Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

City of London

CoStar News reports that HSBC has exchanged to let its new London headquarters, relocating from the more than 1 million square foot it has occupied in Canary Wharf for more than two decades, to 556,000 square feet at the former British Telecom head office near St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London. The relocation is expected to take place in 2027. The relocation is expected to take place in 2027, when the bank’s lease on the 45-floor tower at 8 Canada Square expires. Market sources said HSBC is paying a blended rent of around £87 per square feet.

Building reports that Landsec will build less in the City and increasingly concentrate on the West End and Southwark in London as a result of different working patterns following the Covid-19 pandemic.The developer behind 20 Fenchurch Street, better known as the Walkie Talkie, said more than three-quarters of its portfolio in the capital was now in the “vibrant West End and Southwark markets”.

City of Westminster

Property Week reports that German real estate investor Aroundtown has sold the Hilton London Hyde Park hotel to Dubai-based family office advised by MGI Holdings, for a price believed to be close to £50m. The hotel on Bayswater Road has 136 rooms over nine floors and is leased to Hilton until 2031. The new owner is believed to be considering a residential conversion at the end of the lease.

Property Week reports that workplace provider Spacemade is adding 5,000 sq ft of flexible office space on 32 Welbeck Street, Marylebone to its portfolio, after signing an agreement with the Howard de Walden Estate. Spacemade will offer fully serviced private offices, lounges, meeting rooms, and an event space. The office in a converted chapel will be the second to operate under the newly created Elmtree brand, after the firms finalised a management agreement for the first, 10,000 sq ft Elmtree centre at 34 and 36 Queen Anne Street in November 2022.

The Architects’ Journal reports that Squire & Partners completed mixed-use building at 18-20 Greycoat Place. This seven-storey building comprises four floors of workspace with two floors of duplex apartments above as well as a mixed-use ground floor accommodating office reception and retail.


The Guardian reports that the £100m scheme to take old railway arches in a run-down area in Hackney turn them into a high-end fashion hub has gone disastrously wrong. The Hackney Walk ended up deserted, with locals noting that the idea that a luxury fashion hub could transform Hackney Central or that the community needed it was delusional.

Hammersmith & Fulham

Property Week reports that the Earls Court Development Company has set out an updated masterplan for redevelopment of Earls Court following a review of feedback. The scheme will deliver around 4,000 new homes targeting 35% affordable and about 200,000 sq ft of space for retail, dining, leisure and culture. The latest proposals include a 20% increase in open space and a 10% reduction in the amount of development compared with the initial plans shown in February.


Islington Gazette reports that Islington Council is facing objections on  proposals to demolish Fitzroy House and Castle House near Old Street station and replace them with a nine-storey building. At the council meeting, four residents spoke to object to the scheme who raised issues concerning the sustainability of the proposed build and the impact the block would have on daylight in their homes.

Kensington & Chelsea

Property Week reports that inconsistent application of planning policy for London build-to-rent schemes needs to be addressed to enable the sector to maximise its potential and help meet the need for new homes, based on the Lichfields’ latest report. The report also showed that two London Boroughs – Islington and Kensington and Chelsea – have sought to introduce policies that would limit BTR development.


Property Week reports  that Fabrix’s Roots in the Sky development that included plans for an innovative 1.4-acre urban rooftop and 430,000 sq ft of office space has been placed under receivership after defaulting on a loan provided by Reuben Brothers. Fabrix defaulted on a loan provided by Motcomb Estates, an investment vehicle of the Reuben brothers, who own chunks of trophy assets in London’s Mayfair district, reported Bloomberg.


The Architects’ Journal reports that Allies and Morrison’s Wimbledon show court plans are in jeopardy as  Wandsworth planning officers have recommended the application for refusal following Merton Council’s approval. The development was set to treble the size of the famous south-west London tennis site, adding a new Wimbledon show court and 38 other grass tennis courts with temporary seating for the All England Lawn Tennis Ground.


The Architects’ Journal reported that Rishi Sunak appointed Lee Rowley as the new housing minister, replacing Rachel Maclean. Rowley will be the 16th housing minister since the Conservatives took power in 2010, having briefly held the position previously during Liz Truss’s 49-day premiership.

The Financial Times reports that one of the UK’s largest landlords, Landsec, has released its predictions for buying opportunities in commercial property. Next year will bring buying opportunities in commercial real estate as the prices for good-quality property stabilise. With rates settling at higher levels, Landsec believes property investment should pick up in 2024, after a challenging period when higher borrowing costs and fears about office demand have stalled dealmaking and slashed property values.