A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs
Hampstead & Highgate Express reports that the mystery over who owns a pedestrian path risked derailing a major West Hampstead development of 180 new homes at 156 West End Lane. A meeting of Camden Council’s planning committee on March 25 revealed that the ownership of Potteries Path which runs between West End Lane and Crown Close is unknown. Developers A2Dominion previously committed to making improvements to the path ahead of work at 156 West End Lane on the former Travis Perkins site. Councillors have now granted permission for the developer to work from two Potteries Path Plans to help solve the problem: one the original redevelopment to the entire path, and an alternative applying only to the area which A2Dominion definitely owns. It is understood the developer is “committed” to designing and delivering the whole path, and will do so regardless of whether it is able to contact the landowner.
City of London
A new Covid Business Recovery Fund of up to £50 million will launch next Monday (12 April) after it was agreed by the City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee. The fund is designed to support SME businesses which contribute to the Square Mile’s vibrancy at street level and directly provide services to returning City workers, visitors and residents. It aims to support those businesses that can evidence, through the grant application process, a likelihood that with support they have a reasonable chance to survive beyond the short-term.
The Evening Standard reports that global investment management firm T Rowe Price has secured 130,000 sq ft of space at Warwick Court. The scheme at Paternoster Square the firm will relocate to is undergoing a major refurbishment by Mitsubishi Estate London and developer Stanhope. The building will include roof terraces with views of St Paul’s Cathedral, a café area, and 280 cycle spaces. T Rowe Price is currently in around 85,000 square feet on Queen Victoria Street.
Property Week reports that M&G has bought City of London office building Saffron House for £78.3m on behalf of an Asian investor client. The building, which is located 200m from Farringdon Station, contains 73,000 sq ft of office space, of which 81% is let. M&G intends to refurbish the vacant lower floor to maximise light and space in the office, as well as creating a dedicated entrance for the floor on Saffron Hill.
City AM reports that JLL has signed a pre-let for 134,000 sq ft at British Land’s Broadgate campus. The real estate advisory company will take three floors at 1 Broadgate on a 15-year lease from 2026 following the building’s completion in 2025. The space will serve as JLL’s flagship UK office. The firm will retain a base in the West End. The net zero carbon building will comprise 546,000 sq ft of mixed-use space, including 498,000 sq ft of workspace, 47,000 sq ft of roof terraces and 48,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space. Enabling works are already underway with demolition due to start May 2021.
The Telegraph reports that Brookfield Property Partners could reap a profit of as much as £1bn when it sells one of the City of London’s largest office buildings later this year. The Canadian investment giant will seek as much as £1.8bn when it puts the 1 million sq ft 100 Bishopsgate in the City up for sale, making it the most expensive single building in UK history, easily topping the £1.3bn paid for the “Walkie Talkie” in 2017. Brookfield completed the 37-storey skyscraper in 2019, which currently houses Magic Circle law firm Freshfields, Royal Bank of Canada and investment bank Jefferies, although it is not yet fully let.
The Hackney Gazette reports that a community project, proposing to transform the ex-Thames Water depot on Lea Bridge Road into a “swathe of green space”, has raised almost £30,000. The East London Waterworks Park is an idea thought up by local people to turn a 5.68 hectare, currently fenced in concrete site on the border of Hackney and Waltham Forest, into a brownfield forest for wild swimming and community use. Plans include rewilding the site and digging out some of the old Victoria filter beds, once used to supply clean water to the Lea Valley Park area, for swimming. The group are proposing to use the former depot buildings on the site for hostel accommodation and community projects.
Hammersmith and Fulham
Estates Gazette reports that Peabody and Mount Anvil have entered a joint venture to develop a long-stalled council site at Watermeadow Court. The pair stepped in after the council’s development partner Stanhope withdrew from the scheme last year, after years of delays. The 1.3-acre site was granted planning consent in 2019 for 218 new homes, of which 36 would have been affordable. Peabody and Mount Anvil will submit revised plans for a scheme in excess of £100m in value, which will see the affordable provision lifted to 50% of homes.
The Evening Standard reports that Hurlingham Retail Park has been put up for sale by investor Royal London Asset Management and property firm Londonewcastle. Planning permission is in place there for a approximately £300 million 4-12 storey mixed-use development, comprising 269 flats, of which 45 would be affordable, and over 32,000 square feet of commercial space which could include shops and restaurants. There would also be a business lounge and landscaped gardens at the 3.2 acre site. The site, which is currently vacant, has 46 metres of uninterrupted River Thames frontage. Property agent CBRE is handling the sale.
Inside Housing reports that Newlon Housing Trust has announced that it will go ahead with plans to redevelop an estate in Islington after a majority of tenants voted in favour of the scheme in a residents’ ballot. 79.2% of those who votes supported the 8,000-home landlord’s proposals, where the post-war and 1930s blocks on the estate will be redeveloped or refurbished. Turnout for the ballot was 79.2% with 506 residents casting a vote in total. Replacement homes will be built for all residents living in the post-war blocks and an additional 450 to 600 homes will also be built, Newlon said. Two new public parks will be created as part of the proposals, alongside communal courtyard gardens and growing areas for residents. A resident ballot was required in line with policy from 2018 where regeneration schemes that receive funding from the GLA.
Kensington & Chelsea
South London Press reports that the housing estate next to Grenfell Tower will receive a carbon-neutral overhaul as part of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s sustainability plan. The council has secured grants of more than £20 million towards its mission of transforming Lancaster West into a model 21st Century social housing estate. Potential improvements to the North Kensington buildings could include triple-glazed windows, high-quality non-combustible roof and wall insulation, renewable heating sources and new ventilation systems. The refurbishment forms the first part of the Council’s sustainability plan, which will see over £100m invested to reach Kensington and Chelsea’s target of being carbon neutral in its operations by 2030.
Estates Gazette reports that Kings Road Property has submitted plans to demolish Marks & Spencer King’s Road store in Chelsea to make way for a new building with more office space. Under the new proposals, the site at 81-103 King’s Road would be redeveloped into a five-storey mixed-use block comprising more than 100,000 sq ft of office space and 26,000 sq ft of retail space. M&S currently occupies 36,000 sq ft in the existing 1980s building. M&S has decided not to renew its lease on the building, which expires in 2023, but under plans will retain a food-only presence at the site.
Business Traveller reports that Ruby Group has announced plans for a 169-room hotel in Southwark, marking its fourth property in the UK capital. The new Ruby Hotel will open in 2024 and will be located within walking distance of the Tate Modern, the Southbank and Borough Market. The hotel will also be close to Southwark tube station. The hotel will be built in a new landscaped public space called Friars Yard at 160 Blackfriars Road, which will be developed by Endurance Land. The space will also include a high-quality building complex for offices and retail space. The hotel will open directly onto the inner courtyard and will comprise 169 rooms over seven floors. The new property will also feature a 24-hour bar, café and lounge on the ground floor.
The East London Advertiser reports that Tower Hamlets Town Hall has proposed a curb on cars on Brick Lane. This follows a 24-hour trial by Tower Hamlets Council last summer. The plans would see the road closed to traffic in the evenings and weekends. Mayor John Biggs said about the plans, “Thousands of vehicles cut through Brick Lane every day without stopping. Outdoor seating and less traffic would encourage more people to shop locally as we move out of lockdown” The idea has gone to a public consultation online until April 14.
EastendHomes, which owns 4,000 homes in Tower Hamlets, has entered a joint venture with Gracewood Group in order to deliver what it is calling “the largest airspace development scheme in the the UK”. A total of 142 new homes will be developed on the Eric Estate while further estate regeneration work is also being carried out. Almost 80% of the new homes will be for affordable rented or homeownership tenures and will include studio, one, two and three-bedroom flats. The homes will add two storeys to five existing low-rise blocks, while a further 11 flats will be developed in a former garage space.
Estates Gazette reports that Canary Wharf Group is exploring plans for a 60-storey build-to-rent skyscraper to replace a 1m sqft office development at the long-awaited 1 Park Place, E14. The developer is consulting on plans for 700 flats over two buildings, including a smaller six-storey block, with 80,730sqft of retail, co-working and leisure.
Housing Today reports that Wilkinson Eyre has released images of the view from the top of one of the rebuilt chimneys at Battersea Power Station which will open to visitors next year. The architect, which is working with Purcell on the refurbishment and conversion of the grade II*-listed power station, has designed a glass lift that will travel up inside the north-west chimney. Carrying up to 30 passengers, it will carry visitors to top of rebuilt chimney above 3,500-home regeneration scheme. The attraction will be operated by US-based entertainment giant IMG, which runs events including Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and the Natural History Museum Ice Rink.
Property Week reports that Proposals for a £160m redevelopment of Westminster House at 7 Millbank have been submitted to Westminster City Council. The office block, which was designed as a headquarters for British American Tobacco, is let to Parliamentary Estate, which will leave once its lease ends next year. The current owner, Baola Properties, plans to gut and rebuild into a nine-storey, 130,000 sq ft office block and will reuse some of the facades. According to the submission, Baola aims for the Make Architects-designed building to be “net zero carbon”. Work is expected to start in June 2022, with completion expected in August 2025.
Property Week report that Capco will unveil a new al fresco dining scheme across the Covent Garden estate this spring, featuring over 500 additional new seats across more than 25 restaurants, as restaurants reopen for outdoor dining from 12th April onwards. The new al fresco seating will span seven streets as well as the historic Piazza in central London, with the majority of covers providing weatherproof drinking and dining options for visitors, with heaters, large parasols and windbreak screens. Capco, the owner of Covent Garden, has designed and implemented this scheme to support Covent Garden’s hospitality tenants, following the success of the estate’s outdoor dining scheme during summer 2020. The new outdoor seating scheme will stretch around the Piazza, into King Street, Henrietta Street, Southampton Street and Russell Street and will operate for all day dining, in line with Westminster City Council’s wider al fresco scheme.
City AM reports that European real estate firm CPI Property Group has bought a former police station in Savile Row, in a deal that is thought to be worth around £50m. The firm, which owns property in Berlin, Prague and Warsaw, said the recently decommissioned West End Central Police Station at 27 Savile Row has been “acquired as a development opportunity”. CPI is exploring options to create office, residential or a mixed use scheme in the nine-storey building. The deal price was thought to be around £50m and that the acquisition has a gross development value of around £150m to £200m. CPI has a European portfolio valued at more than €10bn, primarily focused on offices, followed by retail, residential and hotels.