Weekly planning news from the Central London boroughs

City of London

Building Magazine writes that the City of London may be set for a new “tower boom” as at least 18 major schemes are planned for a small area around Bishopsgate, including some of the tallest buildings in the capital.

City AM reports that London Taxis will again be given full access to one of the busiest junctions in London after members of the City of London Corporation voted to lift restrictions for a trial period. The decision was made by the group’s premier decision-making body, the Court of Common Council, and will come into effect in Spring 2025 subject to approval from Transport for London (TfL). Restrictions have been in place since 2017 following safety concerns at what was considered an exceptionally busy junction. Since then, improvements have been made to the junction under a £1.7 million scheme.


City of Westminster

Building Design reports that plans by AHMM to demolish an entire city block in Marylebone and replace it with an eight-storey mixed-use scheme have been recommended for approval by Westminster planning officers. Councillors meet next week to make a decision on the proposals for 28,000 sq m of office space and 17 homes on land bounded by Baker Street, Blandford Street, Dorset Street and Broadstone Place.

Costar reports that Prima Asset Management, a Singapore based private equity real-estate investor, has acquired the 68-room Victoria Garden Hotel at 100-102 Westbourne Terrace in London’s Paddington district, the investor’s first venture into the London market. The sale price is undisclosed, but Prima plans to renovate the hotel and add a further 12 or so guestrooms. The company said that would give the asset a value of more than $70 million and recast the property as a boutique hotel.

BE News reports that Firethorn Trust has purchased One Bessborough Gardens in the City of Westminster from Charles Street Buildings Group for an undisclosed price in an off-market deal. The 70,000 sq ft, four-storey office building will be converted into a residential development comprising circa 60 apartments. The building is the first residential asset in London for Firethorn’s living portfolio.

Building Magazine reports that firms are preparing to bid again for the scheme to refurbish Parliament’s Victoria Tower which has been stalled because of a procurement “blunder”.