A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs
Property Week reports that Cycas Hospitality has opened the 54-room Lincoln Suites hotel in the Holborn, London. The Lincoln Suites offers 28 spacious one suites and 26 luxury studios within a converted 1920s neo-classical building. Wayne Androliakos, vice president of operations, south UK amd strategic projects at Cycas Hospitality, said: “The last year has really helped open people’s eyes to the benefits of alternative accommodation options and, in particular, the greater flexibility and extra space offered by serviced apartments. Cycas is therefore confident that the demand is there for a more boutique long-stay experience, as much from those looking to spend a few weeks holidaying in the capital as those travelling on business.”
Architects Journal reports that Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has condemned an angry local who threw a chair during Camden Council’s planning committee meeting last week to protest against a housing scheme by Tikari Works. The resident shouted at councillors during the meeting on Thursday (9 September) after they approved plans for a 420m2, four-home brick scheme on an empty plot in Gondar Gardens, West Hampstead. Jenrick shared a video of the outbursts on Twitter, saying that councillors should never have to experience abuse for doing their jobs – or helping increase housing supply. A planning report noted that objections had been received from nine local residents, as well as from three next-door neighbours to the site, a ward councillor and the Gondar and Agamemnon Residents Association. But planners said that the development would ‘not result in unacceptable detrimental impacts’ regarding noise, adding that the application complied with all guidance on overshadowing even if it might result in some overbearing impacts.
Property Week reports that PineBridge Investments has taken 11,404 sq ft at workspace, The Avenue in the West End, London. The workspace has BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and Chief executive EMEA at PineBridge Investments Klaus Schuster said: “We have chosen The Avenue because of its location, sustainability credentials and incredible facilities. Director in Savills West End agency team Freddie Corlett added: “Tottenham Court Road is one of the most exciting central London locations. It will continue to evolve as a result of significant investment into the area, and The Avenue is right at the heart of the action. PineBridge will join a host of major aspirational businesses who have recently taken space nearby, highlighting the crucial role the office still plays in bringing people together.”
Ham&High reports that the new owner of the old Hampstead police station says the Grade-II listed building will become offices or homes – or a mixture of the two. Development firm Redington Capital, based in South Hampstead, says it has bought the site in Rosslyn Hill for around £10m, with the deal set to complete next month. A planning application is expected in the next 12 months. James said the former station house would be split off and sold as a home, and that the coach house would be sold and turned into more homes or offices. Alex Nicoll, vice chair of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum, said the proposal “seems likely to be a positive development”. “If the primary use of the old police station is to be offices, this should benefit the local economy while not disturbing the amenity of neighbours,” he said.
CamdenNewJournal reports that the 02 Centre is set to be demolished and theres a new plea to stop tower blocks going up on the sit and a call for more consultation over the 1,900 home scheme. In 2020, residents were consulted on specific planning guidance that 950 homes could be built on the 02 car park site. Land Securities is now aiming to build 1,900 homes on a far bigger patch of land which includes the entire shopping centre, including the popular big Sainsbury’s, Waterstones, gym and cinema. Nancy Mayo, secretary of the Redington Road and Frognal Forum (Redfrog), called for a fresh round of consultation following the change in strategy, adding: “It just seems to be complete overdevelopment. Tower blocks in a local neighbourhood are completely alien.”. However, fellow Labour councillor Lazzaro Pietragnoli warned: “Sometimes more consultation and engagement means endless discussions. In this specific case, the risk is that we have another six months of discussions, the 02 application which is at the moment under review by the officers will is going to go ahead regardless of the allocation for the site.”
City of London
Construction Enquire reports that City of London planners have given the green light for alternative schemes on the site of a London pub once famous as a haunt for Fleet Street sports writers. Developer BREO Hundred gained planning for both development options for a new 13 storey office block on the site of the White Swan public house at 100 Fetter Lane. One will see the new building incorporate the pub, known more affectionately as “the Mucky Duck” in the heyday of Fleet Street. The other, the developer’s preferred option, will see the White Swan demolished with an alternative bar built in another part of the building. Both development options increase urban greening with several roof terraces and public realm improvements and the developer will now decide which will ultimately be constructed.
Hackney Gazette reports that a Hackney barge turned floating church and a mixed-use development in the borough have received national architecture awards. Genesis Floating Church, which is moored in Hackney Wick, and The Tiger Way development in Hackney Downs had previously been awarded RIBA London awards. The barge was converted into a place of worship by architects Denizen Works, which are based in Hackney City Farm Yard on Goldsmiths Row. The 2021 RIBA National awards celebrate the work of architects across the UK. Fifty-four winners were selected by an expert jury from a shortlist of regional winners.
Hammersmith and Fulham
HammersmithToday.co.uk reports that Work has begun to restore the Ravenscourt Park Tea House to its former glory. Two centuries old and Grade ll-listed, the building will gain a new roof as well as modern, fully accessible public toilets as part of a top-to-bottom seven-month restoration and refurbishment. The Friends of Ravenscourt Park have welcomed the restoration of the tea house. As well as a new roof in the main building, and new toilets, the roof timbers and joists are also being replaced alongside the windows and doors. Work has been delayed because of issues drawing up contracts for such a historic site during Covid. . Work is set to start after Monday 20 September – with the target of finishing by April next year.
Islington Tribune reports that CAMPAIGNERS protested outside the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) this week demanding empty housing on the Pentonville Prison site be made available to people on the council waiting list. Demonstrators were in Petty France Street, off Whitehall, on Tuesday as they stepped up the fight against plans to redevelop the site with no social housing. Islington Homes for All activist Andy Bain said: “We are here to point out to the Ministry of Justice that there is a huge shortage of housing in Islington. Their proposals will mean these properties will be developed into luxury flats and that is not what Islington needs.” There are currently around 14,000 people waiting for a council home in Islington and the protesters say any redevelopment should include 50 per cent of homes at affordable rates.
Kensington and Chelsea
Mail Online reports that A three-bedroom mews property on one London’s most beautiful and ‘Instagrammable’ streets has gone on the market for £3.95 million. With its wisteria backdrop and Grade II-listed arches providing the perfect frame for a photoshoot, Kynance Mews is a favourite among social media stars who are often seen posing on the cobbled street. Recently renovated and on the market with Lurot Brand, this particular property is larger than most on the street spanning over 1000 sqft. Situated in the leafy neighbourhood of South Kensington and with properties on the street seldom coming to market, this is an incredible rare opportunity to acquire a property in arguably one of the most coveted and Instagrammable addresses in the capital.
Property Week reports that Southwark Charities has received planning permission for the proposed development of its existing site on Nicholson Street. The charity will build 62 new almshouses to replace the existing ones, which were built in 1973. Around 220,000 sq ft of high-quality office space, 10% of which will be affordable workspace for other Southwark-based charities and local initiatives to use, will be built alongside the housing. The scheme will also feature a charitable hub, with accessible community facilities for residents and others in the locality, plus a new larger on-site Prince William Henry public house.
Property Week reports that TEDI-London, a new engineering higher-education enterprise at British Land’s Canada Water development, welcomed its first cohort of full-time students to the campus this week. The creation of the modular campus, which used components built in the UK, took just under nine months from signing the agreement for the lease to TEDI-London taking occupation. The building took six weeks to construct once the modular components had arrived on the site. TEDI-London has taken an initial 15,000 sq ft of floorspace, including classrooms, breakout spaces and labs, with the option to expand up to 40,000 sq ft, which British Land will deliver in phases as the organisation grows. In the long term, British Land will work with TEDI-London to deliver a permanent home for its students within the Canada Water masterplan.
Property Week reveals that Mount Anvil has created a dedicated Peloton Bikes fitness space at The Hub @ The Silk District scheme in Whitechapel. The developer is using the space as a pilot to better understand how health and wellbeing needs and gym usage has changed as a result of the pandemic before potentially rolling the concept out across future schemes. Jon Hall, group sales director at Mount Anvil, comments: “I’m a huge fan of Peloton, and it’s revolutionised the way I work out, especially during the pandemic when commercial gyms have been closed. I’m so excited to bring this forward for our residents so they can experience it for themselves either in The Hub @ The Silk District or from the comfort of their own home.
Architects Journal reports that A Buckley Gray Yeoman-designed office block on part of Brick Lane’s Truman Brewery has been approved despite local protests and over 7,000 objections. The former brewery is currently home to over 300 small businesses and holds regular public events. Its owners want to build a five-storey office and shopping mall on a car park, as well as refurbishing two existing buildings on the site. But the scheme has sparked a huge backlash from some local businesses on the famous east London street and many objectors are concerned that introducing a large commercial scheme will change Brick Lane’s character and that the new office space it provides will not be affordable to local businesses.
City of Westminster provides an update on the Oxford Street District Programme, releasing a statement from Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning which states that the Council remains committed in supporting the success of Oxford Circus and its surrounding neighbourhood. However, having listened to the residents and after reviewing the cost effectiveness of the proposal for a pilot for the Oxford Circus piazzas, the temporary piazzas previously planned will not now go ahead, along with all associated enabling street works. The Council has already delivered improvements to the high street and its surrounding districts, including new greening and seating, improvements for cyclists and pedestrians and the new Soho photography quarter. Cllr Matthew Green said: “We’ll be focusing on engaging with residents and other stakeholders on potential permanent schemes for piazzas at Oxford Circus, along with associated enabling works. We will shortly share the engagement and consultation approach and timetable but in moving forward we are committed to meeting key tests of a clear business case, meaningful engagement, and complete clarity on impact on residents and costs”.
Architects Journal reports that Work has started on the first phase of plans by LDA Design to remove traffic from part of The Strand and open it up to pedestrians. The £30 million plans at the Strand Aldwych in central London will remove vehicles from the street in front of Somerset House and King’s College London to create a major new public space around St Mary le Strand Church. The installation of a free, temporary pop-up skate park outside Somerset House – ‘Skate the Strand’ which runs until 24 September – marks the start of the transformation of the 200m-stretch along the north bank of The Thames. LDA Design director Cannon Ivers, the project lead for Strand Aldwych, said: ‘For the first time, visitors will be able to properly appreciate the Grade I-listed architecture which frames the space, and benefit from new collaborations as the public realm brings together some of London’s leading cultural and educational institutions.’.
Property Week reports that Sir Lloyd Dorfman’s new office development in Soho, London, has agreed an 18,400 sq ft pre-let with a global investment firm. The deal will see the unnamed firm take all 3 floors totalling at 2 Soho Place and provides the tenant with the right to custom design the space to its precise requirements as well as choose from a menu of service options to tailor how their space will be run and managed by the landlord. Sir Lloyd said: “Flexibility in leases and space as a service are trends we expect will dominate office requirements of the future.”. The building is expected to complete in the first quarter of next year.
City of Westminster reports that Al fresco dining has proved to be a hit with residents and businesses after Westminster City Council supported licensed businesses by providing space for outdoor dining during the pandemic. Following a month-long consultation, the council has received feedback from residents and businesses in Covent Garden and St. John’s Wood with more than 80% of respondents voting in favour of al fresco measures remaining. Westminster City Council acted quickly last year to enable outdoor seating in roads and widened pavements during the summer, and the scheme continued in the winter months. When restaurants reopened in April this year, the council helped nearly 900 businesses, bars and restaurants to open to outdoor diners by implementing al fresco dining. During the summer, around 60 streets benefited from either pavement widening, temporary closure of roads and parking bays to allow tables and chairs to be set-up for outdoor restaurant seating in the street. The council is also exploring the possibility of introducing longer term al fresco schemes in other areas, including Soho. These schemes are being mapped out in partnership with local communities and will only go ahead with the support of residents.
Property week reveals that Michael Gove has been appointed housing secretary as part of a cabinet reshuffle following Robert Jenrick’s sacking from the role. Number 10 said in a statement on Twitter that Gove will take on the role of secretary of state for housing, communities and local government as well as “cross-government responsibility for levelling up”. He retains ministerial responsibility for the Union and elections. Gove’s voting record in the House of Commons includes support for charging a market rent to high earners renting a council home and support for phasing out secure tenancies for life. Responding to the appointment Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, welcomed Gove and said he “looks forward to working with him to ensure the rental market works for responsible landlords and tenants alike. Key to this will be addressing the supply crisis in the sector by developing pro-growth policies that recognise the vital contribution it makes to housing millions of people across the country.”
Property Week reports that co-living pioneer The Collective has called in the administrators, citing reduced occupancy levels caused by the pandemic. The administrators, Matthew Boyd Callaghan, Andrew Johnson, and Lisa Rickelton from FTI Consulting, were called in due to reduced occupancy levels caused by the pandemic and delays in the development of non-operational assets. The company had sought to raise capital from third party investors and explored a sale of the business, but was unsuccessful on both fronts. A statement issued by the administrators said an agreement had been reached in principle with key stakeholders at Canary Wharf and Old Oak that allowed the continued provision of central services to these co-living sites. All assets outside the UK, which are held in separate entities, remain under the control of their directors and do not form part of the administrations. The Collective (Living) Limited employs 62 employees and while the administrators said there would be no immediate redundancies, they added that it was likely that a number of redundancies would need to be made in the coming weeks.