334 Oxford Street, London, W1C

Capital Real Estate Partners LLP

11 months

£7 million

City of Westminster, W1C 1JG

Location & Overview

Formerly a Debenhams department store covering 120m x 100m, John F Hunt conducted cut and carve demolition at 334 Oxford Street, demolishing 70% of the footprint of the building and leaving five floors standing. Set in the busy shopping district of Oxford Street, particular care had to be taken to ensure that adjacent businesses could continue as normal, particularly a hotel situated across the street and an office adjacent to site. The site is due to become a mixed use development with retail, residential and commercial spaces.

Work, Challenges & Solutions

The front and side façade of the building was retained, while the kinetic was removed. Enabling works were conducted, which included site clearance, surveys, excavation and hoarding, creation of roads/access, discharge planning, site utilities and diversion/disconnection of services. Roof plant was also stripped out and removed. A UKPN substation on the site was worked around and kept live during our works. The erection of scaffolding and the installation of temporary works, including floor propping and a tower crane followed. Asbestos removal and cut and carve demolition proceeded these works.
Neighbourhood liaison was essential to this project, and we endeavoured from early in the project to ensure that we were communicating with all neighbours affected. We identified all neighbours potentially impacted by our works, and dispatched letters which contained pre-start information and out of hours contact details. We also sent out newsletters to the local community on a monthly basis, and liaised daily and weekly with the adjacent hotel, and liaised with an office. We complied with all Section 61 obligations regarding noise, dust, and vibration.
Challenges were encountered during the project, but our team produced an innovative solution. When attempting to remove the tower crane, which was intended to be a four-day operation, we encountered issues with high winds. This operation required a 250t crane to be placed on the adjacent road, and a road closure had been previously organised. Due to the length of time (12 weeks) it had taken to secure a road closure, we adapted our initial plan and elected to take the tower crane down from within the site, taking the 250t crane into the basement to deconstruct the tower crane.
Additionally, sustainability is at the heart of John F Hunt, as shown by our site’s conformity to ISO 140001 and the presence of a documented environmental management plan. All suppliers had to be FORS registered to deliver to site. Our use of electric BROKK plant on site, and the 96% diversion of waste from landfill. Concrete was crushed and reused as a piling mat to create ramp access to the basement. We also took on two apprentices on site, both of whom still work for John F Hunt.


John F Hunt received a letter from Local Authority Publicity Westminster, which thanked us for our support in the ‘Westminster Kensington & Chelsea Borough Road Safety Community Chart’ campaign, during which we had funded the production of posters.
Two CCS audits were conducted during our works, and we achieved Excellent (43/45) on both occasions.
We received a client commendation from George Martin of Blackburn & Co: ‘This building has thrown up several surprises over the last 11 months and your collaborative approach has been appreciated’