Central London’s once infamous Dolphin Square estate has been ‘saved’ from redevelopment – My London



Controversial plans to redevelop Dolphin Square have been abandoned, after its previous owner sold the Pimlico estate to AXA Investment Managers.

The sale by Westbrook Partners, who wanted to build 230 extra flats by rebuilding its northern block, was confirmed on September 16.

Walking distance from the Houses of Parliament, Dolphin Square is renowned for having been the residence of dozens of celebrities and high profile politicians.

Past inhabitants of the estate’s 1,233 apartments include former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, former Tory leader William Hague and former fascist leader Oswald Mosley.

Westbrook had planned to rebuild the Square’s northern block (Image: Eric Parry Architects)

James Bond author Ian Fleming lived there, as did Princess Anne, and Christine Keeler, the model whose affair with War Secretary John Profumo led to him resigning in 1963.

Westbrook’s planning application was beset by local opposition and were rejected by Westminster Council last year.

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A planning appeal, under Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, was due to be decided later this year.

But it is understood that AXA has no current plans to redevelop of Dolphin Square, built from red bricks with Georgian-style arches in the 1930s, and which earned a grade II listing.

The company instead wants to refurbish parts of the estate.

One Dolphin Square resident who was pleased with the news was Jason Thomas Williams, a former Labour councillor for Churchill ward.

He said: “The planning application caused a great deal of concern around the Square and residents will very much welcome the news.

“I hope the new owners will work with the council to look at strengthening and protecting Dolphin Square’s unique heritage and ensure the Square continues to be a strong residential community in the future.”

John O’Driscoll, the European head of transactions at AXA, said: “We have secured a rare opportunity to acquire a first-class, large scale and iconic residential asset in one of London’s most sought after areas.”

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