Plans for a major mixed use development on the site of the former Middlesex Hospital have been granted permission by Westminster City Council.
Councillors signed off on the £750 million project despite vocal criticism from some stakeholders and neighbouring Camden Council, meaning a tender process including Balfour Beatty, Mace and Sir Robert McAlpine can now proceed.
The scheme, designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Sheppard Robson, is backed by developer Exemplar, together with Aviva Investors and Kaupthing Bank.
Enabling works are already being carried out by McGee, having been previously approved by Westminster in December 2011.
These work include the excavation of the site, the installation of sheet piling and preservation work to the retained Grade II* listed chapel.
The grant of the main planning consent now paves the way for the construction of the development, which will be built in a single phase and is due for completion in late 2014.
It comprises 237 private apartments and 54 onsite affordable homes, 210,000 sq ft of grade A offices split across two buildings and 21,000 sq ft for shops and restaurants.
Space has also been provided for a new primary care facility and an educational centre for nearby All Souls Primary School.
Mark Younger of Exemplar said: “We are delighted that Westminster City Council has approved our plans for the former Middlesex Hospital site, as it is one of London’s most important development opportunities. Our scheme will create new jobs, public space and homes in Fitzrovia, and ultimately a new community in the heart of the West End.
“With enabling works underway, we are already bringing this vacant site back into use and anticipate strong demand for the offices, retail units and apartments once we begin marketing later this year. We will continue to work closely with local residents to ensure that the chapel and other community spaces provided within the scheme are fully utilised to benefit everyone in the surrounding area.”