Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

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


Property Week reports that property lender CapitalRise has provided a £9.2m senior loan for the refinancing and development of two freehold Georgian townhouses in Bloomsbury. The grade-II listed properties have a GDV of £14m and the loan will fund the conversion of the properties from their current office use to five-bedroom luxury homes. CapitalRise chief executive and co-founder Uma Rajah said: “This is an outstanding Georgian property with beautiful historic features and architecture, in great condition, which will be preserved and adapted to complement 21st century living. We are proud of our continued support for prime developments in London and the Home Counties and we have been well-placed to do this because of our exceptional quality of service and thorough due diligence processes.”.

Pbctoday reports that Bouygeus UK has been appointed by the London Borough of Camden to deliver the part-redevelopment of the Maitland Park Estate with 119 new homes. Located between Chalk Farm and Belsize Park on the Maitland Park Estate,  the scheme will provide a range of external amenity areas, landscaped open space incorporating engaging play provision, as well as a new on-site community space. The resulting new homes will be approximately 43% at council rent with 57% private/market sale and will offer fully accessible and adaptable units across the development.

Kensington and Chelsea

Construction Enquirer reports that Ballymore and Sainsbury’s have agreed a strategic partnership to develop an 18 acre site at Ladbroke Grove in West London. The Partnership’s ambitious masterplan for the project has capacity for up to 2,800 homes in a major mixed-use canal-side town centre with a forecast development value of £1.7bn. The project will involve restoration of an historic canal basin, and a generous mix of retail, including a 130,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s, leisure, community and small business workspace.

Bdaily News reports that A property firm based in London and Monaco has acquired a Grade II listed mansion to transform into a multi-million pound residential scheme. REDD has acquired One Palace Green as part of its plan to develop £100m collection of new ‘luxury’ homes. A planning application for the development is anticipated later this year with construction planned for Summer 2022 and completion scheduled for 2024. REDD will work with The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, The Crown Estate, local stakeholders and heritage groups to design a scheme that aims to sensitively restore the existing mansion


Architects Journal reports that Maccreanor Lavington has received planning consent for its designs for 91 new affordable homes in north London. Islington Council’s planning committee has approved the City of London Corporation development of four residential buildings, each between four and seven storeys high. The project, which attracted grant funding from the Greater London Authority, will involve the demolition of an existing community centre and multi-use games area to provide 17 studios, 25 one-bedroom apartments, 21 two-bedroom, 25 three-bedroom and three four-bedroom units. All the homes will be for social rent. In a committee report, Islington council planning officers acknowledged that the proposed development would result in ‘some adverse impacts in terms of loss of daylight and sunlight on neighbouring residential properties’ but that these were outweighed by the overall benefits of the scheme.


Estates Gazette reports that Westminster City Council is the slowest of all inner London applications and is among the worst performing in the country. Across London, councils manage to consider 91% of planning applications within a 13-week deadline, while at Westminster only 75% are considered during the period. Of 330 planning authorities across the country, Westminster is ranked 298th. Westminster said the reason for its performance was due to the “high volume of major applications”. However, comparative data from other London boroughs shows Westminster received fewer than those that performed better.

Property Week reports that Derwent London has acquired the seven-year headlease interest in the South West Wing of London’s Bush House for £13.5m.  The group already owns the freehold of this 103,700 sq ft office building in Aldwych, which is the former home of the BBC’s World Service. Combining this purchase and the December 2020 valuation of the Group’s freehold interest equates to £51.8m or around £500 per sq ft. The group has appointed architects Stiff & Trevillion on the refurbishment and extension of the existing building which, subject to planning, could increase the lettable area to around130,000 sq ft with a possible start in 2022.

Construction Enquirer reports that Mace has been appointed by property investor Astrea to deliver a major new office scheme at 38 Berkeley Square in London. Located in the heart of Mayfair, the project will provide 85,000 sq ft of premium office space across nine stories with over 7,000 sq ft of communal terracing. Ged Simmonds, Managing Director for Commercial Offices and Residential at Mace, said: “We are delighted to work on the transformation of 38 Berkeley Square, on behalf of Astrea. Our team will support the client’s vision for a destination office space with an innovative sustainability strategy, minimising carbon emissions during demolition and build.”.

Property Week reports that the entry fee for the West End’s newest tourist attraction, the Marble Arch Mound, is being scrapped this month and refunds are being offered after visitors reported being “disappointed”. Westminster council said: “We made a mistake and we apologise to everyone who hasn’t had a great experience on their visit. With that in mind, we’re going to make The Mound free for everyone to climb throughout August. Now is the time to bring the buzz back to central London and to see people visiting the West End again. We are working hard to resolve the outstanding issues and create an attraction worthy of our fantastic city.”.

Estates Gazette reports that Robert Tchengui’s plans to turn MI5’s former Mayfair headquarters into a private members’ club have been dealt a blow after Westminster council rejected it for breaching a new policy framework it adopted in April. In February, councillors voted to approve the investor’s plans. However, before the council had formally given consent for the project to go ahead, it adopted its new City Plan, a set of policies designed to control development in central London via targets for housing, economic growth, public open space and greenery. Now, councillors have decided Tchenquiz’s scheme does not adhere to the new rules. Officials have taken issue with the loss of office space in the proposals. The building, Leconfield House, contains around 96,000 sq ft of commercial space, most of which is offices.

Estates Gazette report that JLL has won a control to sell homes at Westminster City Council’s £350m Ebury Bridge estate regeneration, after a competitive tendering process. Detailed planning consent for the project, which comprises 781 homes, was granted in April this year. It also includes a new community hub, nursery and fitness centre and four public suqares. The council received six tenders for the contract, which is worth £600,000. Proposals for Ebury Bridge, one of Westminster’s oldest housing schemes, including 53% affordable housing and the reprovision of homes for the estates 229 residents.

Property Week reports that Old Park Lane Management (OPLM) has received planning consent from Westminster City Council for Baola Properties to create an office development in Westminster. The 126,000 sq ft office development at 7 Millbank, Westminster, will be OPLM’s first carbon-neutral-in-use development in London and the development will replace an existing nine-storey building currently occupied by the Parliamentary Estate. Work will involve dismantling the existing building’s period façade, and will restore and rebuild the new development with the demolition due to commence in autumn 2022.

Property Week reports that Shaftesbury has completed two digital end-to-end commercial leasing deals, using software from proptech start-up Least. The first deal, a five-year lease with third year break on Broadwick Street, took six days and the second, a five-year lease at 45 Carnaby Street, took 15 days. The two deals account for 3,010 sq ft of space. The real estate investment trust said Least can be used to negotiate the heads of terms on any office space, saving time and void costs as well as providing a simplified user-friendly process.


EG reports that London landlords are being forced to give away between 12 and 16 months of rent to attract tenants to even the most prime offices in the capital as the future of working practices remains in limbo. Data from Carter Jonas, which looks at the impact of rent-free periods and incentives on real rents in the capital, has found grade-A office rents across Central London have fallen by an average of 8% over the 12-month period to Q2 2021. This compares with a 5.2% increase in net effective rents in the 12-month period ended Q2 2020.