Queensgate Investments and Rockwell secure planning permission for 1bn landmark London hotel
Queensgate Investments and Rockwell has now been given the green light by the Greater London Authority (GLA) for the redevelopment of the Kensington Forum, to provide a world-class hotel and serviced apartment scheme alongside 62 genuinely affordable homes and substantial public realm improvements.
Designed by world-renowned architects, SimpsonHaugh, the new scheme will replace the existing 906 room hotel with an exceptional high-quality development providing outstanding visitor accommodation for the future including restaurants, bars, health spa and conference facilities, vital to supporting London's continued role as a world city and major global destination. Alongside the hotel will be a new, publicly accessible and sensitively designed 2,700sqm garden square, more than doubling the size of the existing green space, which will be the only publicly accessible green area within 1km of the site.
Kensington Forum is now set to deliver substantial public benefits for the local community through the creation of over 800 employment opportunities, in addition to 62 much-needed and genuinely affordable rented homes, worth £90m, for Londoners on low incomes: the capital's first private development to deliver 100% genuinely affordable homes. Substantial contributions of almost £3 million will also be provided for public realm improvements to the area around Gloucester Road station, in addition to over £1 million to training initiatives to ensure jobs are created for the most in need.
Despite the hospitality sector facing unprecedented challenges, this ambitious £1bn scheme, which is set to become one of London's largest hotels, is perfectly placed to come forward as part of the capital's recovery and is testament to the powerful role the sector is envisaged to play.
Approving the scheme, Deputy Mayor, Jules Pipe, commented: "There is desperate need for social housing across London… If we are to deliver affordable homes and other benefits for London, we must ensure we make the best use of land."
"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 CEO of Queensgate Investments LLP commented: "Kensington Forum is an extraordinary scheme of exceptional quality, which will benefit both London and Londoners. 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 Rockwell added: "We pride ourselves on the delivery of genuinely transformative schemes and Kensington Forum is further testament to that. 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."