Plans submitted for London Paddington regeneration

Great Western Developments and its development partner Sellar Property Group have announced the formal submission of a planning application for the redevelopment of the former Royal Mail sorting office at 31 London Street, situated adjacent to Paddington Station.

The proposed development, known as Paddington Place, has been designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and plans to dramatically transform this part of London.

The centrepiece will be a new landmark for London, a crystal light-reflecting tower set to become a major marker for Paddington, one of London’s most important transport hubs. It will include a sky garden and restaurant, featuring mature trees and plants in the open-air.

The ramp that serves as Paddington Station’s entrance will be removed and the whole area in front of the station opened up. There will be the opportunity to extend the station concourse into generous new public open space. The piazza will improve connectivity and establish a new ‘front door’ for the station.

To improve the rail passenger experience, a new and enlarged Bakerloo Line ticket hall (approximately four times larger than at present) will be created and illuminated by natural light from vaulted glass ceilings. Connectivity to the Circle/District and Bakerloo Line platforms will be enhanced, reached from a new point of access/egress, and will ease congestion from the entrance’s present, cramped location. As part of the reconfiguration, London Street will be realigned and augmented by an elegant suspension bridge. The entire scheme has been designed to provide enhanced linkages into the St Mary’s Hospital estate.

The end of 2018 will see the opening of Crossrail, together with upgrades to stations, platforms, signalling and trains serving the M4 corridor to Wales and South West England – all of which aim to address the vast increase in passenger footfall through Paddington, which is predicted to rise to over 60 million per year by 2031. Following this 50% increase from today’s passenger numbers, the area needs to be revitalised if its built environment is to appropriately reflect the significance of this key gateway, and to adequately support Paddington Station’s developing importance to London.

There will also be 100,000 ft² of office space, with floorplates specifically designed to accommodate small to medium sized high-growth industries. This development will be further enhanced by 50,000 ft² of high-quality retail and leisure space at Praed Street, rail concourse and tube station levels, which will breathe new life into the area.

Chris Lim, group executive director of Hotel Properties, commented: “This is a unique opportunity involving an investment of over £1bn to provide many public benefits and a scheme which we believe will drive further investment in the wider area.”

Irvine Sellar, chairman of Sellar Property Group, commented: “This exciting transformational development will enhance this important part of central London. Paddington’s transport interchange will be fit for purpose for the 21st Century and the wider mixed-use development and public space will enhance the way residents, visitors, businesses and their people live work and play, and will make a major contribution in revitalising this district.”