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Rathbone Place plans get green light in London

A mixed-use scheme in the City of Westminster has been given the green light by local planners.Great Portland Estates (GPE) has been given the go ahead for the renovation of a former Royal Mail sorting office at the east end of Oxford Street, with the scheme set to deliver hundreds of thousands of sq ft of commercial and residential space in the heart of the historic locale.Neil Thompson, portfolio director at GPE, commented: "We are delighted to have received support for our scheme from Westminster, with whom we have worked very closely over the last two years. "Rathbone Place will be one of the West End's most exciting new developments and is one of several projects GPE are working on for delivery over the next few years."The project will see delivery of 42,000 sq ft of new retail accommodation, 217,000 sq ft of offices and 162 new apartments covering 155,000 sq ft in all.Rathbone Place was purchased by PGE in November 2011 and let back to Royal Mail Group. However, the site has now been vacant since August this year.Architect Make has drawn up ambitious plans for 414,000 sq ft of new buildings at the site, with the inclusion of a public square and links to the rest of the historic area.It promises to be a landmark development at the heart of one of the most iconic London locations and work on the project will now get underway in the coming months. GPE will be supported in its efforts from both Make and the City of Westminster for the duration of the scheme.Plans have now been signed off for construction work to get underway at the 2.3-acre site early next year, with the project due for completion by 2016. Furthermore, the scheme hopes to give a significant boost to the area ahead of the planned Crossrail opening in 2018. 

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