Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs


Property Week reports Dutch developer Edge and Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate London have confirmed the acquisition of 125 Shaftesbury Avenue, a 180,000 sq ft office building in London’s West End. Korean asset manager Vestas Investment Management has agreed a sale, understood to be worth around £150m, for the vacant 1.2-acre freehold site previously occupied by WeWork. The co-working giant previously had a lease for 140,000 sq ft running until 2038, but has encountered severe financial difficulties and terminated its lease.

EG reports that Hurtigruten Cruises is moving from WeWorks 5 Merchant Square to a new London HQ at Global Holdings Management’s 210 Pentonville Road. It will occupy 10,500sqft on a five year lease in the 57,000sqft building.

City of London

BE News reports AXA IM Alts has agreed three leasing deals for more than 65,000 sq ft at 22 Bishopsgate in the City of London, taking the building’s occupancy to circa 92%. Westfield Specialty and Canada Life have both signed for up to circa 25,000 sq ft floor, on 10-year and 15-year leases, and Fidelis MGU has agreed to extend its footprint by an additional half floor. At the moment, 22 Bishopsgate has 23 occupiers across seven broad sectors in the building.

Building reports that plans are submitted by Orms for major overhaul of Deutsche Bank’s London HQ. Three floors will be added to the 10-storey Winchester House at 75 London Wall under proposals designed by architect Orms and submitted for planning last week. The scheme, thought to be worth upwards of £200m, has been drawn up for a joint venture between UK investment manager Castleforge and Malaysian construction and property company Gamuda Group.

City of Westminster

Property Week reports that Criterion Capital has acquired Haymarket House in London’s Piccadilly Circus for a reported £135m. The firm, which owns super-prime central London properties, plans to convert the upper floors into a £400m hotel, founder Asif Aziz told City AM. The proposals will see the existing restaurant and comedy club on the ground floor retained. Criterion Capital’s acquisition follows a series of large deals made by Aziz this year.

Architects’ Journal reports Westminster City Council has approved a 100 per cent affordable housing scheme designed by emerging practice Metashape Architects. The £8 million project at the junction of Harrow Road and St John’s Terrace will create 15 flats for client Westminster Community Homes. The proposal supersedes an earlier approved application – for the same housing association – for 25 flats, at the time earmarked to be leased at intermediate rent.

Shaftesbury Capital has secured a £300m unsecured loan with an initial maturity of three years. The loan has an option to extend by a further two periods of one year each, subject to lender approval. The proceeds of the facility, combined with the existing cash resources of the company, will be used to repay the remaining balance of an existing unsecured loan, which was arranged at the time of the £3.5bn merger of Shaftesbury and Capital & Counties.


Hackney Council reports that the control over new development in Hackney Wick and the parts of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will return to Hackney Council from next year after the Council approved plans to transfer planning powers back from the London Legacy Development Corporation. The decision, approved by the Council’s Cabinet, will see the Council take back responsibility for setting planning policies, making decisions on planning applications and placing levies on new developments in Hackney Wick and the area around Here East for the first time since London 2012.

Hammersmith & Fulham

Achitects’ Journal reports that protestors have delayed a decision over Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’ plans to overhaul Shepherd’s Bush Market in west London, which include the addition of a nine-storey office block and 40 homes to the site. Anti-project campaigners disrupted a Hammersmith and Fulham Council planning meeting this week, meaning it had to be adjourned without a verdict being reached.


Property Week reports that Sainsbury’s has agreed to move its UK head offices to Helical and Ashby Capital’s The JJ Mack Building in Farringdon in the next two years. The grocer has signed for the first, second and third floors, comprising 68,002 sq ft of office space, and is expected to relocate its existing London office at 33 Holborn, just a few hundred yards away. The recently developed JJ Mack Building at 33 Charterhouse Street totals 200,611 sq ft of office space across 11 floors alongside 5,439 sq ft of ground-floor retail space.


Property Week reports that Michael Gove has delayed his decision on plans to redevelop ITV’s former South Bank studios for the third time. The communities secretary, who was due to make the final call on CO-RE and Mitsubishi Estate‘s £700m demolish-and-rebuild proposals on 6th December, has pushed the decision back until 6 February. The scheme, called 72 Upper Ground, would deliver a 850,550 sq ft office-led development on a 2.5-acre site on London’s South Bank.


SE1 News reports that the proposals for an 18-storey office block at the Elephant & Castle have been approved on appeal by a planning inspector. The site at the corner of Walworth Road and Elephant Road was more recently it has been used for ‘The Artworks’ temporary shops, restaurants and library. The scheme was unanimously rejected by Southwark Council in October last year. Lendlease appealed against Southwark Council’s decision to reject the scheme and planning inspector published his decision, upholding Lendlease’s appeal and granting planning permission.

Architects’ Journal reports Southwark Council has approved a 688-room student scheme by tp bennett, which replaces an earlier 219-home scheme for the site by HTA Design. The council’s planning committee voted to approve the development near Old Kent Road. The 1,991m2 scheme on a 0.29ha site will comprise three buildings. A 34-storey tower will contain the student housing with ground and first-floor commercial use; a seven-storey side building will hold 198m2 of affordable workspace and 23 affordable residential units; and a third block will be part retained for commercial use.

Architects’ Journal reports that Southwark Council has cancelled two housing-led regeneration schemes due to cost increases. The practices’ proposals for redeveloping parts of the Bells Gardens and nearby Lindley estates in Peckham would have created 127 new council homes. The council said it had also mothballed a separate Weston Williamson-designed scheme for 79 new council homes as part of an in-fill scheme at the 1950s Sceaux Gardens Estate in Camberwell, which was approved in late 2021. Redesigns are likely for any future proposals for all three of the sites.


BBC reports that Wandsworth Council is the first in London to publish a new night-time plan. It outlines ways to transform the borough between 18:00 and 06:00, with a focus on safety, transport, night-time workers and entertainment. Plans include better street lighting, night markets, businesses opening later and calming music at transport hubs. It follows recommendations from the Greater London Authority (GLA) that all councils design a new night-time strategy.