A Cabinet minister has labelled the new Paddington Square development as a “dreadful excrescence” as it nears its completion.
Kit Malthouse, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster criticised the new 18-storey block adjacent as unfitting for its prominent location adjacent to Paddington Station, the rail terminus for services from Heathrow and the West Country.
The MP for North West Hampshire tweeted: “Paddington Station, gateway to the west and the arrival point for so many overseas visitors to London – now greeted by this dreadful excrescence.”
He added: “When will developers build beautiful stuff worth keeping?”.
The tower block, dubbed Paddington’s “Cube”, was granted permission by the Council in 2017, despite local opposition including from neighbouring St Mary’s Hospital.
The development is set add another 360,000 sq ft of office space as well as a shopping precinct and public square.
Paddington Square will also include a new entrance to the Paddington Bakerloo line station.
On unveiling the plan in 2016, CEO of architects Sellar and Partners, James Sellar described the scheme “the centrepiece of the transformation of Paddington”.
He promised that the scheme would be “something of true value for London which celebrates the best of design, retail, workspace and dining in one of the most connected parts of the city”.
The £775 million project was slated for a Summer 2022 but has yet to open.
Great Western Developments Ltd, the company behind Paddington Square, and Sellar and Partners both declined to comment.