Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs


Property Week reports that British Land and Royal London Asset Management have formed a £385m joint venture to develop a science and innovation building at 1 Triton Square in West London. The building, which sits on British Land’s Regent’s Place scheme, will offer a mix of fitted and lab-enabled space as well as the potential to incorporate serviced offices to accommodate flexible requirements at the lower levels. The scheme is in London’s Knowledge Quarter, which is home to research institutions including the Francis Crick Institute, the Wellcome Trust, the Alan Turing Institute and University College London.British Land will receive £192.5m from the sale of a 50% share in addition to £149m surrender premium already received from Meta.

Ham & High reports that more land has been acquired to provide “vital space” for a film hub that promises to bring “world class talent”. A ‘creative quarter’ comprising a studio, education centre for filming and new home will be built on the site of the Holmes Road Depot and the Regis Road Recycling Centre in Regis Road, Kentish Town. Real estate investment firm Yoo Capital says the hub will provide hundreds of new homes and thousands of jobs – building British creative industries and attracting “world-class talent” to the capital. An additional 3.8 acres – around the size of 3.5 football pitches – has now been purchased, following Yoo Capital’s announcement about the project last April.

Property Week reports that Regal London has acquired a site in Camden, north London, to develop a £100m residential scheme initially put forward almost 10 years ago. The developer bought the 100 Avenue Road site above Swiss Cottage tube station from Essential Living for an undisclosed sum. Camden Council rejected the original plans for the site in September 2014, after 3,000 local residents signed a petition against the scheme, despite the proposals being publicly backed by former mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Design Council.

City of London

The City of London Corporation has launched a new Heritage Buildings Retrofit Toolkit to protect heritage buildings. The toolkit seeks to empower owners of heritage buildings to initiate the adaptations necessary to reduce carbon emissions and build climate resilience, a key priority of the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy, as it progresses toward a net-zero Square Mile by 2040.  With more than 600 listed buildings, 28 conservation areas, 48 scheduled ancient monuments and four historic parks and gardens, the Square Mile’s heritage structures pose a significant retrofit challenge, given the diverse range of buildings and their specific planning and conservation considerations. The open-access toolkit provides a nine-step methodology to enable building owners to confidently start the process of responsible retrofit, to build a business case and deliver the necessary adaptations, in a way that protects these important community assets.

Building Design reports that Consultation on 240m-tall scheme to replace 99 Bishopsgate has launched. RSHP has served up the first detailed images of its plans to build the fourth tallest tower in the City of London. Developer Brookfield is opening a second consultation today on its proposals for the 240m-tall 99 Bishopsgate scheme after first revealing its intentions for the site last October.

City of Westminster

Property Week reports that Housing secretary Michael Gove has granted Marks and Spencer (M&S) the opportunity to re-open the inquiry into the redevelopment of its flagship London Marble Arch store by 3 April. A letter authorised by the secretary of state sent yesterday (13 March), and seen by Property Week, states M&S now has “the opportunity of submitting written representations to the secretary of state” within the next three weeks. Alternatively, M&S can submit evidence of progress it has made with regard to Westminster Council’s City Plan Partial Review, and any material change in circumstances, fact or policy to its planning application that may have arisen since Gove’s rejection of the plans last July.

EG Radius reports that Hines has lodged reworked proposals for an office and retail scheme in London’s Soho that was knocked back by Westminster City Council’s planning committee last year. Westminster councillors voted to block architect Orms’ plans to redevelop an inter-war office building that fronts Dean Street and Soho Square in October, despite an officer recommendation to approve. Members cited concerns around the bulk of the proposals and the loss of the current building’s Art Deco frontage in Soho Square, which is next to the square’s grade II*-listed French Protestant Church. Members also questioned the decision to demolish the existing building rather than retrofit it.

Property Week reports that real estate investment group Hines has agreed a deal with fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch to open a new store at 325 Oxford Street. Abercrombie & Fitch has signed a multi-year lease for two floors in the mixed-use retail and office building which was acquired on behalf of the Hines European Value Fund 2 (HEVF 2) in 2020. The retailer expects to move into the building on the corner of Oxford Street and Bond Street and commence trading in early 2025.Oxford Street is set for a £90 million investment programme to introduce improvements including wider pavements, seating areas and landscaping. A recent report commissioned by the New West End Company revealed that the revival of Oxford Street was forecast to provide a £2.8 billion boost to the West End economy over the next decade.


The Architects’ Journal reports that Haworth Tompkins, Al-Jawad Pike, Sergison Bates, Archio and Citizens Design Bureau have been chosen by Hackney Council to build 400 new homes on infill sites across the borough. The five architecture practices will design homes for 14 under-used plots in the north-east London borough on land currently occupied by car parking, garages and redundant buildings. The housing, three quarters of which will be for social rent, will be built with ‘insights, suggestions and feedback from local people’ on sites which include Broadway Market and Regents Court, Fellows Court and Weymouth Court, Blandford Court and the Parkside Estate.

Hammersmith & Fulham 

The Architects’ Journal reports that the Earls Court Development Company (ECDC) has released the first visuals of proposed blocks on its giant west London site, drawn up by Maccreanor Lavington, Sheppard Robson, Serie, DRMM, ACME and Haworth Tompkins. The publication of the designs comes four months after the developer rolled out a revised masterplan for the 17.4ha former exhibition centre plot, overseen by Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West. In November the ECDC announced it had reworked its initial masterplan for the massive, mainly empty triangular site, increasing open space by 20 per cent and trimming the tallest block to reduce the amount of development by 10 per cent.


EG News reports that Capreon’s plans to redevelop Castle House and Fitzroy House, EC2, into a 340,000 sq ft office scheme have been approved by Islington Council. Committee members said that while they sympathised with residents’ concerns around daylight/sunlight impact, the application met criteria for approval. Alongside office space, the scheme will deliver affordable workspace, alongside retail, food and drink leisure uses at ground, lower ground, and basement levels.


Building Design reports that campaigners are set to launch a legal challenge against Michael Gove’s decision to approve Make’s £700m redevelopment of ITV Studios on London’s South Bank. Save Our South Bank (SOSB), a collective of campaign groups which have been fighting the controversial office scheme, have until next Wednesday to hand in their legal submission to the High Court. The scheme, described by SOSB as “The Slab”, was approved by Lambeth council and Sadiq Khan in 2022 but called in by Gove’s predecessor Greg Clark. It then went to a public inquiry where it was opposed by SOSB but given a recommendation to approve by the planning inspector, which was backed by Gove last month.


Property Week reports that Alumrose, a joint venture between Melrose Capital and Alumno Group, has acquired a development site in Elephant and Castle, south London with permission for a 244-bed purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme.The site, which Alumrose acquired for an undisclosed sum using a loan from Octopus Real Estate, has detailed planning consent for a project comprising 206 purpose-built studio rooms and 38 two-bedroom apartments, all with ensuite bathrooms. Permission has also been granted for 1,500 sq ft of retail space on the ground floor. The scheme’s construction dates and costs have not been disclosed.

Tower Hamlets

Building Design reports that China Life Insurance Co. is in crunch talks with lenders to refinance an office tower in Canary Wharf to help stave off the locality’s third potential major default, as the eastern financial district of London grapples with some of the city’s highest vacancy rates.The landlord is in discussions with Lloyds Banking Group Plc, which originally financed 10 Upper Bank Street before syndicating the vast majority of the debt to several Chinese banks, about a plan to avoid an event of default ahead of the loan’s maturity next month, people with knowledge of the negotiations said.


Property Week reports that sports company Rocket Padel has announced it will open five indoor padel courts at Battersea Power Station later this year. The racket sport, a fusion of tennis and squash, is “the world’s fastest-growing sport”, according to Rocket Padel. The company hosted pop-up events in Battersea last year and is now returning to build four courts to last for five years, just east of the grade II-listed landmark. Sam Cotton, head of asset management at Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “We are always looking for new ways to activate parts of the riverside neighbourhood as we deliver the Battersea Power Station masterplan and are excited to be working with the Rocket Padel team again to open the first riverside padel courts in central London.”