A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs
Architects Journal reports that Camden Council has announced Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) as the winners in the Camley Street regeneration scheme competition. Working with Architecture 00 and Studio Woodroffe Papa, FCBS has won the competition to design a major £136m regeneration of two light industrial parks north of King’s Cross. The team will draw up plans for a ‘highly sustainable, inclusive and innovative’ mixed-use transformation of a 0.53ha plot at 120-136 Camley Street and a nearby 1.09ha site at 3-30 Cedar Way. The project will create around new 350 homes and 12,000 sq m of commercial space on council-owned land currently occupied by a series of light industrial units.
The Camden News Journal reports that the 02-shopping centre on Finchley Road is set to be demolished under long-term development plans for the site. Landsec bought the 02 in 2010 and has recently announced plans to build 2,000 homes on the site. Landsec has now launched a fresh consultation to gauge the views of local residents and businesses. Landsec has said that “a huge amount of green and public space [will be created], something that people have been clear is sorely missing from the area at the moment and would better connect the areas of Finchley Road and West Hampstead”. No date has been fixed for the demolition of the O2 centre.
City of London
Costar reports that London & Oxford Capital Markets is set to buy 75 King William Street, a City office, from Singapore’s Keppel Land for £128m. Keppel Land acquired the building for £91mil back in 2015. Keppel Land said over the holding period, the total profit to the conglomerate for the investment since the acquisition, including rental income and capital gains generated by the property, is about £37.2mil.
The Financial Times reports that leading law firms in the city are abandoning trophy office moves as they look to reduce space by as much as 50 per cent because of the shift to remote working as a result of the pandemic. Global firm Norton Rose Fulbright listed DWF and London- based Fieldfisher have projected a reduction in floorspace of between 30 per cent and 50 per cent. Firms in the city, such as UK firm Slaughter and May and California-based Cooley have both recently shelved plans to move to new London locations.
Bdaily reports that DLA Architecture has completed work on a £21m project in Hackney that has created a “significant” collection of buildings. The collection of buildings comprises 58 homes, including one- and two- bedroom apartments and family house size duplexes and new community space. The scheme is designed around the existing Grade I listed St Augustine Tower and the Grade II* listed St John at Hackney Church. The project was an enabling development between developer, Thornsett, The London Diocesan Fund (LDF) and The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St John at Hackney.
Hammersmith and Fulham
Property Week reports that housing association Peabody has acquired 142 affordable homes at two new buildings at the Television Centre development. The homes were purchased from the joint venture between Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo, which will be responsible for the construction and delivery of the scheme. The Television Centre development will deliver a total of 950 homes when complete. The two new buildings are set to replace the existing former BBC multi-storey car park opposite Westfield shopping centre and will provide 71 homes for London affordable rent, 34 at London living rent and 37 for shared ownership. The JV will demolish the existing car park in 2021 and commence construction in 2022 with delivery expected in 2024. Peabody will be responsible for managing the homes when completed.
The Guardian reports that Islington has shown the fastest house price growth over 2020, with the average property rising 13.4% to £727,922, according to the estate agent Halifax. Overall the London average house price was up 6%, taking nine of the top 20 places. Croydon, south London, had the second biggest rise in the capital at 10.9%.
Kensington and Chelsea
Bdaily reports that A former hotel in the heart of London’s Knightsbridge has been transformed into a new multi-million pound residential scheme. A former ‘luxury boutique’ hotel at 41-43 Beaufort Gardens near Harrods has been converted into a new £91m residential development. With interiors by Parisian designer Pierre Yovanovitch arranged behind the retained façade of three 19th century townhouses, the development will also feature a residents-only health-spa with gym, treatment room and sauna.
Southwark News reports that Southwark will be given nearly £10m to ‘revitalise’ the Old Kent Road. The major Southwark thoroughfare is among the 72 areas in England to receive a share of the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, which aims to deliver “ambitious regeneration plans.” Southwark Council will receive £9.6m from the fund to help regenerate the Old Kent Road as a “much-loved town centre” said communities secretary Robert Jenrick.
Property Week reports that regeneration specialist Hadley Property Group has submitted a full planning application for an 898-home site at Blackwall Yard in Tower Hamlets. Under Hadley’s proposals, the site, which is currently a privately-owned car park and data centre, is set to deliver a new mixed-use neighbourhood development. Hadley’s submitted masterplan includes the opening-up of the filled-in historic graving dock to become a large water feature with outdoor swimming; a ground-floor plane incorporating community spaces, as well as a pub and a grocery shop; and 898 new homes, of which at least 35% will be affordable housing, with access for all to a large communal roof terrace. It is also proposing to build a new, two-form primary school for the Borough. Blackwall Yard is a car-free development and the finished scheme will include an 100% electric car club.
Architects Journal reports that plans to build a controversial footbridge bridge across the River Thames at Nine Elms have been put on hold as Wandsworth council rethinks its options in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The footbridge has been designed by Robin Snell and Partners and Danish practice Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, which won the job following a competition win in 2015. The bridge was set to link new London housing developments in Nine Elms and Battersea to Westminster. Funding for the bridge had been sourced via £36m of developer contributions, with the total cost estimated at £57 million.
South London Press reports that Nine Elms tower block – one of the country’s tallest blocks of flats, is the latest building to be completed in one of the largest residential schemes in the UK. The multi-million-pound development at One Thames City in Nine Elms has 12 buildings with 1,417 new homes, including affordable housing and one to five-bedroom flats. The scheme, developed by property developers R&F and C C Land, will include shops, restaurants, and more than 120,000sq ft of commercial space, around 2.5 acres of public open space with walkways and cycle paths.
Estates Gazette reports that the property investment arm of Portuguese insurer Fidelidade has acquired Smithson Plaza, previously the home of The Economist magazine, from Tishman Speyer for an estimated £160m in a deal which is understood to reflect a 4.75% yield. The US developer picked up the Grade II listed, three-building complex from The Economist in March 2016, before carrying out a major refurbishment of the space. Smithson Plaza, a 1964 modernist landmark by architects Alison and Peter Smithson, is currently 91% occupied.
The number of residential planning applications has slumped by 43% over the past two years, as businesses pull back from new development amid market uncertainty and planning challenges. There were 34,321 residential planning applications in 2020, down from 60,393 in 2018. The total number of homes proposed fell by 39% to just 637,792. Industry experts say the numbers reflect a drop in market activity and the impact of lengthy and costly planning processes on companies ranging from SMEs to large land promoters.