Housing secretary refuses planning for former London Fire Brigade HQ hotel

29 June 2021 by
Housing secretary refuses planning for former London Fire Brigade HQ hotel

Proposals to transform 8 Albert Embankment, the former London Fire Brigade headquarters, into a 10-storey hotel have been refused planning permission by housing secretary Robert Jenrick.

Developer U+I sought to turn the Grade II-listed property into a hotel with up to 200 bedrooms and a rooftop restaurant and bar overlooking the Thames.

The development would also include a new London Fire Brigade Museum, 443 flats, a gym, shops, offices and a new fire station for Lambeth.

Having called in and commissioned an inspection into the £500m proposals last year, Jenrick decided to refuse planning permission and listed building consent for the plans as the harms to the building's heritage "were not outweighed by the public benefits of the scheme".

In a letter sent on behalf of the secretary of state, the proposals for two towers would "diminish the visual importance of the listed building", as well as impacting daylight levels across several properties.

A spokesperson for U+I said: "We are incredibly disappointed by this decision and we'll be considering our next steps together with the London Fire Brigade."

The proposals, designed by architect Pilbrow & Partners, were approved by Lambeth Council in December 2019. This is the second proposal that has been brought forward for the site, which has lain largely derelict for 10 years, after plans brought forward by London Fire Brigade and developer Native Land also failed to get planning in 2011.

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