Proposals for the refurbishment of Sea Containers House on the South Bank to include a new "lifestyle destination hotel" have been approved by Southwark Council's planning committee.
Designed by TP Bennett, the plans include the extensive external and internal refurbishment of Sea Containers House, including refurbished office spaces and a new office building on the current car park, a "high-end 356-bedroom lifestyle destination hotel" as well as restaurants and cafes along the Thames Path.
The plans will also revitalise and open up public areas around the building, including the River Walkway, and a new route will be created between the River Walkway and Upper Ground on the west side of Sea Containers House.
"We are delighted to have been granted planning permission for the refurbishment of Sea Containers House," says JJ Ofer of asset managers Deerbrook.
"It is an important building in a great location on the South Bank. Archlane's investment will bring Sea Containers House into the 21st century, providing new job opportunities and revitalising the local area.
"As long as the Mayor [of London] is happy, we aim to start on site in January 2012, with completion anticipated for first quarter 2014."
Sea Containers House was originally designed as a hotel for Melia Buckley but was turned into an office block before it could welcome its first guests.
Tuesday night's planning committee meeting heard from Iain Tuckett of Coin Street Community Builders, owners of neighbouring Oxo Tower Wharf, who said he generally welcomed the proposals but asked councillors to impose a number of conditions on the planning permission for the scheme.
He also urged the council to ensure that the Thames Path remains open during the building works.
Mike Ibbott of TP Bennett told the committee: "I think we've come to what we consider is a very good scheme which really delivers regenerative benefits to this part of Southwark."
He added: "A whole range of ground floor activities are being brought to what is otherwise quite a sterile locality and very constricted along the riverside walk."
In August it was announced that the proposed new hotel will be operated by Morgans Hotel Group under the Mondrian brand.