£1bn hotel plans for War Office get go ahead
Westminster City Council has green lit a £1bn plan to turn the Old War Office on Whitehall into a five-star hotel and apartments.
The plans have been drawn up by EPR Architects and will see the grade II-listed building, where Winston Churchill had an office, converted into a 125-bed hotel with up to 88 residential dwellings.
Plans also include the construction of a double-height basement and three new floors on top of the 580,000 sq ft property.
Westminster council granted planning permission for the owners – Indian conglomerate, the Hinduja Group, and Spanish hotel group, OHL Developments – to redevelop the property on the condition that the historic character of the 1,000-room Edwardian building is not lost.
Planning is also conditional on offering public access to historically significant parts of the building for at least 10 days each year.
Alongside EPR Architects, others appointed to the project include structural engineer Elliott Wood and services engineer Aecom with Gardiner & Theobald acting as cost consultant.
Westminster City Council senior chairman of planning, Cllr Richard Beddoe, said: “This exciting development brings another iconic hotel to the heart of London, boosting our economy and further cementing our position as a world class destination for tourists.
“These plans give this building a new purpose while respecting its place in history. The War Office has played a pivotal role in our country’s past and ensuring members of the public had the opportunity to visit and experience this iconic building first hand was a key consideration in our decision.”