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Victoria’s House of Fraser to shut after 150 years

Jonathan Prynn
·1-min read
<p>Planning officers at Westminster council have given their backing to plans to demolish the Victoria Street building and replace it with a £750 million <a href=

Planning officers at Westminster council have given their backing to plans to demolish the Victoria Street building and replace it with a £750 million

office and shops development.

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One of central London’s oldest department stores is set to close next summer after 150 years.

The Victoria branch of House of Fraser, which began as Army & Navy in 1872, looks destined to join West End names such as Debenhams and Dickins & Jones that have shut for good.

Planning officers at Westminster council have given their backing to plans to demolish the Victoria Street building and replace it with a £750 million office and shops development.

The proposal, from Canadian-owned property investor BentallGreenOak, goes before Westminster’s planning committee on Tuesday and is likely to be approved.

If it goes through, the store will continue to trade until next summer, when there is a break clause in the lease, and will be demolished later in the year.

Plans lodged with Westminster show that the 390,000 sq ft current Southside development where House of Fraser is based would be knocked down and replaced with a 16-storey, 630,000 sq ft scheme with up to 20 shop units as well as restaurants.

There will also be a new village square providing a public route through the centre of the building between Victoria Street and Howick Place.

Planning officers say that the developer argues that the department store is currently paying no rent and is “incongruous with current market trends, which they state has seen a shift from large department stores towards smaller scale flexible retail units which meet local needs”.

BentallGreenOak bought the site for £103 million in 2005. Its development director Alexander Morris wrote that the development proposals will turn the “tired” Seventies Southside into “a new destination for residents, office workers and tourists to Westminster”.

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