Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs


Architects Journal reports that AHMM’s major redevelopment of a former hospital in King’s Cross into flats, offices and an orange-coloured 13-storey hotel has been granted consent. The scheme will see five new buildings constructed on the 0.5ha site on Gray’s Inn Road and includes turning the retained hospital building into a café, which will then connect up to a part 13-storey, part 8-storey 182-bed hotel set back off the road. The housing element includes a four-storey block on Swinton Street with 32 affordable homes and a 10-storey block of 44 private flats on Wicklow Street. The majority of the existing buildings on site will be demolished however the proposals will retain and refurbish the original Royal Throat Nose and Ear Hospital building into the new development.


Hackney Gazette reports that building works have started on the Hackney Central Overground station, with the development part of wider plans to create a greener and more accessible town centre after the pandemic. The plans will see a new second entrance on Graham Road which will make it easier to access Hackney Central town centre, new cycle parking spaces and more trees and greenery. An additional staircase will also be added within the station to make station interchanges easier. The work is scheduled for completion in early 2022.

Estates Gazette reports that GoCardless is lining up a move to Hylo, one of Shoreditch’s newest office towers, following dramatic growth in the business. The London-based payments company is about to go under offer on 75,000 sq ft at the building on Bunwill Row, EC1, which is owned by CIT Group. The deal would make GoCardless the latest tech company to significantly expand its office space in the City fringe, following the likes of TikTok, Snapchat and Depop earlier this year.


Property Week reports that Derwent London has exchanged contracts to sell its 126,200 sq ft freehold interest in Angel Square, Islington, to Tishman Speyer for £86.5m. Paul Williams, chief executive of Derwent London, said: “This disposal reflects the strength of investment demand for central London office properties. Proceeds will be reinvested into our high-quality development programme. This will soon be expanded to include 19-35 Baker Street W1 and the now-consented Network Building W1, which together total over 400,000 sq ft.” The former is due to commence in the next few months and the latter in 2022.


Architects Journal reports that Lambeth Council has quashed the planning permission it gave to one of its controversial estate regeneration schemes, instead of fighting a legal challenge from the residents. In February, Lambeth’s planning committee approved plans by Homes for Lambeth, the local authority’s wholly-owned housing company, to demolish 12 homes on the Cressingham Gardens estate. Last week it was announced that residents had been granted a judicial review of the scheme, which would have been the third legal challenge over the Ted Hollamby-designed estate’s regeneration. Residents had launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the challenge but yesterday (21 July) the council took the surprise decision to cancel planning permission for the scheme. A Lambeth Council spokesperson said “Quashing the original permission, and ensuring that an updated plan is put before the Planning Applications Committee, is the cheapest and quickest way of resolving this issue in the interests of everyone in Lambeth.”

Estates Gazette reports that Co-Re has submitted plans to Lambeth Council for its proposed redevelopment of ITV’s former London Studios on the South Bank. The developer and Mitsubishi Estate London want to demolish the former media hub and build a 1m sq ft office, retail and arts and culture-focused scheme. Proposals centre around an all-electric 25-storey office tower connected to two buildings of 13 and six storeys. Plans include 900,000 sq ft of offices, cultural venues, two new public squares plus restaurants and shops. Developers are targeting a net zero operational carbon emissions, and have said they will prioritise wellbeing for tenants by extending the workspace outdoors with external terraces and balconies overlooking the Thames.


Architects Journal reports that Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’s (AHMM) plans for 940 homes in Peckham Rye, south-east London, have been thrown into doubt after it emerged that developer BlackRock has sold the site. The team was due to submit a hybrid application for the £450 million scheme last September, including detailed plans for two eight-storey buildings and a 20-storey tower on top of a Morrisons superstore. But the proposals sparked a backlash among local residents and businesses. A planning application for the scheme was never submitted and landowner BlackRock sold the Aylesham Centre to Berkeley Group, who said it was bringing forward a mixed-use development on site, but added that it would ‘establish a fresh design approach and masterplan’ based on engagement with the local community.

Property Week reports that Dutch developer EDGE has received planning permission for what it has said will be “London’s most sustainable office tower”. EDGE London Bridge will comprise 260,000 sq ft of office space in a 27-storey office tower next to London Bridge. The scheme will be developed on the site of Becket House, which is currently occupied by the Home Office as an immigration centre. The building will be demolished when the Home Office has exited the building to make room for EDGE London Bridge.

Tower Hamlets

Architects Journal reports that Tower Hamlets Council has approved an application for 900 homes by Glenn Howells Architects, Panter Hudspith and White Arkitekter on a Thames-side site in east London. The development of Blackwall Yard will see five buildings, between nine and 39-storeys tall, added to the 1.7ha site. The scheme, master planned by Glenn Howells, will feature 35 per cent affordable homes, as well as a primary school, community hub and 1,500m2commercial and retail spaces spread over the ground and lower levels. It will also see the Grade II-listed Graving Dock partially infilled and landscaped, while part of the dock would be filled with water and either serve as a pond or as a place for swimming.

Property Week reveals that Hadley Property has received unanimous planning consent from the London borough of Tower Hamlets for its mixed-use riverfront scheme in the east London area.  Hadley now plans to develop 898-homes for leasehold sale, 35% of which will be affordable, across nine buildings. The scheme will also deliver a primary school and an outdoor swimming pool in a scheme with a GDV of £600m. During the public consultation, residents expressed a need for flexible community spaces that could be used for prayer and religious practice, and called for the provision of a pub and restaurant on the riverfront. A range of ground-floor uses including flexible community space and affordable workspaces will sit alongside a waterside pub and grocery store.

Architects Journal reports that Herzog & de Meuron’s Canary Wharf high-rise apartments are near completion. Once fully completed at the end of this year, over seven years after the project began, the 58-storey residential skyscraper on the edge of South Dock east of existing Canary Wharf estate will contain 483 apartments and will be the estate’s ‘signature’ building. In all, 186 apartments have been completed to date. The tower is part of the huge residential-led expansion of the east London business district formerly known as Wood Wharf and now dubbed the New Phase. The expansion was masterplanned by Allies and Morrison and features schemes by Stanton Williams, KPF, Darling Associates, Grid Architects and Patel Taylor, with the wider development eventually creating up to 3,200 new homes, 1,900,000m2 office space and 35,000m2 of retail floorspace, along with a community centre and a network of public squares.


Property Week reports that the team behind The Shard has revealed plans for a 15,000 sq ft working, dining and shopping “concept space” at the forthcoming Paddington Square building. The designs for The Exchange have been put together by developer Sellar and interiors practice Universal Design Studio for the entrance of Paddington Square, which is due to be completed in Spring 2022. The Exchange will provide occupiers with a concierge, all-day and evening bar, event spaces, a yoga suite, meeting rooms, multimedia suites and an outdoor terrace overlooking a 1.35-acre public piazza, a new entrance to the London Underground station and a series of commissioned artworks.

The Guardian reports that Westminster city council granted Cheung Chung-kiu, a Hong Kong-based property tycoon, permission to partly demolish and reconstruct an eight-storey, 5,760-sq metre (62,000-sq-ft) private place in Knightsbridge, in order to create his cast new home, which experts said could be worth up to £500m when completed. The council’s decision to allow the project to go ahead comes just months after it imposed a ban on new “Monopoly board-style” residences so as to free up space for more affordable homes. Westminster council said it was unable to stop this project going ahead as the site had previously been a single dwelling and planning rules allowed it to be replaced. The council also confirmed that Cheung would not be obliged to contribute to the construction of any affordable homes in the borough, as is the case with most large-scale private property developments.

Deka has bought an office building on St James’s Square in London from Golden Sense International for £220m. The building at 8 St James’s Square was completed in 2015 and offers around 62,968 sq ft of leasable space and six parking spaces. It is fully occupied by five long-term tenants, with banking and financial services company Societe Generale as main tenant.The building has received British BREEAM excellent certification for sustainable construction. It will be added to the portfolio of open-ended real estate fund Deka-ImmobilienEuropa.

Grosvenor is planning to “scale” its new flexible office brand 25 EP across its estate if the first one proves successful and intends to open at least one more workspace by the end of 2022. The landlord launched 25 EP at Eccleston Yards in September last year following the collapse of Central Working, which had itself been renting the 30,000 sq ft space. Grosvenor told Property Week that it planned to open another flexible workspace of a similar size by this time next year.