Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

City of London 

Architect’s Journal reported that Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities issued an Article 31 order ahead of the Planning Committee decision on the London Wall West proposals, involving the full redevelopment of the Museum of London. The move meant that while the Committee resolved to grant permission for the scheme, Michael Gove will consider whether to intervene to recall the proposals.

City AM and Architects Journal report that UK property developer Sellar and Japanese developer Obayashi have announced plans to build a “landmark” tower near Liverpool Street. Sellar, which previously developed The Shard, plans to build a £500m, thirty-story tower at 60 Gracechurch street. The skyscraper will replace the site’s current eight-story building, occupied by German financial services firm Allianz. Consultation documents say the new building, for a UK subsidiary of Obayashi Properties and Sellar, would ‘take its place among the existing and emerging skyline and seamlessly integrate with the rest of the buildings in the City’ with a stepped terrace design on all storeys.

Property Week reports that British land and GIC have secured a major pre-let from Citadel at the landmark two tower broadgate development.

Chris Hayward writes for the Evening Standard about how City Plan will be pivotal in “moving London forward”. He writes that the visualisation of iconic buildings is important for the character of cities: “The City of London Corporation’s new plan for the Square Mile remind me of the words of Sir Winston Churchill: ‘We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.'”

City of Westminster

The Evening Standard reports that celebrated Birmingham chef Brad Carter is to open a new restaurant below an historic Mayfair church. Carter has joined forces with former music publisher Martin Priestnall to open Undercroft, which will nestle below St George’s, a sweeping 16th century building off Hanover Square that dates back to the reign of George I.

The Evening Standard reports that Squatters are occupying the former London headquarters of film giant 20th Century Fox in the heart of Soho. A group have made their home in the five storey building and warned they cannot be evicted without a court order. In a move mirroring the occupying by so called ‘professional squatters’ of Gordon Ramsay’s former York and Albany hotel in Camden and Marco Pierre White’s, Mr White’s in Leicester Square they have targeted empty, non residential buildings worth millions.

The Evening Standard reports that the revival of Oxford Street is being boosted by a “once-in-a-100-year” transformation of the empty House of Fraser flagship into a huge office, shops, restaurant, gym and swimming pool complex. The £132 million project at 318 Oxford Street is on course for completion next year despite the massive engineering challenges presented by the modernisation of the crumbling 1930s German art deco building.

The Evening Standard reports that an eighties riverside office block with some of the most spectacular views in central London is to be converted into luxury apartments after being sold for £40.8 million. Westminster Tower on Albert Embankment and overlooking the Houses of Parliament is being bought by developer London Square from property investment company CLS. The building comes with planning permission to create 25 apartments, three penthouses and recreation areas. It could be worth a total of £150 million when completed. The conversion will create three new storeys.

The Evening Standard reports the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) received approval from Westminster City Council to reimagine the Lord’s cricket grounds. The proposals feature a new roof, stands and pavilion next to the grounds.

Property Week reports that Hines has put Oxbourne House, its prime Oxford Street retail and residential development, on the market and is seeking offers of over £45m and that investment office North Wind Capital (NWC) has bought mixed-use property 41 Upper Grosvenor Street, in Mayfair for £35m.


Property Week reports that General Projects has submitted plans for a 185,000 sq ft mixed use office scheme in Shoreditch. The project aims to transform an assortment of older buildings into a new low-carbon neighbourhood.


EG reports that Southwark council approved plans by Overcourt to redevelop parts of 4 -5 Paris Garden and 18 – 19 Hatfields, providing increased office floorspace.