Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

City of Westminster

Property Week reports the property firm Lazari Investments has submitted plans to the Wesminster City Council to transform the Fenwick department store in Mayfair into an office and retail development. Fenwick, which has occupied the site for more 130 years, is set to close the store and vacate the premises at the end of February. The proposals for 63 New Bond Street are part of complex plans to partially demolish and reconfigure six buildings at the intersection of New Bond Street and Brook Street.

Architects’ Journal reports that long-term maintenance of the Palace of Westminster will be presented as a third option to MPs when restoration plans are put before parliament next year, officials have said. MPs were due to debate two options next year for restoring the Grade-I listed building after a vote earmarked for the end of 2023 was scrapped. Now a third option of ‘enhanced maintenance’ will also be presented alongside the original two choices.

Property Week reports that PPHE Hotel Group has secured planning permission from Westminster City Council to develop a second hotel within its Park Plaza Victoria London property. The group will convert 70,000 sq ft of predominantly subterranean space to a new 179-guest-room hotel with a separate entrance, while the current 299-key hotel will continue to operate in its current form.

Hammersmith & Fulham

Property Week reports the property investor and developer TT Group has submitted plans to redevelop the vacant Ravenscourt Park Hospital in Hammersmith into a mixed-use scheme with 140 homes. The scheme will also include a 65-bed care home as well as commercial and community space. The 3.87-acre site has been vacant since the hospital closed in 2006.


Bdaily News reports that Kadans Science Partner has secured planning permission from the London Borough of Islington, for a new, purpose-built laboratory and office building in London’s Knowledge Quarter, King’s Cross. This 51,500 sq ft building at 4 Brandon Roadwill provide commercial laboratory, continuing developing space in the area as 5-10 Brandon Road is expected to be completed in March 2024.

Kensington & Chelsea

The Independent reports that Chelsea and Kensington Counil has rejected a multi-million pound scheme from a Jewish religious sect that would have allowed its members to use the London Underground. In plans submitted to the council, a “secondary roof” would be installed at the entrance to South Kensington station, to create a degree of separation from the nearby Science Museum, which would have allowed members of the Kohanim to use the station. They are currently unable to do so as the Science Museum contains human remains.


Property Week reports the mayor of London’s former headquarters on the South Bank is set to be revamped by St Martins Property Investments, the UK-based real estate investment vehicle of the state of Kuwait. Former headquarters has been empty for the past two years and the plan is to transform the building to provide mixed-use accommodation, office spaces and ground-floor areas for cafés, shops and restaurants. Following the public exhibition events next month, proposals will be reviewed ahead of a planning application being submitted to the London Borough of Southwark.

Property Week reports that Ernst and Young (EY) has launched a property review of its London headquarters ahead of the end of its lease at the More London offices near London Bridge. The Big Four firm is reportedly weighing up its options, including exiting the More London office in 2028 when its 25-year lease expires, as first reported by The Telegraph.

Tower Hamlets

The Independent reports that the tory donor Richard Desmond eyes development plans again after political row. Richard Desmond has submitted new proposals to Tower Hamlets Council for a Westferry Printworks development. The Isle of Dogs development was mired in controversy after the extent of the contact between then housing secretary Robert Jenrick and developer Mr Desmond was revealed, before the Cabinet minister signed off on the project.


Building reports that the first phase of delayed Multiplex towers job in Battersea completes. One Nine Elms scheme had been mothballed last year because of funding problems for Chinese developer but the first phase of Multiplex’s delayed £1bn One Nine Elms project in London has now reached practical completion.

The Standard reports that the airspace above a three-storey terraced building on Northcote Road is offered with a 150-year lease and has the potential for residential development. The three-storey building, at 47 Northcote Road, close to Clapham Common, is currently home to an eastern Mediterranean restaurant and two flats. The airspace above it would extend to around five storeys and is sold with vacant possession.


Property Week reports that the retail rents in London’s most popular shopping destinations are approaching pre-pandemic levels as the sector displays resilience in the face of inflation, high interest rates and falling consumer expendable income, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2023 ’Main Streets Across the World’ report. New Bond Street has retained its position as world’s fourth most expensive shopping street, according to the report. Rents on the iconic street stood at £1,167/sq ft, showing no year-on-year change and down 11% on pre-pandemic levels.

Building reports that four in ten landlords have cancelled retrofit works following Sunak’s net zero U-turn. More than four in ten private landlords have cancelled plans to decarbonise their properties following the government’s decision to scrap an energy efficiency target for rental homes, according to a report by Lloyds Banking Group. This is two months after Rishi Sunak rowed back on a requirement for all rental properties to meet a minimum EPC rating of C by 2028.

The Standard reports that the shortfall of new homes needed to tackle affordability crisis forecast to hit 257,000 without significant investment. Deputy Mayor of London for Housing Tom Copley slammed the Autumn Statement as “an enormous, missed opportunity” to address the acute housing affordability crisis in London. The Autumn Statement delivered in the House of Commons gave a few slight nods to the beleaguered housing sector, including increasing local housing allowance to help more families get out of temporary accommodation and removing planning red tape. But no significant funding was announced to help deliver much needed new homes in London.

City A.M. reports that London’s deputy mayor for business, Rajesh Agrawal, has quit City Hall to run as a Labour MP. Agrawal was appointed to the job in May 2016 and also acted as chairman of London & Partners, the capital’s business growth and destination agency. He has now been selected to stand as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Leicester East. It comes as London mayor Sadiq Khan prepares to stand for a record third term in May next year.