Native Land has won its appeal against the decision by Westminster City Council’s planning committee to refuse its plans for Kilmuir House, a prime residential development on Eaton Terrace in London’s Belgravia.
The planning application, which was submitted nearly three years ago in late February 2020, was refused by Westminster in June 2022, against its officer’s recommendation, with the Planning Committee concluding that the proposal delivered insufficient affordable housing. On Friday 3rd February 2023, the Planning Inspector ruled that Native Land’s appeal against the refusal should be allowed, following Westminster’s acknowledgement during the course of the Public Inquiry that there was in fact no breach of planning policy and that the development should be approved.
The approval enables Native Land to deliver a new six-storey building to sympathetically repair the streetscape of one of London’s most prestigious neighbourhoods. The plans, which are underpinned by exceptional and sustainable design by award-winning architects Pilbrow & Partners, comprise 60 high-quality new homes, including 12 one-bed, 25 two-bed and 22 three-bed apartments, with an additional four affordable homes. The development incorporates large feature bay windows and terraces at levels, and also includes c.800 sq ft of flexible retail floorspace on the ground floor.
The Kilmuir House proposals, while modern in style, are grounded in the design principles that characterize Belgravia, with materials and proportions in keeping with Georgian and Victorian architecture in the surrounding area, a reduction in the absolute building height from the current 1950s building, and a series of step-backs reducing the visual impact of the upper storeys. Extensive public consultation resulted in widespread support from residents and stakeholders, including the Belgravia Society, with only 9 letters of objection.
The new development will be all-electric and run on green energy, with air source heat pumps and photo voltaic panels, ensuring the building is net-zero carbon in operation. Urban greening will deliver a 30% increase in biodiversity across the site. The buildings have been specified with a 120-year design life to help minimise whole-life to enable residents make low-carbon choices.
Alasdair Nicholls, Chief Executive of Native Land said:
‘We are pleased to have brought a four-year planning process to a positive conclusion, achieving a consent in Belgravia at a time when planning permissions for new homes in central London are becoming a rarity. Our proposals were policy compliant, following over a year of pre-application discussions, and had the support of local residents and stakeholders. It’s been a time-consuming and costly process for all parties and illustrates the challenges planning in London presents for the delivery of homes of all types.
‘I’m grateful to the project team for their support and tenacity, which has ultimately achieved a consent for a development which will bring significant benefits to the local area.’
The redevelopment of Kilmuir House will become the latest scheme to join Native Land’s collection of prime developments in central London including Holland Park Villas, Burlington Gate, NEO Bankside, Cheyne Terrace, 10 Montrose Place, and the £2.5 billion mixed-use Bankside Yards project that will reconnect the space between the Tate Modern and one of London’s major transport hubs, Blackfriars Station.