Westminster City Council have approved the widely disputed plans to transform the Whitehall Old War Office into a luxury hotel.
Pictured above: Old War Office building
Hinduja Group and Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos are the owners of the property. Work will soon start on establishing it into a hotel with up to 88 residential apartments and 125 rooms.
The owners have been granted permission to add three supplementary storeys on top of the 580,000 sq ft property, as well as two additional basement levels. This will bring it up to seven floors and ten levels in total. This is the part of the plan that was disputed by local residents, who opposed external changes being made to the building, which is grade II* listed. The hotel plan will also include bars, restaurants, shops and a spa.
The War Office is the former headquarters of the British Empire’s military. Opened in 1906, it served its purpose for many years. Sold by the government to the developers in 2014 for around £350m, the acquisition is part of its ongoing estate consolidation programme.
A condition of the plan approval was that developers are to make a £10m contribution to the city’s affordable housing fund, in addition to various public domain improvements.