A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs
Camden New Journal reports that Residents have asked Labtech to go ‘back to the drawing board over plans for a new high-rise tower scheme near the British Museum. LabTech and members of 13 community groups and associations attended a virtual call on Thursday evening to discuss the proposal to turn Selkirk House in Museum Street – formerly a Travelodge hotel – into 21 storeys of flexible office space. The plans also include 29 new homes, 40 per cent of which would be “affordable”. The meeting, however, ended abruptly when the development’s project lead John Watson saying they would not be making any changes to the drawings and that it would be for Camden to give the development a green light.
Property Week reports that Federated Hermes and consultancy Dar Group have signed a partnership to develop Dar’s new UK headquarters at 150 Holborn. The deal will see £100m of development and investment financing from Federated Hermes over a 10-year term. The new headquarters will provide a mix of office and retail space over eight floors, built to BREEAM ‘Outstanding’, LEED ‘Platinum’, and WiredScore ‘Platinum’ standards. A pavilion and roof garden will offer views towards St. Paul’s Cathedral.
City of London
Property Week reports that The City of London Corporation has revealed plans to convert disused office space into 1,500 new homes by 2030. Its policy chair said firms had told them their operations will change to accommodate flexible working. The corporation said the 1,500-home target would be done through a combination of converting disused buildings and developing new schemes. The Corporation said this would include at least 35% affordable housing “with an ambition to deliver higher levels of affordable housing where this is viable”.
Property Week reports that CO—RE has unveiled plans to renovate the art deco Daily Express Building and replace the adjoining River Court, which Goldman Sachs vacated in 2019, with a 21-floor asset comprising more than 540,000 sq ft of offices and 18,000 sq ft of retail space. Located at 120 Fleet Street, the redevelopment will involve the separation of the Daily Express Building from River Court through the creation of a publicly accessible open arcade. A public consultation has been launched on the proposals today. CO—RE aims to submit for planning later in spring 2021 with a view to construction starting in Q1 2022.
Hammersmith & Fulham
Estates Gazette reports that Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has submitted new plans for the £1.3bn residential development at White City, with buildings of up to 45 storeys and a substantial increase in homes. The developer has proposed 1,760 homes in outline plans for phase two, up from 1,100 in plans approved in 2017. The height of the tallest building will almost double, up from the 23-storey building previously approved for the site. Westfield said the rise in homes reflects changes in the White City regeneration and planning policy context, with developments in the vicinity now exceeding 35 storeys.
The Islington Tribune reports that Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn joined last week’s protest outside Pentonville Prison this week as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) seeks to sell off two blocks of flats. the MoJ is in the final stages of completing a deal that would see a tract of public land, which has two blocks with 28 flats on it, sold to property company LGP Wellington Mews Ltd. The developer will only finalise the deal, however, if Islington Council approves a planning application that could excuse it from meeting a target of 50 per cent of the homes on the site being rented at affordable rates.
Property Week reports that Developer W.RE has acquired Willcox House in Borough. The company has bought 140 -148 Borough High Street for £9.4m – its second investment in the area following the development at 160 Borough High Street. The 15,360 sq ft, four storey building was bought from The Proclamation Trust, which has moved to a new premises in Southwark. W.RE said it is planning to redevelop the building into contemporary workspaces to meet the evolving demands of today’s occupiers.
Property Week reports that Friars Bridge Court on Blackfriars Road in Southwark will be developed by its tenant, Munich-based life sciences firm Synlab, to provide medical diagnostic services for Lambeth and Southwark-based hospital trusts. The office conversion forms part of Synlab’s new 15-year partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Last year, Friars Bridge Court was refurbished by former owners Kennedy Wilson and was opened as a WeWork serviced office building. It was recently bought by ASI for £160m.
Estates Gazette reports that NHS Property Services is leaving the City of London for a new headquarters in Canary Wharf. The company, which owns 10% of the NHS estate, has taken 25,000 sq ft at 10 South Colonnade, E14, leased to the Government Property Agency. Last year, EG revealed the organisation was weighing up its future at 99 Gresham Street, EC2, as part of a broader cost-cutting drive.
The Evening Standard reports that The Chelsea Barracks exclusive enclave of apartments, penthouses and townhouses that cost up to £38 million, has been crowned the most sustainable residential development in Europe. The former military base is one of only 16 schemes in the world to be awarded the much-coveted eco-credential the LEED Platinum accreditation for neighbourhood design. The site was sold by the Ministry of Defence to Qatari Diar (the development arm of the Qatari royal family) and British property moguls Candy & Candy in 2006 for £1 billion. The scheme’s green-credentials include the recycling of grey water for toilets and washing machines, green roofs, the planting of native species and increased levels of biodiversity.
Property Week reports that CBRE has been appointed to market a new West End office development, 2 Soho Place. The building sits above Nimax Theatre and spans 18,400 sq ft across three storeys, with access to a skygarden on each floor. Soho Skygardens is expected to complete in Q4 2021. The building is situated directly above the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail and underground station and is a short walk from Covent Garden and Oxford Circus.
Estates Gazette reports that The Chinese billionaire, who paid a record £210m for a Knightsbridge mansion plans to spend a further £200m fixing it up. CK Cheung, the chairman of the Hong Kong-based property development company CC Land, bought 2-8 Rutland Gate last year, but has now submitted detailed plans to Westminster council for a dramatic overhaul of the 62,000 sq ft home. The property was last owned by Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Abdulaziz Al Saud until his death in 2011 but has since stood empty. With all the planned renovations, the Rutland Gate property could become the single most valuable family home in the world, with a value of £500 million to £600 million.