Aziz sent back to drawing board


Westminster Council has recommended that Asif Aziz’s Criterion Capital go back to the drawing board and redesign its submission for a new 503-bed hotel on the site of the Trocadero.

The council’s planning office had recommended that the £100 million overhaul of the Shaftesbury Avenue site be approved. But councillors deferred their decision on the commercial property redesign last night after a three hour planning meeting.

They recommended that Criterion Capital modify the designs, reports Property Week.

Councillors said that the height and bulk of the scheme needed to be reduced, so that views from Chinatown were not blocked. The new glass façade dropping onto Shaftesbury Avenue was rejected, with one councillor branding it as "hideous".

Criterion had envisaged that the glass sheet could be used as blank canvas for public displays of art.

Council rules also state that a development of that size needs to be offset by provision of housing, so the project was sent back on these grounds also.