired and repainted to a heritage colour. Unmatching windows replaced with matching. 

4. A new attic storey to 39-41 New Oxford Street façade, stepped back and pitched to maintain the character of the building and the historic cornice. 

5. Single storey addition to 35- 37 New Oxford Street.