A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs
Camden Journal reports that construction of a 24-storey tower block in Swiss Cottage has been “paused” putting the £100million project into uncertainty. Work could be delayed by 18 months, councillors say. The 100 Avenue Road site has almost been completely demolished by company John F Hunt which are due to leave the site later this year.
Architects Journal reports that Camden Council is seeking a design team for a £136 million regeneration of two light industrial parks on Camley Street. The multi-disciplinary team selected for the estimated £3.3 million contract will draw up plans for a ‘highly sustainable, inclusive and innovative’ mixed-use transformation of a 0.53-hectare plot at 120-136 Camley Street and a nearby 1.09-hectare site at 3-30 Cedar Way. The project will create around new 350 homes and 12,000m of commercial space on land currently occupied by a series of light industrial units.
City of London
The City of London Corporation this week approved phase 3 of ‘City Street’ the Corporation’s transportation response to Covid-19. These measures aim to provide safer spaces for people walking and cycling, and queuing outside shops and offices to socially distance, as well as supporting businesses in their return to work. The City Corporation’s transport response will focus on achieving two main aims: 1) Residents, workers and visitors are safe and feel comfortable travelling into and within the Square Mile, particularly when travelling on foot, by bike and on public transport. 2) City businesses are supported in their Covid-19 recovery and the City remains an attractive location for business. The project consists of on street changes to provide additional space for people walking and cycling. These will first be installed using signs, lines and barriers to allow for easy adaptation if required. On-street changes will be delivered alongside measures to support businesses, manage travel demand and encourage travel on foot, by cycle and on public transport. The report will now go before the Policy and Resources committee next month for members approval. For the full report click here
Also following the suspension at the start of the pandemic of all of the City’s 138 table and chair licenses, now lockdown is easing the committee agreed a report outlining recommendations to manage the conflict between outside space to place tables and chairs and enabling social distancing for pedestrians. The purpose of the report was to outline the additional principles officers will apply when re-instating/issuing tables and chairs licences to the City over the coming phases of lockdown easing. Read the full report here and a press release from the City of London Corporation here.
Planning permission has been granted by the City of London Corporation for a five-storey living wall to be built at 20 Cousin Lane using approximately two metric tonnes of recycled aluminium and 1.5 tonnes of compost, made from recycled garden waste. The project, for client PSR Agency Limited, is the culmination of work between planners at the City Corporation, Veolia UK and Red Squirrel Architects to design a building representing circular economy principles and demonstrating how recycling plays an important role in protecting and preserving the environment. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.
Plans to build a running track through the Grade II-listed Barbican have been criticised by residents who say they are tired of the area being used as a City “play pen”. The proposed 4.2-kilometre circuit traversing most of the Culture Mile and linking open spaces along the Thames with the Barbican Podium and St Paul’s Cathedral has been dubbed the “Square Mile Track”. The plan, championed by City of London Farringdon councillor John Edwards, has been introduced as part of the council’s draft sports and physical activity strategy, and a public consultation is under way.
The City of London Corporation has this week announced that they will be handing out a “one off pre-loaded dongle device free of charge that will provide data to access the internet,” which will be provided to those who may be unable to leave home as a result of COVID-19 or cannot afford their own broadband access. The new scheme will be made available those who live in the Square Mile area of central London, who have been told to shield or self-isolate and who receive help to pay their council tax.
Property Week reports that Mayfair Capital has secured a £56.25m loan on a central London office from DekaBank. The £56.25m loan is on a four-year term. The four-year loan is on the 112,865 sq ft Bonhill Building in Shoreditch which Mayfair acquired in September last year for £112.5m and which is fully let to six tenants. Refurbished in 2017, the Bonhill Building reflects a net initial yield of approximately 5%.
Hackney Gazette reports that Hackney Council has applied for an injunction to remove protestors living in the 150-year-old Happy Man Tree in Woodberry Down. About 70 activists have been taking turns to occupy a make-shift tree house in a tree near the Happy Man pub on the Woodberry Down Estate. They are trying to stop Berkeley Homes felling the plane tree as part of plans to deliver hundreds of homes in a large development project.
Hammersmith and Fulham
Evening Standard reports that Farringdon-based Hawkins\Brown and Clerkenwell’s Studio Egret West will be responsible for creating a more “sustainable and vibrant” vision for the Earl’s Court masterplan. The move comes six months after the former owners of the site, Capital & Counties, sold it in a £425 million deal following years of bitter clashes with Hammersmith and Fulham council.
Kensington and Chelsea
Property Week reports that Christian Candy has instructed Knight Frank to market his new scheme at 80 Holland Park. Acquired in 2014, the site is Candy’s biggest residential development since One Hyde Park. The scheme borders the north side of Holland Park and will be the first fully serviced residential development in the W11 postcode. Comprising 25 properties, across five units, the development is Candy’s final scheme of this scale after more than two decades of London development.
Architects Journal reports that ministers have approved listed status to Denys Lasdun’s IBM building on London’s South Bank – dealing a blow to Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’s plans to alter the building. The government acted in line with advice from Historic England in awarding Grade II statutory protection to the landmark. AHMM submitted an application to Lambeth Council in February to refurbish, alter and extend the building, to provide more space for technology giant IBM as well as creating shops at ground level. But now the scheme will require listed building consent to proceed.
On London reports that Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick and his supporters this week argued “no impropriety” in his decision to overrule his planning inspector and give the green light to a controversial 1,500-home Docklands development by former newspaper owner Richard Desmond. But 129 pages-worth of documents published by Jenrick on Wednesday in the wake of a Commons opposition day debate on the case suggest – at the very least – that there are more questions to answer. Significantly, the documents indicate that Jenrick not only overruled the planning inspector but also his own planning experts.
Architects Journal reports that Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has been accused of another potential abuse of ministerial planning powers after it emerged he met key backers of the proposed Holocaust Memorial before calling it in. The minister is already under fire for his ‘unlawful’ decision to give planning permission to PLP’s Westferry Printworks. But Jenrick now faces a judicial review and parliamentary scrutiny over his decision to call-in the Holocaust Memorial project for ministerial determination on 5 November, hours before Parliament was dissolved for the December general election.
Westminster City Council marked its final construction site opening on 18th June following temporary closures due to Covid-19, in a move to kickstart the London economy and to continue to deliver affordable homes. Ordnance Mews, Melrose and Keith House and Helmsdale House, three infill sites in north Westminster, were the last of the 17 council-run construction sites to open. These three sites are in the final stages of construction and are due to be finished later this year.