Westminster council has approved a new 42-storey skyscraper, which, thanks to its inky terracotta cladding, white ridges and distinctive curved profile has been dubbed the Blue Marrow.
Together with a second, comparatively diminutive 21-storey conventional-looking tower, the project is the final piece in the Paddington Basin jigsaw — a Zone 1 waterfront regeneration zone that has been brewing since 1998, when developer European Land bought a tranche of brownfield land in this backwater behind Paddington station.
The new buildings will together include 426 flats. There will also be shops, a sky bar at the top of the 492ft building, and a cinema may also be included.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has the final say on the proposals, and early indications from the Greater London Authority are muted, to say the least. It has dismissed the offer of 16 per cent affordable housing, or 67 homes, and has called for at least 35 per cent.
European Land points out that it is also giving the council £20 million to help fund local regeneration projects as a condition of planning permission. It aims to start work on the three-year build “as soon as practical” according to a spokeswoman.
The finished £500 million Paddington Basin project will create just over 900 homes and 970,000sq ft of office space on an 11-acre site, served by an increasingly impressive and mainly independent range of cafés, restaurants, street food vans and open space.