Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

A weekly review of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs


Property Week reports Berkeley Group has agreed a deal to buy the Morrisons store in Camden for £120 million. The site already has an approved planning application for 450 homes and 100,000 sq. ft of office space.

City of London

The Estates Gazette reports tech giant Cisco has walked away from a deal to take 1000,000 sq. ft at 60 London Wall, EC2. Cisco, currently at 16-18 Finsbury Square, EC2, had agreed terms to take space at the 325,000 sq. ft office development. However, the exclusivity period for the agreement ended without a deal being signed.

The Estates Gazette reports that’s insurance firm Chaucer is under offer to take 44,000 sq. ft at the Scalpel, EC3. Chaucer, who are currently based at 30 Fenchurch Street is ready to lease floors six, seven and eight in the 35 storey-building.

City of Westminster

Property Week reports Aviva Investors is to sell its mixed-used block at 327-329 Oxford Street in Mayfair to Hines Real Estate for £130 million. Aviva had instructed Knight Frank to sell the 37,440 sq. ft building, which sits between Oxford Street and New Bond Street, with a £130m asking price tag in November, as part of a plan to raise money for its development pipeline. Aviva told its investors that its fund’s strategy had evolved in line with that of the wider business to “focus on fewer locations”.

Property Week reports developer Whitbread has won its appeal for its proposed Marylebone hub Hotel. Whitbread plans to push on with the redevelopment of the former office building at 191 Old Marylebone Road into a 13-storey, 294-bedroom hotel. A planning application for the scheme had been rejected by Westminster City Council in October 2018, due to issues relating to the location of the hotel’s service bay. The new hotel will provide more than 80,000 sq. ft of space and will be the second-largest hub by Premier Inn after its King’s Cross hotel.

Property Week reports The Crown Estates and Oxford Properties gets approval for the second phase of its St James’s Market scheme. Following on from the first phase of the development which launched in late 2016, they will develop 200,000 sq ft of mixed-use commercial space bringing the total redeveloped space to 430,000 sq ft. The scheme is also linked to a planning application for new affordable homes at 33 Vauxhall Bridge Road. The Crown Estate will be converting an office building into 30 new affordable homes. Matthew Giles, head of development and project management at The Crown Estate, said: “We are delighted to have secured approval for this significant new scheme at St James’s Market which will enable us to build on the success of phase one.”

Property Week reports Hong Kong’s K&K Property Holdings makes £130 million London debut with the acquisition of the 90,916 sq. ft Orion House, Covent Garden. Kino Law, chief executive of K&K Property Holdings commented on the purchase: ““The building offers K&K an attractive and stabilised income with strong prospects for further growth over the coming years.”

Property Week reports video game developer/publisher Take-Two Interactive is to move from its current Windsor HQ to the West End signing a lease to take 40,000 sq. ft from landlord Blue Coast Capital at 30 Cleveland Street.

Kensington and Chelsea

Property Week reports APG and LCP have launched a joint venture to acquire Harrington Hall Hotel in South Kensington. The acquisition price was not disclosed but offers in the region of £130m were sought when the hotel was placed onto the market last year. APG head of European property investments Robert-Jan Foortse said: “With our partner, LCP, we intend to create a new type of accommodation for the prime central London market which is cutting edge in terms of place-making, whilst also promoting the highest standards in environmental and social responsibility.” The new venture is due to open in spring 2022, with LCP responsible for its design, development and operation.

Tower Hamlets

Property Week reports HNA Group has exchanged on the sale of £110 million Canary Wharf office building at 17 Columbus Courtyard. Macquarie and Sun Hung Kai Financial are buying the building, which is let to Credit Suisse for the next five years on a fixed rental income lease. The deal is expected to complete before the end of the year.

Property Week reports the Canary Wharf Group has unveiled plans for their first build-to-rent scheme at 10 George Street. The development, which will comprise 327 flats, will be available to lease from early 2020. The development at 10 George Street is the first of three build-to-rent schemes launching in Canary Wharf in 2020. GRID Architects has designed the 37-storey building.