Transformation of Victoria gets green light (UK)

Victoria is set to get a new lease of life as the commercial and residential heart of London's West End as today Westminster City Council resolved to grant planning consent for Land Securities' Victoria Transport Interchange (VTI2) scheme.

With this green light for change, Land Securities – which has been developing in Victoria for over 40 years – takes another step towards realising its 10-year revitalization plan for this long-overlooked area of London. This plan aims to replace outdated pockets of post-war buildings with new homes, offices, shops, restaurants, public amenities and open spaces. The designs will introduce the best of the new while respecting the area's existing Victorian urban fabric.

VTI2 is a cornerstone of this revitalization plan. Masterplanned by award-winning architects Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF), it will be situated next to Victoria Station and will comprise six buildings arranged to open up new accessible public spaces in what are currently closed blocks. The buildings will provide a mix of housing, premium office spaces, quality shops and restaurants and a public library.

Nearly a quarter of the residential units will be affordable housing to help meet Westminster's affordable homes target. A total of 140 car parking spaces will be provided as well as more than 850 new cycle spaces. There will be widened pedestrian routes and transport improvements will be made at Victoria Station, including space for the Mayor's cycle hire initiative. The scheme also incorporates some of the latest sustainability technologies.

Mike Hussey, Managing Director of Land Securities' London Portfolio, said: "Victoria is London's great missed opportunity. Although it has a central location, proximity to Royal Parks and the river and many of London's landmark historic buildings, it has in recent decades been sidelined as a poor relation of other parts of the West End. But Land Securities has an optimistic vision for Victoria. We want to give it a new lease of life as a distinct, vibrant destination that will bring this part of the capital the recognition it deserves."

The impact of VTI2 will build on the success of Cardinal Place, Land Securities' first mixed-use development on Victoria Street. This opened in 2005 and quickly helped to meet demand for new grade A office space, popular shops, restaurants and community spaces. Land Securities is also currently awaiting decisions on two other proposed developments on Victoria Street – Wellington House and Selborne House – which are due on 19 February.

Source: Land Securities

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