Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

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


The Camden News Journal reports that the former Hampstead Police Station – which has stood empty for the best part of a decade – is up for sale after the government gave up on a plan to turn it into a school. A planning inspector threw out an appeal after Camden Council had twice refused to grant consent for the Abacus Belsize Primary School to move in. The Department for Education, the current owner, is now looking for a buyer for the grade-II listed station and its connected courthouse having never been able to use it. Another potential use which is backed by a group that campaigned against the school, is for it to become a flexible working space.

 City of London

City AM reports that the City of London Corporation has called for office workers and visitors to return to the Square Mile to help boost economic activity. Catherine McGuinness, the City of London Corporation’s policy chair, also said it was up to the powerful local authority to provide “reassurance about the steps taken to protect public health throughout the City’s reopening”.  There have already been signs that more people are beginning to return to the office in central London as footfall rose in the area by 178 per cent in the past week.


Property Week reports that the Abbey Road Institute, which is backed by Universal Music’s pan-European initiative, has signed a 10-year lease at the 13,325 sq ft, grade-II listed building. The studios have hosted some of the biggest names in music such as Kylie Minogue and Adele, and was home to the creation of the scores for Moulin Rouge and The Lion King.


Brixton Buzz reports that Brixton Hill Cllr Maria Kay is set to receive a promotion to the Lambeth Council Cabinet. The Labour representative has been put forward for the Housing and Homelessness portfolio as part of a reshuffle by Leader Cllr Jack Hopkins. Departing the Cabinet is Deputy Leader Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite who previously held the portfolio. Cllr Kay’s new Cabinet role will be formalised at the next Full Council meeting which takes place online on 21st April.

Tower Hamlets

 Architects Journal reports that the Canary Wharf Group has ditched plans for an office tower in favour of a new residential skyscraper. Canary Wharf Group (CWG)’s plans for 90,000 sq m of office space at 1 Park Place designed by Squire & Partners were approved in 2015 but never built out. The property group has submitted a scoping report to Tower Hamlets Council, outlining plans for a 60-storey tower with more than 700 rental flats and a smaller six-storey tower with shops, co-working space and leisure space.


 South London Press reports that the redevelopment of the iconic Battersea Power Station is nearly complete, with some things set to open on the site this year. The Grade II*-listed building is due to open its doors to the public in Spring 2022, but there are several key milestones taking place ahead of the grand opening. One of the biggest milestones will come later this spring, when the first residents move into the 253 apartments inside the Grade II* listed power station. More than 100 retail shops, restaurants and cafes will also start to fit out their spaces later this year, while the tech giant Apple will take 500,000 sq. ft of office space across six floors in the power station for its new London campus.


Property Week reports that hospitality operator Whitbread is preparing to open two new Premier Inn hotels in Soho and Shoreditch, in central London. The openings at Berwick Street in Soho and Quaker Street in Shoreditch take Whitbread’s portfolio of ‘hub by Premier Inn’ hotels to 11 locations across London – and more than 2,000 bedrooms. A further five hub hotels are currently on site or in the advanced stages of planning. Premier Inn London Soho will open on 16 April, comprising 110 hotel rooms. The development also includes 12 new luxury private apartments, four affordable apartments, a residents’ roof garden and a new retail destination comprising 12 new shops, as well as a Co-op supermarket. At Quaker Street in Shoreditch, Whitbread converted a former Victorian stable block into a 246-bedroom hub by Premier Inn, which will open in late June.

The Evening Standard online fashion retailer, Boohoo has bought an office in the West End in a £72 million deal. The building at 10 Great Pulteney Street comprises around 46,000 square feet. The company said the Soho site is “intended to become home for all London-based product, marketing, technology and central support teams, offering flexible working for approximately 600 of our colleagues”. The company currently occupies around 15,000 sq ft at Euston Tower but has seen increased customer demand during the pandemic.

Property Week reports that Real estate investment firm Gaw Capital has revealed plans for a 107,000 sq ft rooftop office development on Buckingham Palace Road. The Sky Hub development at Hub Victoria is scheduled to be completed in 2023 and will offer wellness-focused workspaces, plus on-site retail, leisure amenities and restaurants. Sky Hub was designed by Morrow + Lorraine Architects and consists of three self-contained floors across levels 6, 7, and 8 of Hub Victoria.