Weekly planning news from the Central London boroughs

City of London 

Building magazine reports that multinational investor Axa IM Alts has unveiled its designs for a 40-storey tower at 63 St Mary Axe in the City of London. The design is by Fletcher Priest Architects. The tower would replace two 1980s buildings on an island site bordering Camomile Street, sitting between KPF’s 46 storey Heron Tower and Peter Foggo’s 21-storey 70 St Mary Axe, also known as the Can of Ham.

BE News reports that Dominus has secured planning consent for the conversion of a former office building at 5-10 Great Tower Street in London into a new 237-room hotel. The company has worked with Studio Moren to shape a new scheme that will retain 100% of the existing building’s substructure and 70% of its superstructure and facade. Through upgrades to the building’s envelope, plant systems and the introduction of on-site renewable energy generation in the form of PV panels, Dominus is seeking to obtain a BREEAM Excellent rating for the scheme.

BE News reports that CBRE Investment Management (CBRE IM), King Street Real Estate and Arax Properties have secured the £235m refinancing of 280 Bishopsgate in the City of London. The new “competitive and flexible” debt finance package, which was provided by a financial institution and Delancey, will repay an existing loan on 280 Bishopsgate that is reaching maturity. The redevelopment of the 275,000 sq ft building was completed in a joint venture between CBRE IM, King Street Real Estate and Arax Properties in 2022.

BE News reports that The City of London Corporation has approved plans to convert a series of deep-level subterranean wartime shelter tunnels under High Holborn into a major new visitor and cultural attraction. Under the proposals, the buildings at 38-41 Furnival Street will be combined into a single structure, with the ground floor used as the main entrance to both a permanent ‘Heritage Experience’, as well as a temporary cultural space for various exhibitions. The plans also include an underground bar, which is located in the London Borough of Camden. As the site spreads across the shared boundary with Camden the plans also require the approval of the local authority before redevelopment works can commence.

Co-Star reports that Canadian investment giant Brookfield Properties is preparing to lodge plans for a major “retrofit-first” redevelopment of Milton Gate, law firm Addleshaw Goddard’s to-be-vacated headquarters in the City of London. The plans would increase the size of the building by 50% from 200,000 square feet to around 300,000 square feet but would “round off” the roof with greening ensuring it does not increase in height. A second public consultation has begun on plans for the building on Chiswell Street that seek to retain 70% of the structure and deliver an “amenity rich, sustainable office building capable of meeting the evolving demands of the City, its occupants, and the local community”, Brookfield said in a statement.

Bisnow reports that Taiwanese developer Farglory Land Development is in discussions to acquire a City of London office in the capital’s latest tower cluster, in what would be its first UK commercial property investment, according to source React News. The long-leasehold, multilet building consists of 47K SF of office and retail space generating a topped-up passing rent of £57.60 per SF overall, with a weighted average unexpired lease term of 7.8 years to expiries and four years to lease breaks.

EG Radius reports the plans by Mactaggart and Partners to redevelop 1 – 8 Long Lane into a hotel by The Resident were approved by the City of London Corporation on Tuesday 11 June.


City of Westminster

Building magazine reports that Westminster City Council and The Crown Estate will launch a competition to design a “once in a generation” transformation of the heart of London’s West End this month. The partners are looking for a multi-disciplinary practice to create a “landmark city-shaping scheme” spanning Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Haymarket.

City AM reports that Oxford Street retail unit vacancy rates are back to pre-Covid levels as the Euros and the Olympics are set to give London tourism a boost. It reports that according to the latest data just two per cent of units across Oxford Street are now either vacant or let to “low quality” retail space.



SE1 reports that a Government-appointed planning inspector has overturned Lambeth Council’s decision to reject plans for an 186-bedroom hotel opposite Lambeth North Station. In July 2023, councillors on Lambeth’s planning applications committee went against their own officers’ recommendations and turned down PPHE’s scheme for a 15-storey building – designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands – with 186 hotel bedrooms. After the developer appealed the decision, planning inspector David Prentis presided over a seven-day inquiry in May this year. Mr Prentis’s decision – allowing the appeal and granting planning permission – was published by the Planning Inspectorate this week.


Tower Hamlets

This is Local London reports that the Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman visited the Poplar Riverside housing scheme, where 2,800 families will eventually be rehoused by 2028, helping to tackle the East End’s housing crisis.



London World reports that Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has crossed the halfway development completion milestone for its flagship £400m build-to-rent development in Wandsworth, New Acres. Located 400 metres from Wandsworth Town station, New Acres is set to transform a six-acre area with the delivery of 1,035 much-needed, high-quality homes.