Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

This new digest has been prepared on behalf of London Property Alliance by Concilio communications consultancy as part of a service agreement to provide information for our members.


Property Week reports that Real estate developer General Projects and global investment firm KKR have revealed their plans for the redevelopment of the Heal’s building on Tottenham Court Road, London. The partners said they will transform the site into a mixed-use space that preserves and celebrates the iconic heritage of the building, which KKR and General Projects purchased in 2021. Under the plans, the ground and lower-ground retail space will be reconfigured and undergo a fit-out, while the upper parts of the former department store will be converted into new contemporary workspaces. As part of the redevelopment, furniture firm Heal’s has signed a new 20-year lease on the site, which will be rebranded as The Manufactory. A key feature of the redevelopment will be the transformation of the 200-year-old dispatch area into a new entrance and street-level café and bar.

City of London

Property Week reports that Pan-European real estate group Atenor has submitted plans to the City of London authority for a retrofit of Fleet House, a 55,000 sq ft office building near Blackfriars station. Atenor, which acquired the building in April, said the design by architects HOK will retain 80% of the existing structure and include a planted façade to reduce operational energy use. “The opportunity to reposition Fleet House aligns with our mission to bring Atenor’s track-record to London and provide it with a leading-edge occupier experience that is sustainable, aesthetically pleasing and focused on user well-being,” said Eoin Conroy, country director UK, at Atenor. The design will include a new public passageway, Bridewell Passage, that will connect Bridewell Place to Bride Lane, improving access to nearby Bridewell Theatre and St. Bride’s Church. “Our approach has reimagined a tired existing building into an exciting place of work through a development that is kind to the environment, respectful of its place while future proofing the site,” said David Weatherhead, design principal at HOK’s London Studio.

Property Week reports that The City of London Corporation’s planning and transportation committee has approved plans for a new hotel development at Boundary House, 7-17 Jewry Street. Sitting across two levels, the higher block facing onto Jewry Street will be 15 storeys and the lower block facing onto Carlisle Avenue will stand at eight storeys. The Ploberger Hotel Group scheme is a boost to the City’s leisure and tourism offer – with 311 hotel rooms, alongside a café/bar on the ground floor and a rooftop restaurant, both open to the public. The development will also house a co-working space comprising free and discounted use of podcasting studios, meeting rooms and event spaces offered for community and educational purposes, as well as proposals for a cultural hub. On Jewry Street, a widened walkway, planters and seating will enhance the public realm, alongside short-stay cycle parking.

Property Week reports that Black Sheep Coffee is set to open a new site at 173 Fleet Street in London’s EC4, signing a 20-year lease on the property. The former Cards Galore unit, which is approximately 635 sq ft, forms part of One Fetter Lane – otherwise known as Dickens House – on the corner of Fleet Street and Fetter Lane. Samuel May, director at May & Company who advised Hagag Gaya on the retail letting, said: “In what is being called the post-pandemic era, we have started to see a significant resurgence of office workers to the City of London.” Yam Katz, managing director of Hagag Gaya Holdings, said: “We look forward to working together with Black Sheep Coffee on their new café at our Fleet Street block. The location boasts excellent commuting options and strong traffic from the adjacent offices.”

Evening Standard reports that the Royal Exchange vaults is to get a dining complex, the 450-seat Libertine will open in October after a £2 million refit. The City’s growing reputation as a gastronomic destination is set to be given another boost by the launch of a huge new dining complex in the basement vaults of the Royal Exchange in the heart of the Square Mile. The 7000 sq ft venue will have a main restaurant, a large bar, smaller drinking and dining spaces and two private dining rooms in a space previously occupied by the Imperial City Asian Chinese restaurant. It is just yards from The Ned, the private members club, restaurant and bars venue opened by Soho House founder Nick Jones in the former Midland Bank HQ in 2017. The Libertine is the latest venture from hospitality group Incipio which also runs the Pergola on the Wharf in Canary wharf, Pergola Paddington and lost in Brixton.


Property Week reports that a duo of higher-priced London lots did not sell at auction, including a shop and upper property in Hackney, priced at £2m, and a corner office property in Stratford with a flat on the floor above, guided at £540,000. A mixed-use asset in Bedford, Bedfordshire, guided at £1.2m, sold prior to the sale. The freehold, four-floor building is arranged as a ground-floor restaurant, retail units and office space, generating £87,064 in annual income. The star lot was an end-of-terrace property in Islington, north London (pictured), guided at £690,000, which sold for £759,000. It has a vegan café on the ground floor with two let flats above, together bringing in more than £37,000 in yearly rent. In Lewisham, a ground-floor kebab shop with two vacant flats above, guided at £275,000, sold for £370,000. The auction house also sold a piece of freehold land in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, for £355,000. The 0.77-acre site with a former pub and office was guided at £250,000. Strettons’ next auction is on 13 September.

Kensington & Chelsea

Property Week reports that the Vatican has overhauled its investment policy after the sale of a property in Chelsea, London, lost the Church reportedly more than £100m. The new policy for the financial investments of the Holy See, the body which governs the Vatican, and the Vatican State will initiate on 1 September. It will mandate investing only in industries that promote “the common good” and has banned speculative investments, short selling and investing in complex financial products and in countries vulnerable to money laundering. The policy, announced by the Secretariat for the Economy has told the Vatican that it has one year to enact a divestment strategy from all the prohibited categories. The shift from the Vatican comes after a probe was launched in 2019 into the purchase of an office building in Chelsea. The Holy See began a criminal investigation into more than $200m (£156m) of money given to the Church for charitable activities and held in bank accounts controlled by its Secretariat of State was spent on the acquisition of 60 Sloane Avenue in Chelsea.


London News Online reports that an agreement has been completed that will see a 100 per cent affordable development completed in Southwark. Southern Housing Group has agreed a deal to provide 109 new affordable homes and 1,351 sq metres of flexible commercial space in Parkhouse Street, Walworth. The work is set to begin at the end of this year. The housing association claims the new homes will also see future residents benefit from a 38 per cent reduction in energy bills because of the development’s approach to “energy efficiency and environmental innovation”. This includes an 82 per cent carbon reduction, which it says reinforces the borough’s roadmap towards carbon neutrality. The development contributes to urban greening in the borough, with an extensive “green corridor” of newly-planted trees that will connect the new homes to nearby Burgess Park. The project will be air quality neutral, providing a car-free environment with 223 cycle spaces to encourage sustainable and active transport.

Tower Hamlets

Property Week reports that Long Harbour, PSP Investments and Cadillac Fairview have agreed to forward-purchase a 204-unit BTR development in Tower Hamlets, London, for £110m. The purchase is part of the cohort’s 20-year £1.5bn joint venture announced last year. The BTR element of the scheme will sit within Leaside Lock, a new riverside community in the heart of east London, in zone two. All properties launched by the Long Harbour Multi-Family Joint Venture 2 fund are overseen in-house by Way of Life, a management platform. The scheme is being delivered by The Guinness Partnership, one of the largest providers of affordable housing and care in England, alongside development manager Danescroft. In addition, this phase of the masterplan will deliver 13,000 sq ft of residential amenity alongside a further 20,000 sq ft of retail space, collectively creating a cohesive community. Leaside Lock is a key part of the ongoing regeneration of the Olympic Park area, led by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). Knight Frank advised Long Harbour and CBRE advised Guinness. James Aumonier, chief operating officer and group head of BTR at Long Harbour, said: “This latest acquisition demonstrates clear momentum for Long Harbour as we deliver on our LHMF investment strategy in collaboration with our management platform, Way of Life. This further progresses our ambitious £1.5bn BTR platform alongside our JV partners Cadillac Fairview and PSP Investments.”


City A.M. reports that the boss of West End landlord Shaftesbury Capital has assured that despite falling footfall levels in London’s heat, it will not be for long. “People are going to avoid city centres because they’re the hottest places,” Brian Bickell told City A.M. today, adding that “By the weekend people will be back to doing the things they’re normally doing.” Tourists are unlikely to be deterred for fear of missing out of missing out on pre-paid bookings. However, Bickell cautioned that the “longer term trend is worrying… If it becomes a regular occurrence. “In the short term, this is a wake up that some things are not as resilient as they might be and we’ve got to spend the next 10 years thinking about how to protect to ourselves if this is going to be more regular,” he continued, citing an issue of an overheating Tube network. Despite a downturn in foot traffic in London’s entertainment district, the West End boss said international tourists were returning in force, adding that many have rediscovered the area over the past nine months following pandemic restrictions. The company, which oversees 16-acres of the West End, has seen a spike in forward bookings from US tourists in the past few weeks, with travellers from across the pond enjoying a “relatively stronger currency now, so it’s a good proposition to come to London.”

Property Week reports that Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto has secured a new spot at 52 Conduit Street, W1. The fashion brand has agreed a 10-year lease for a 3,500 sq ft unit in a prominent location on the corner of Saville Row and Conduit Street in Mayfair, close to units occupied by MCM, Vivienne Westwood, Hauser & Wirth and John Varvatos. Knight Frank acted for the property owner, a HK-based private investor. Josh Braid, partner and co-head of Central London Retail at Knight Frank, said “After a competitive global marketing campaign we are very pleased to secure world renowned fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto for this prominent unit in the heart of Mayfair. “The letting underlines the resurgence of London’s prime retail streets, with increased competition from global brands looking for space to showcase their designs in the West End.”

Property Week reports that Allsop finally sells Marylebone asset for £8.5m at July auction Allsop finally sold a six-storey Marylebone property at its 13 July online auction that had been on the firm’s roster since failing to sell at its May sale, when it was guided at £10m. Guided this time at £8.25m, the lot (pictured) sold prior to auction for £8.5m. It is arranged as medical premises on the lowest four floors, with flats above. George Walker, head of commercial auctions at Allsop, said: “The flat upstairs pays £1,527 a week. That’s a lot of money, isn’t it? It’s that prime. It’s a very nice piece of real estate.” Walker said occupiers had been among buyers of other lots at the auction. Pub operator Greene King purchased a pub site in Oxted, Surrey, with a £2m price tag, and Esso bought a service station in Romsey, Hampshire, guided at £2.25m. Both lots sold prior to auction for undisclosed sums.

City A.M. reports that Derwent London has sold the South West Wing Bush House, a 103,700 sq ft freehold office building, for £85m. The building in WC2 is being sold with vacant possession and reflects a premium to December 2021 book value. Derwent London said the disposal further reduces it low loan-to-value ratio and the proceeds will be use to invest in it development pipeline. Paul Williams, chief executive of Derwent London, said: “The sale of Bush House has de-risked the refurbishment and resulted in the early crystallisation of our development return. As the flight to quality continues, we are focused on delivering our larger net zero carbon schemes at 25 Baker Street W1 and Network Building W1.”

The Labour Party reports that Westminster Labour are to Launch Climate Bonds. Cllr David Boothroyd, Labour’s cabinet member for Finance and Council Reform, signed the Green Finance Institute’s “Local Climate Bond Pledge” Labour’s already working on achieving one of our key climate pledges! This means: We’re exploring the launch of a Local Climate Bond within the next 18 months, we’ll have specific local net-zero projects we’ll be raising funding for, we’ll provide public updates on the measurable impacts. What is a Local Climate Bond? Climate bonds are a new way for Westminster Council to raise funds that are then invested in projects around Westminster that improve residents’ quality of life and help us reach net-zero – projects like tree planting, retrofitting homes to reduce emissions and heat loss, district heating schemes or local solar.


Property Week reports that flexible office provider Workspace has reported a like-for-like rent roll increase of 2.9% to £93.8m in its first financial quarter ending 30 June. In its Q1 business update, the London-based firm also increased its rent per sq ft by 2.6% to £38.07/sq ft. The firm caveated its other letting activity in the quarter by mentioning the bank holidays, additional Jubilee holidays and disruption caused by tube and rail strikes in June. It completed an overall 325 lettings with a lease value of £8.3m. Workspace has also disposed of a residential scheme at Riverside in Wandsworth, south west London, for £55m. The deal is expected to complete in December. Following its purchase of the firm in March, Workspace is also continuing with the disposal of the non-core assets from the McKay portfolio, which it says are “performing in line with expectations”. It is targeting December 2022 for completion of the sale.

Property Week reports The Crown Estate has appointed KLM, Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers to support its newly formed customer partnership team handling leasing activity in London. The Crown Estate, which owns assets such as London’s Regent Street and St James, said that the new appointment of agencies is supporting its “portfolio to flourish into this next exciting chapter for London as a globally significant destination”. Aron Samra, co-head of London Estates at Colliers, said: “We are thrilled to have been instructed on one of the most distinctive global shopping destinations, home to fashion, dining, lifestyle and wellness.”

Property Week reports that more than 1,000 people gathered at St Paul’s Cathedral on yesterday (19 July) to pay tribute to the life and work of Berkeley Group founder and chairman Tony Pidgley. Pidgley, who was well-known in the industry for his hands-on approach to property developing, died in June 2020 aged 72. Speaking to Property Week shortly after the first lockdown in April 2020, Pidgley said how proud he was that people had united in tough times. “I know we’ve got Mount Everest to climb in terms of financials but it’s brought the country together,” he said at the time. “If there’s one thing that’s refreshing, it’s that old-fashioned decency.” Family, friends and industry peers attended the service to remember the industry veteran, along with prime minister Boris Johnson and hundreds of figures from the public and private sectors.

Property Week reports that JLL has appointed Catherine Thomas and Phoebe Geake as new co-heads for its central London business. Thomas (pictured) joined JLL in 2019 as a director. Prior to that, she held roles at British Land, Vail Williams and NB Real Estate (Nelson Bakewell). She has more than 25 years of experience and is known for specialising in management of large mixed-use schemes, such as the Broadgate campus, and seeing large-scale office developments through from construction to practical completion and beyond. These include Ropemaker Place and 122 Leadenhall Street, commonly known as the Cheesegrater. Geake, meanwhile, specialises in prime portfolio management and in service innovation, with a particular focus on ESG.

Bournemouth Echo reports that the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the six buildings nominated for the 2022 Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building. Nominees from across the country are vying for the award, which is the highest accolade in architecture. The contest is now in its 26th year, with the winner due to be announced on Thursday October 13 2022. Among those in contention are a net-zero development located at 100 Liverpool Street, in London, created by Hopkins Architects. The building encompasses a dramatic renovation and extension of a 1980s office block to create a suite of offices and commercial and public spaces in the capital’s financial district. Also nominated is Forth Valley College – Falkirk Campus, in Scotland, designed by Reiach and Hall Architects.