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  • Writer's pictureJames Scott

Stories gains major planning permission for vital new homeless accommodation and BTR homes

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s and B Corp developer Stories have been granted permission to build new ‘life-changing’ accommodation in Westminster for people who have experienced homelessness.

The ambitious 217 Harrow Road development – which has been designed in partnership between St Mungo's and Stories – was unanimously approved by Westminster City Council Planning Committee on 20th September 2022.

  • The design will provide a total of 56 self-contained homes for people who have experienced homelessness and will be built on the site of one of St Mungo’s existing services which is coming to the end of its usable life.

  • The new facility will be enabled through the delivery of 98 new rental homes for Westminster, a proportion of which will be provided at affordable rent in a new, adjacent residential building.

The planning application was supported by an in-depth community consultation which saw local people, St Mungo’s clients and staff, as well as other stakeholders feed into the building design. The development has been designed by Stirling Prize winning architects, AHMM. It features two separate buildings – one at eight storeys and a second at 20 storeys.

Westminster has the highest number of people sleeping rough in London. This new facility will enable more than 450 individuals each year to have the time and space to feel safe and work on their recovery.

The existing 1960s building now requires urgent action and, over the last seven years, St Mungo’s and Westminster City Council commissioners have been exploring redevelopment options to continue to provide these critical services.

St Mungo’s Interim Chief Executive, Rebecca Sycamore:

“We are delighted that the plans to redevelop our Harrow Road site have been given the go ahead. This new development will provide vital accommodation for people in Westminster who have experienced homelessness.

“As a leading provider of frontline homelessness services, we know what is needed to ensure our clients get the best chance of recovering from homelessness and 217 Harrow Road has been designed with the benefit of our more than 50 years’ experience working in this sector.

“We are so pleased that Westminster Council have backed this project which really will change the lives of thousands of people for years to come, and are very much looking forward to seeing these exciting plans become a reality.”

Co-Founder of Stories, James Scott:

“We’re thrilled to be delivering this innovative project in partnership with St Mungo’s, working closely with Westminster City Council. Our purpose as a development company is to deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes for local people and we’ve worked hard over the last couple of years to find a solution for this challenging site. The involvement of local stakeholders and neighbours has been instrumental in shaping the proposals.”

Associate for AHMM architects, Edwina McKnight:

“We are very pleased to be collaborating with St Mungo's and Stories on the design and delivery of a new home for the homeless, combined with mixed tenure apartments, on a single prominent site adjacent to the Westway.

“The proposal brings together two separate buildings around a landscaped central courtyard, activating Harrow Road and Torquay Street at street level. The distinctive stepped profile and brick form is derived from a series of cuts at different scales creating aspect, privacy, amenity and daylight for all residents.”

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