By Julia Gregory, local democracy reporter
Residents say it’s the end of an era after their homes in Belgravia will be demolished to make way for six new blocks of flats, including homes for older people.
Developer Grosvenor was asked to go back to the drawing board after residents in Mozart Terrace said the new estate would block their light.
An independent report found one home in the street where Mozart once lived could lose 75 per cent of its daylight and others could also be impacted.
The plans were to knock down Kylestrome House, Lochmore House, Laxford House, Stack House, and social housing in Walden House at Cundy Street and Ebury Street and replace them with six new blocks of between five and 11 storeys.
There would also have been a £10m development of shops, a cinema and a new playground in Ebury Square.
The developers were asked in February to cut one storey from the block for elderly residents which they said would see a loss of 15 homes.
Instead they went back to the drawing board and worked with the Belgravia Residents’ Association to set the block back from Cundy Street. It means a loss of five homes from the scheme.
James Wright from the residents’ association said:
“Residents are now content with the changes.”
He said the overall new design was “more in keeping” with the area.
Anna Bond, the development director for Grosvenor Britain and Ireland said they had found a middle ground with residents.
She explained Grosvenor will launch a community forum in July. “It’s part of making this community neighbourhood better for the long term,” she said.
However some residents said they didn’t think the area needed a new cinema.
Toby Mott who has lived on the estate for six years said: “It just seems a tragic example of what’s happening all over London.”
He said he feared some of the new flats would just be bought up as investment properties.
“It’s amazing living here, there are small blocks of flats around a courtyard. It’s like a village,” he said.
Residents are now hoping to gather to mark the end of the era before the redevelopment takes place.
Katherine McClean’s family has lived nearby for over 70s years. She moved there in 1998 and is concerned about the development.
“We are going to lose our views, it’s going to visually denigrate the area. They want to put in shops and a cinema, but they are going out of fashion. They don’t seem to live in the real world,” she said.
She added the cinema might not be affordable for some.
“The shops and cinema are going to make it less tranquil and less pleasant.”
At Westminster City Council’s planning meeting (Tues June 8) councillors passed the revised plan.
However they said they regretted the loss of homes.
Councillor Louise Hyams (Con, St James’) said: “I’m Disappointed at the loss of five intermediate units. I’m slightly sceptical – they could have come from the private units.”
David Boothroyd, (Lab, Westbourne) said the new scheme was an “improvement”.
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