Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

 City of London

Construction News reports that a revised planning application has been submitted for a 74-storey tower in the City of London, which would be the joint-tallest building in Western Europe. The City of London approved plans for a 289 metre building at 1 Undershaft, near the Gherkin and the Cheesegrater, in 2019. Under the consented plans, a 73-storey cuboid tower was set to feature an external cross-bracing structure with 90,000 square metres of office space.

City of London Corporation reports that the City of London Corporation Planning and Transportation Committee has, today, voted overwhelmingly to approve the local plan for the Square Mile, known as ‘City Plan 2040.’ The Committee’s decision means that, subject to the approval of the Policy and Resources Committee and Court of Common Council in the coming weeks, the plan would be published for public engagement, before being sent for consideration to the Secretary of State.

EG Magazine reports that a £400m development site in the City of London has been brought to market by a joint venture between developer Rocket Properties and hotel group 4C Group. Kauffmans has been appointed to find a buyer for 60 Aldgate, EC3, which has detailed planning permission for a 255,000 sq ft office scheme. An investor is sought to help fund the build and development process.

City of Westminster

Bisnow reports that luxury Mayfair scheme at 60 Curzon Street once valued at £600M goes into administration. The vehicle that owns a high-end residential development scheme once projected to have an end value of £600M has gone into administration. Partners from Interpath Advisory were last week appointed to 60 Curzon Street Developments, taking control of a 32-apartment scheme.

Property Week reports that Channel 4 has revealed plans to sell its London headquarters in Victoria as it closes channels and cuts nearly a fifth of its workforce. The broadcaster said it would sell its £90m headquarters in Horseferry Road, its home since 1994, and intends to find smaller, central London offices in the next few years. Announcing its five-year strategy to reshape the organisation, Channel 4 confirmed it will cut 18% of its employees and make a number of other operational cuts.


Property Week reports that Charity Urban MBA, the University for Street Entrepreneurs, has agreed a deal to establish its new headquarters at Powis Street Enterprises’ Ed-tech Business Hub in Hackney. The charity has signed for a two-storey, 4,680 sq ft space at 3 Wenlock Street as a centre where students and alumni can establish and elevate businesses. The space will be divided into breakout space and co-working desks, a podcast space, education and training rooms, acceleration rooms, and a tech hub for AI/VR.


Architecs’ Journal reports that White Arkitekter’s circular-economy office fit-out is 80% re-used and £80k cheaper. When relocating its London office, White Arkitekter decided to commit to a circular-economy fit-out of its new home in Bastwick Street. While White admits the process took longer than a non-circular fit-out, its 80 per cent material re-use set an impressive sustainability precedent. It also saved the architects 40 per cent on costs, compared with an all-new office overhaul, cutting the project budget from an estimated £180,000 to £100,000.

Kensington & Chelsea

Building reports that the London borough of Kensington & Chelsea has given the OK to plans to refurbish a 1950s office block following a redesign, a lapsed consent and two planning rejections on the site. Squire & Partners’ latest application to upgrade the workspace in the 12-storey Newcombe house was unanimously approved by councillors despite concerns over the quality of its design.


Building reports Landsec wins amended consent for Bankside scheme on site of Roman ruins. Landsec and Places for London have won amended planning consent for a mixed-use scheme in south London after initial proposals were disrupted by the discovery of Roman ruins. Southwark Council’s planning committee gave the green light to revised plans for the office-led Liberty of Southwark development in Bankside.

Southwark News report that Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing has resigned from the post, meaning four department heads in under three years. A council spokesperson confirmed Cllr Darren Merrill has stepped down and will be replaced by Champion Hill ward councillor Sarah King. His replacement Cllr King currently sits on the Planning Committee and has been in office since 2014.  She has more than 20 years of professional experience working with local councils and other organisations on housing policy.

Tower Hamlets

Architects’ Journal reports that London’s mayor has overturned Tower Hamlet Council’s rejection of a 1,500-home regeneration scheme led by Morris+Company and Levitt Bernstein. Last year permission for the second part of the Aberfeldy Estate regeneration in Poplar was refused in an 8-0 vote by local councillors due to concerns about increased traffic and reduced sunlight to neighbouring buildings caused by the scheme’s ‘overly dense and overbearing form’. Following recommendations to approve by GLA officers, London Mayor Sadiq Khan gave the green light to the scheme at a call-in hearing at City Hall.

Property Week reports that Risland UK, a subsidiary of troubled China-based developer Country Garden, has appointed Knight Frank to market Calico Wharf, its east London residential scheme with a £450m gross development value. The 5.9-acre site has planning permission for 952 homes, commercial floorspace and amenities. The space will be spread across several buildings ranging up to 23 storeys, which will be available t rent or buy.


The Standard reports that London home sales have busiest start to year since pre-Covid. The boss of London’s largest residential property agency Foxtons said the sales market was seeing its busiest start to the year since before the pandemic, with buyers flooding to take advantage of lower mortgage rates. CEO Guy Gittins said headline mortgage fixed deals falling below 4% is certainly stimulating the market” in January after a challenging year when sales revenues fell 14%.

Architects’ Journal reports that a new Arup report has identified the London neighbourhoods most vulnerable to urban heat hazards due to climate change. The Properties Vulnerable to Heat Impacts in London report was commissioned by the Mayor of London to help inform the city’s plans for climate resilience, and comes in the wake of the news earlier this month that 2023 was the hottest year on record. The report found London neighbourhoods with the highest heat risks to residential properties were in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Islington and Camden.