The Church Commissioners are bringing forward exciting proposals for Portsea Mews. Vacant since 2018, Portsea Mews was built in 1824 to serve the grand houses of Connaught Square by stabling their horses and carriages. You can still see clues to this heritage in the shape of windows and curve of the brickwork. The Mews sit within the Bayswater Conservation Area, surrounded by Grade II listed properties.
The site as it currently exists is made up of 15 properties in a mix of residential and commercial uses. Between 1954 and 2018, the ground floor of the Mews served as the family run business, Hardman & Collis, and was said to have been central London’s oldest car repair garage. At first floor level, there are a number of tenanted flats which are now vacant.
The Church Commissioners are proposing to introduce a new entrance to the Mews via 8 Porchester Place, in the style of the existing shopfront. The “shop” will act as the new main entrance to the mews accommodating the office’s reception and waiting area, whilst providing a direct link through to Portsea Mews. The existing entrance to the mews, accessed from Portsea Place, will also be retained, but will be used predominately for cycle access and servicing. It is estimated the accommodation will provide working space for up to 120 employees, bringing more customers and natural surveillance to Connaught Village and the wider Hyde Park Estate.
Due to their age, the nature of the industrial use, and the lack of significant investment in property maintenance by tenants, the buildings are in a poor state of repair. The configuration is also extremely inefficient for modern commercial uses, and the residential parts of the property cannot, economically or physically, provide living spaces that meet the standards of high-quality modern living. As part of their proposals, The Church Commissioners will be reconfiguring and refurbishing the residential units to bring them back into active use.
Consultation runs until 28 November 2021.