Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

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


Ham & High News reports that refurbishment costs for the Camden Town Hall haver soared by £10m to a total of £73m, according to a councillor on the steering committee for the project. A Camden Council spokesperson said that the increase was due to delays and changes to the plans as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but Councillor Steve Adams, who sits on the steering group set up to scrutinise the scheme, has said the council had not been transparent about the reasoning for the price hike. The group will meet again on 14 October to discuss the matter further. At least 22 apprenticeships for Camden residents will be created by the project, as well as six work placements. The building is also designed to comply with the second tier of BREEAM ratings for environmental sustainability.

City of London  

EG reports that developers are battling it out to buy the Clothworkers’ Company development site in the City. Names linked to the development of 50 Fenchurch Street include Almacantar, AXA, Great Portland Estates, Stanhope and Tishman Speyer. The site was put up for sale via Capital Real Estate Partners for around £120m after planning approval was granted in May for a 35-storey tower.

The Caterer reports that Dominvs Group has put the 65 Holborn Viaduct up for sale. The group had planned to transform the site into what it described as “London’s greenest building”, featuring a 3,700 sq m green wall, anticipated to be the largest in Europe. The developer claimed the wall would generate seven tonnes of oxygen and extract nine tonnes of CO2 in a year. Cushman and Wakefield is marketing the property, which received planning consent earlier this year for a 207,754 sq ft mixed-use scheme, including a 382-bedroom hotel, as well as workspace and both a ‘skybar’ and a public rooftop viewing gallery.


Architects Journal reports that Avanti has completed a £113m mixed-use development in Shoreditch. The scheme provides 175 residential units, a school, gallery and other community facilities. The scheme includes a 29-storey tower housing all the residential accommodation, named The Makers Building, which has received a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification. The scheme also meets the GLA’s high energy-saving targets. 

Hammersmith and Fulham

Property Week reports that Cadillac Fairview, the real estate arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, has acquired White City Place from Stanhope, AIMCo and Mitsui Fudosan for approximately £950m. This is Cadillac Fairview’s first activity in the European market since 2014. The 960,000 sq ft office development is a joint venture project between Stanhope, AIMCo and Mitsui Fudosan. Stanhope has been appointed the asset manager for the property.


Insider Media reports that Belfast-based property and asset management team Lambert Smith Hampton has been appointed as the managing agent on Angel Central Shopping Centre as the site undergoes a £16m redevelopment. Located in Islington, the centre has tenants that include Uniqlo, The 02 Academy, Vue Cinema, L’Occitane, Wagamama and bespoke fitness operator FRAME. The £16m masterplan by CBRE Global Investors, which is due to complete in November, will create further retail, additional leisure and restaurant space plus an outdoor terrace area. Gary Nesbitt, head of property and asset management at LSH in Belfast said: “We are delighted to be appointed on Angel Central, particularly at such an exciting time for the scheme following significant investment from the landlord

Kensington and Chelsea

 The Telegraph reports that the conversion of five Grade II-listed townhouses into 14 gallery spaces at Cromwell Place is now complete and opening to the public from 10 October. The redevelopment of Cromwell Place, designed by architects Buckley Grey Yeoman, has cost an estimated £20m. The redevelopment has of has also restored the Victorian wood and tiled floors and old sweeping stone staircases. Cromwell Place’s managing director Preston Benson has suggested the gallery is going “to be a bit like an art fair but with an ever-changing line-up.”


Brixton Buzz reports that Homes for Lambeth is looking at funding estate ‘regeneration’ using money from the sale of council houses. This move comes after the Mayor of London removed funding from three regeneration projects in Lambeth, due to the borough’s refusal to ballot residents living at Cressingham Gardens, Central Hill and Fenwick estate.


The London Festival of Architecture reports that the six shortlisted design teams for the ‘Reimagining Butler’s Wharf’ competition have released their design visions for the site along the capital’s riverside. The festival has launched a virtual exhibition to present the designs, which will be accessible to explore until 16 October. Each of these shortlisted proposals represents the teams’ initial ideas, which will be built upon, developed further and scaled up or down with input from stakeholders, the local community and this exhibition. Visitors to the online exhibition will also have the option to rank and comment of their chosen top three proposals.

Tower Hamlets

Property Week reports that Southern Grove have revealed their plans for a £22m housing scheme in Limehouse, Tower Hamlets. The 45-unit scheme will provide a mixture of London Affordable Rent and Affordable Shared Ownership. The new development, Quinnat Yard, will be on the corner of Salmon Lane and Blount Street, between Mile End Park and Limehouse Basin. Southern Grove has exchanged contracts on the site and will now move to a full planning application, expected by the end of the year.


Property Funds World reports that DTZ Investors has given £70m to The Collective to fund a new 310-room co-living scheme on Trewint Street, in Earlsfield. The 120,000 sq ft Collective Earlsfield will be a sustainable development reflecting BREEAM Excellent standards. More than a quarter of the space will be dedicated to resident amenities designed to encourage social interaction, including a café, co-working space, events space, a communal dining and kitchen area, cinema room, laundry facilities, shared lounges and a library. There will also be a gym and studio space to promote health and wellbeing. 35% of the rooms will be affordable housing at discount market rent, with five rooms available at a significantly discounted market rent, reserved for young people leaving foster care in the borough. The site has strong transport links, less than five minutes’ walk from Earlsfield station, which provides a direct link to London Waterloo in approximately 13 minutes. The Collective will build-out and operate the development.

The Wandsworth Times reports that Dominvs Group’s plans for a 600-room hotel next to the US embassy in Nine Elms have been revealed. The scheme includes two new hotel buildings of 17 and 9 stories, as well as a community café. The proposals have, however, led to significant opposition from the local MP, Marsha de Cordova, local residents and the adjacent developers Ballymore. This is predominantly due to the imposing height of the two buildings, which will according to Ms de Cordova, “have a huge impact” on the residents of Embassy Gardens and Elm Quay Court, restricting light and infringing on their privacy. Dominvs Director, Jay Ahluwalia suggested that the hotel plans would create approximately 350 new jobs through construction to operation and provide a positive boost for local businesses. The proposed development will go to planning committee later this year.


City AM reports that luxury fashion retailer Chanel has bought a new flagship store on Bond Street for £310m. Despite a sharp reduction in footfall and sales in the West End since the beginning of the pandemic, the retailer has shown a vote of confidence for the central London commercial property market. Chanel bought the Bond Street store for £70m more than the initial asking price of £240m. This move comes after the company borrowed £600m from the government earlier during the pandemic, opening this sale up to possible scrutiny. The French firm has its global headquarters in London, where it employs 1,600 people.

Inside Housing reports that Barbara Brownlee, Westminster City Council’s housing director has accepted a position to become managing director of the recently launched Westminster Builds development company. Ms Brownlee was formerly executive director of growth, planning and housing at the local authority, where she led on its regeneration programme starting in 2015. Westminster Builds intends to deliver nearly 2,000 sustainable and high-quality homes over the next five years and is involved in the regeneration of the Ebury Bridge Estate.


Inside Housing reports that London boroughs have launched a modular homes project for homeless people, with the first test site being assembled in Tower Hamlets. PLACE, which is backed by £11m in funding from London mayor Sadiq Khan, aims to supply 200 homes across the capital by February 2022. The homes will be assembled temporarily in vacant ‘meanwhile’ sites that are earmarked for development in the long term, which would otherwise remain underused for at least the next seven years. All modular homes delivered by PLACE will have two or three bedrooms, a private door and a private amenity space, such as a garden or balcony. One in ten of the homes delivered will be wheelchair accessible. Following the successful delivery of the prototype homes in Tower Hamlets, PLACE is working with participating boroughs to confirm sites and accommodation homeless households within the next year. PLACE was set up by the London Housing Directors’ Group and London Councils in response to the worsening homelessness crisis in the capital.

Property Week reports that CBRE has pledged to spend $1bn (£770m) next year and $3bn (£2.3bn) over the next five years to increase its engagement and partnerships with businesses owned by under-represented groups. The firm said it will increase its dealings with businesses owned by groups including minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ and disabled individuals. It has also committed to supporting small businesses more.

Property Week reports that London rental values have continued to fall in September, taking the annual decline to -8.1% in prime central London. According to research from Knight Frank, the decline in rental values will continue into Q4 but will eventually stabilise before rents begin to rise next year. The analysis found that the combination of relatively high levels of supply and weaker demand has led to the largest annual falls in more than a decade. In prime outer London, the annual decline was recorded at 6.9% in September.