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Green light for £1b Kensington Forum hotel redevelopment

23 October 2020 by
Green light for £1b Kensington Forum hotel redevelopment

The Greater London Authority has given the green light to the £1b redevelopment of the Kensington Forum, which will include a 1,100-bedroom hotel and serviced apartment scheme alongside 62 affordable homes.

Designed by architect firm SimpsonHaugh, the new scheme will replace the existing 906-bedroom hotel, with the development also including restaurants, bars, health spa and conference facilities, as well as a 2,700 sq m garden square. The property is currently the largest Holiday Inn in Europe.

The proposals were rejected by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in September 2018, before mayor Sadiq Khan intervened to subject the plans to further scrutiny.

Deputy mayor Jules Pipe said: "As well as improvements to the architectural quality, when compared to the existing building, the development includes a number of other significant benefits such as the addition of much-need affordable housing, a reconfigured public garden square, additional jobs, improved visitor accommodation and public realm improvements."

Jason Kow, founder and chief executive of Queensgate Investments, which bought the property in 2015 for £400m, said: "The benefits of this redevelopment are substantial, and the new world-class hotel will establish a new benchmark for visitor accommodation in the capital that will doubtless become a landmark for the city."

Donal Mulryan, founder of property developer Rockwell, added: "Not only will this be one of the highest-quality buildings in the country, but redevelopment of the Kensington Forum will deliver a 300% increase in employment, 100% genuinely affordable social rented homes and a new public garden square. This development will benefit those who live, work and visit London for years to come."

Queensgate also owns four former Grange hotels in London, which it bought from the Matharu brothers last year in a deal understood to be around £1b.

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