Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

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


Construction Enquirer reports that HS2 is slimming down the planned Euston station terminus in a bid to save costs and programme time. The station will now move to a simpler 10 platform design from the originally planned 11 platforms. This will allow the station main contractor joint venture Mace Dragados to build the £2.6bn project in a single stage, rather than two stages as originally envisaged. HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson revealed the new plan in a six-month update to Parliament and said that the changes will ease the £400m budget pressure already identified at Euston.

Property week reports that Hogan Lovells is in talks about a 280,000 sq ft pre-let at a Holborn site for its new London headquarters. The less-than-an-acre site comprises Kimberley House, Meridian House and 32 Farringdon Street. Royal London submitted plans designed by architecture firm PLP to redevelop the existing buildings into a 387,000 sq ft office scheme last month. Royal London said the development would “create a new headquarters-style office building designed with the flexibility to accommodate smaller tenancies to meet changing commercial requirements throughout its life”.

Estates Gazette reports that Swiss private bank Julius Baer is lining up a move to Clerkenwell that would see it leave its City of London office of seven years. The 131-year-old financial institution is under offer to lease 8 Bleeding Heart Yard, EC1, in a deal that would represent a significant reduction in office space for its London branch. The move comes after Julius Baer adopted a hybrid working strategy earlier this year in which bankers across its global network of offices were encouraged to work three days in office and two days from home.

City of London

Property Week reveals that CO-RE plans to deliver more than 540,000 sq ft of office space and 18,000 sq ft of retail space over 21 floors at 120 Fleet Street, which will replace River Court, has been approved by the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee. The building has been designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and the proposals involve the redevelopment of River Court and the renovation and opening to the public of the grade II-listed Daily Express building.


Hackney Citizen reports that residents have their last chance to comment on the council’s plan to build 189 new homes on a 1960s estate – half for social rent or shared ownership. The development would see five infill sites cleared and replaced with five blocks of six storeys and a four-storey terrace of 10 homes on the estate near the Regent’s Canal. It is thought the new homes will see 416 more people move onto the estate.  The first phase of the scheme, which is likely to go to the planning committee in the next few months, will provide 35 per cent social rent homes, with another 34 per cent classed as intermediate and 30 per cent for sale. Overall there will be 95 affordable homes, or 50 per cent, out of the total 189 when the whole development is finished. This will include 59 council homes to rent, with the rest offered as shared ownership homes.


Property Week reveals that Scottish brewery giant BrewDog intends to construct a new 26,500 sq ft flagship location at Waterloo. Set over two floors, BrewDog said that the central London site would be its “biggest location” in the world. The concept will launch in summer 2022 and act as a “central component” of the redevelopment of Waterloo station at a site that had previously been earmarked for a Time Out Market. A pop-up food truck, gaming area with shuffle boards and a slide to get between floors are among some of the features set to launch at the site. Other amenities will include a speakeasy-style cocktail bar and lounge and an outdoor terrace.


Property Week reveals that Native Land and its partners have submitted a planning application to the London Borough of Southwark for Building 9, an office building within its 1.4m sq ft Bankside Yards development. The new plans, covering 110,000 sq ft, will deliver more grade-A workspace. Planning consent for Building 9 was first approved in 2014. The revised planning application proposes raising the height of the building from eight to 13 storeys and increasing office floorspace from 65,000 sq ft to 110,000 sq ft. There will also be around 7,000 sq ft of flexible Class E space on the ground floor, plus space for 300 cycles. Native Land also hopes to increase affordable workspace by 68% to 10,763 sq ft and the revised proposals would enhance biodiversity, with new public realm, including a pocket park and the introduction of new roof terraces on the sixth and 10th floors.


Estates Gazette reports that Stories, a developer founded by former executives from Argent, The Collective and GL Hearn is pursing a build-to-rent scheme in Westminster to pay for a new St Mungo’s centre. Stories was selected by St Mungo’s as its preferred bidder for the site at 217 Harrow Road, W2, in a £20m contract. Stories and St Mungo’s have submitted a planning application to Westminster City Council proposing a £50m development. The 94 BTR homes will include private market and discount market rent housing. The St Mungo’s facility will be funded by the BTR sale, and will provide self-contained, mid-term accommodation and support services.

My London reports that IKEA bought the building at 214 Oxford Street, the old Topshop store, for ‘£378 million.’ It’s thought that Ikea will spread across the seven floors of the building. IKEA’s vote of confidence in the area comes at a crucial time. In recent years, Oxford Street has lost big names like Debenhams and Gap, which has left developers and politicians scrambling for ways to keep people coming back. One solution to the problem could be replacing vast shop floors with office space – but with more firms opting for home working – other ideas are needed to secure the street’s future. It is expected that the new IKEA store will not open in Oxford Street until 2023 at the earliest.


Property Week reports that the central London office lettings market has returned to pre-pandemic levels, though the investment market is still 13% below the 10-year average. According to data from Avison Young shared exclusively with Property Week, the occupier market saw to 2.4m sq ft of space in Q3 – 26% above the previous quarter and 1.1% above the 10-year quarterly average. The agency said there were 11 lettings above 50,000 sq ft signed – the most in an individual quarter since Q3 2019. Five deals above 100,000 sq ft and 11 lettings above 50,000 sq ft completed during the quarter – the most in a single quarter since the end of 2019. Facebook’s lease of 312,000 sq ft at 1 Triton Square, NW1 was the most notable of these deals.