A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs
HamHigh reports that the company behind a £32m development, intended to help regenerate Kilburn High Street, has gone into administration after years of delays left buyers in limbo. The Park Place project – a ten-minute walk from West Hampstead train station – was meant to house 60 luxury apartments from developer Godfrey London, but the limited partnership set up to deliver the scheme has now been declared insolvent. The developer has apologised, claiming the project suffered “unprecedented” setbacks caused by Brexit and Covid-19.
City of London
The Evening Standard reports that Law Firm Latham & Watkins has agreed a major pre-let for a City office space which it plans to occupy from 2026. The 430,000 sq ft development at 1 Leadenhall, will be adjacent to the historic Leadenhall Market, and is Canadian investor Brookfield’s latest City of London development. The company, which is currently based at 99 Bishopsgate, expects to occupy a minimum of 200,000 sq ft at the new development.
The Hackney Citizen reports that The Town Hall has laid out an environmental vision of the borough stretching out over the next twenty years. The proposals include the creation of green links to connect parks and open spaces along with new cul de sac parks and pocket parks, strategic planting to minimise air and noise pollution, the diversification of greenery to be drought tolerant, the expansion of sustainable drainage to improve the borough’s ability to cope with floods and the promotion of urban greening including green roofs and green walls. The vision at the heart of the Town Hall’s strategy is that by 2040 Hackney will be “a series of liveable neighbourhoods that are resilient to the effects of climate change, provide a network for wildlife to thrive and promote the physical and mental health of its residents”.
Hammersmith & Fulham
The New Civil Engineer reports that Hammersmith & Fulham Council is advancing the double decker solution for Hammersmith Bridge, ordering a full feasibility study of the proposed bridge as a temporary solution. The solution put forward by Fosters & Partners and endorsed by Cowi involves building a new raised truss structure above the existing road deck featuring a lower level for pedestrians and cyclists and an upper level for cars and buses. Under the proposal pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles can use the bridge, with river traffic passing underneath.
Estates Gazette reports that Lord Sugar’s property company Amsprop is searching for a buyer for one of the most prominent buildings in his property portfolio, the Lever Building. It is hoped that the property, which is in Clerkenwell, will rake in more than £38.5m. The five-storey office block, which is a converted Victorian tobacco warehouse, currently houses Tesco’s digital arm, which pays an average of £57 per sq ft across all floors and holds a lease until 2025. This move comes after Lord Sugar’s real investments have struggled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Kensington & Chelsea
Bdaily reports that Peabody has launched its new collection of shared ownership apartments at the Boulevard scheme in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Situated within Berkeley Group development Royal Warwick Square, Boulevard comprises 26 one-bedroom apartments, each with their own balcony or terrace as well as a concierge service. The boulevard occupies a prominent location, close to Exhibition Road with its notable British museums, green spaces and shopping facilities.
MyLondon reports that boutique property developer The Door has applied for planning permission and listed building consent to convert the historic London Necropolis Railway into luxury flats. The Grade II listed station, which opened in 1902 on Westminster Bridge Road, until recently housed the offices of a firm of shipping agents. In its application, The Door claims Lambeth Council’s policy to protect offices in Waterloo from residential conversion is “out of date and redundant” after the government reformed the planning system last year.
The Evening Standard reports that Aviva is investing £100m on land and development on Bermondsey Street. It has bought two sites, comprising existing commercial buildings and a former warehouse, from Sellar, the developer that worked on the nearby Shard skyscraper. The buyer said Sellar will act as co-developer on the project, which will lead to the creation of a “high-quality mixed-use office campus and retail facilities, designed with the evolving needs of its occupiers front of mind”. Aviva has said that there will be a focus on creating flexible spaces and spacious environments.
MyLondon reports that an abandoned station running alongside the DLR in Bow is set to be repurposed in a development deal between Tfl and the housing association Optivo. The station closed in 1944, but the building was only demolished in the 1980s to construct the DLR station. Bow was served by the North London Railway (NLR), and Great Eastern Railway (GER) trains to Fenchurch Street and a shuttle service to Plaistow. Some of the site is now maintained by a car rental outlet, but the rest of the space remains empty. Optivo says that TfL has selected it to deliver more than 150 new homes, including at least 50 per cent affordable housing on the site. Optivo will bring the site forward using the Greater London Authority’s “London Development Panel 2” (LDP2) and will start consulting with the local community before a planning application is submitted.
Bdaily reports that developer Avanton has teamed up with Corban Group to showcase its recently completed £120m Coda development on the social media platform, TikTok. Two video tours of Coda have been posted on TikTok so far, one featuring the newly completed residents’ lobby and the other a show apartment by Gordon Duff Linton, with a combined 120,000 views and over 7,500 likes. The video series plans to capture the unveiling of the residents’ amenities including the gym and landscaped podium gardens.
Estates Gazette reports that Astrea Asset Management has gained consent for a further two major office revamps around Berkeley Square in Mayfair, W1, from Westminster City Council. Astrea secured planning permission to refurbish 50 Berkeley Street and 50 Stratton Square, which sit between Green Park Station and Berkeley Square. Works on the two buildings, designed by architects at Stiff and Trevillion, will bring 270,000 sq ft of refurbished office space onto the market, along with communal roof terraces on both.
The Evening Standard reports that Property investors flocked to buy West End offices at the end of the year as hopes surrounding Covid vaccines improved, with over £1 billion of sales agreed in December, data shows. According to data gathered by Savills, West End office transactions in the last three months of 2020 reached £2.9 billion, which is 38% above the five-year average for final quarters. December’s turnover of £1.16 billion across 12 transactions was the highest monthly volume of the year and that this single month was responsible for approximately 25% of the total amount transacted in the West End over the whole of 2020.
Bloomberg reports that the average home in London has climbed above £500,000 for the first time. Values in the U.K. capital were 9.7% higher in November than a year earlier, a surge matched only by Yorkshire and The Humber in northern England, according to Land Registry figures published by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday. At £513,997 on average, prices in London are now more than double the national level. Prices in inner London grew more quickly than those in outer boroughs, with Kensington and Chelsea recording increases of more than 20%.