Westminster City Council is committed to securing the regeneration of the Victoria area and the need for its comprehensive redevelopment is recognised in planning policy at both regional and local levels.
Designated an Opportunity Area in the Mayor's London Plan and Council's Core Strategy, Victoria is one of the leading international gateways to London, containing its busiest transport interchange at Victoria Station. Its accessibility offers great potential for growth, new homes and jobs, however the area also includes a mix of outdated building stock and a poor urban environment.
Reflecting both regional and local concerns, the Council's 2006 and subsequent 2011 Victoria Area Planning Briefs defined the Council's commitment to long-term investment in, and the development and improvement of the area.
In line with the Planning Brief, in 2008 Land Securities submitted planning applications for the comprehensive redevelopment and regeneration of a 2.5 hectare site to the north of Victoria Mainline Station, designed to help regenerate the area and address many of its problems through the provision of mixed-use buildings and enhanced public realm. The Council granted permissions for the three phases of this scheme in 2009 to allow for the comprehensive redevelopment of the site – a scheme offering employment opportunities, new public spaces and homes and being able to act as a catalyst for the future development of Victoria.
Although the developer already owned a number of properties on this site the Council believed it would be unlikely for the developer to be able to acquire all of the land by agreement within a reasonable timescale, so in January 2011 they made a Compulsory Purchase Order for the acquisition of land and buildings within the site, thus enabling development to go ahead and phase one to begin on site in October 2012.