Plans for the Old War Office, which Churchill used during WWII, are coming along. After being purchased by the Hinduja Group, planning permission has now been submitted for approval.
The new Whitehall hotel is to include 125 bedrooms, including suites, as part of the billion-pound-plus development. There will also be 88 apartments on the site for permanent residents. The hotel will also have a rooftop bar, swimming pool, wine cellar, and a ballroom for 600 guests.
As a Grade-II listed building, the Old War Office has some protections concerning alternations made to it.
The planning documents expressed the developers’ desire to include public access and heritage benefits in the new development. The Hinduja Group is working with Spanish co-owners OHL Desarrollos to transform the 580,000 sq ft site and give it new life.
It’s still unknown who will operate the hotel, although that’s unsurprising considering it was only purchased in March. There have been rumours that the Singaporean chain Raffles could be in the running.
If you’re a James Bond fan, the new hotel will provide an opportunity to stay in a building that has appeared in several films.
It was used as the MI6 headquarters in Octopussy, A View to Kill and Licence to Kill and will be another way for Bond fans to follow in the legend’s footsteps. The building has never before been open to the public.
There’s no news yet on when the development could begin or be completed. In fact, we’ll have to wait to see if Westminster council approve the plans. It will be a while before anyone will see the hotel transform, but images from the planning documents let us see what it may look like.
The developers claim they will set new standards for luxury hotels. They aim to make it an international landmark.
Photo credits: EPR Architects/Hinduja Group/OHL Desarrollos.