Wed | May 23, 2018

Back to the drawing board for Oxford Road hotel - NEPA tells applicant to reduce building height

Published:Wednesday | January 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Archtiect Robert Woodstock of Harold Morrison+Robert Woodstock Associates Limited.

Land being cleared for development at 1A-1B Oxford Road in New Kingston will house a boutique hotel, according to documents obtained from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).

The state regulator, however, has asked the design architects, Harold Morrison+Robert Woodstock Associates Limited, to review and adjust the hotel design for resubmission.

The proposal for the hotel was first submitted to NEPA for review in September 2017.

Its design incorporates 12 floors of guest bedrooms, plus other levels. But last November 29, NEPA's development assistance centre wrote to company director and architect Robert Woodstock advising him that the development exceeded height and density guidelines.

Woodstock is the architect for the hotel. He has not disclosed the name of the developer.

The hotel proposal entails ground floor with entry plaza, concierge, lobby and reception; two floors with public dining and private guest facilities; 12 floors of hotel rooms averaging 7.5 rooms per floor; rooftop terrace with bar and pool, one storey of underground parking plus ground level parking; and main surface parking.

"Having completed the review, the proposed urban boutique hotel is supportable in principle at the captioned location; however, the agency has identified that there is an exceedance of the allowable density and height based on the Town and Country Planning (Kingston) Develop-ment Order 1966," the agency wrote to Woodstock.

It also referred him to the newer Town and Country Planning (Kingston and St Andrew and Pedro Cays) Provisional Development Order 2017.

The land lots in the proposal span 2,591.81 square metres, which NEPA said can allow a maximum of 64 habitable rooms, while the Woodstock Associates proposal is for "90 or even 100 habitable rooms".

The agency also noted that while density for the Oxford Road site allows for building heights of six storeys, it was willing to support a structure of 10 to 12 storeys, based on both the Woodstock Associates project proposal, as well as precedence set by other structures in the vicinity.

"This recommendation is contingent on the proposal being able to support all other planning criteria, including plot area ratio and footprint,"

the planning agency told Woodstock. It would also be contingent on general appearance, distance to other adjacent development, the established character of the area, and other technical factors, NEPA said.

Robert Woodstock said in December that questions about the hotel project had been passed to the owner for comment. However, no response has been forthcoming.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com