Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

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


Ham & High reports that a planning application is anticipated “before the summer” for the redevelopment of Murphy’s Yard. Proposals for the 15.5-acre site between Gospel Oak station and the bottom of Highgate Road in Kentish Town include buildings from three to 19 storeys. The site would host up to 750 homes, industrial space, offices, restaurants, and healthcare and leisure facilities. A new pedestrian and cycle route – the Heath Line – would connect Hampstead Heath and Gospel Oak to Kentish Town and open up an industrial area long closed off to the public. The latest consultation was held in March by the developer J. Murphy & Sons Limited, which says the plans have been drawn up in consideration of neighbours.

City of London

Property Week reports that Landsec’s flexible office brand Myo has opened a 35,000 sq ft office at Dashwood tower in the City of London. The office will be Myo’s second location. The new location, designed by architects firm Bluebottle, will total 35,000 sq ft set across the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth floors. The sixth to eighth floors are now complete and the ninth floor is due to complete in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Property Week reports that Savills is forecasting a strong bounce-back in central London investment activity, after the amount of stock under offer in the City of London rose 29% month on month to £2.49bn at the end of April. April saw three deals in the City, totalling £182m, a 26.6% decrease on March (£248m) but a 21.8% increase on April last year (£149m). So far this year, total City investment volume stands at £807m across 15 transactions, around 44% down on the same point in 2020. However, Savills said it is aware of deals worth £2.49bn under offer, with seven new assets totalling around £287bn being marketed in April – the highest number of assets launched since November 2020.


Hackney Citizen reports that Hackney has published its plan for the future of Dalston, which includes pledges to protect the Eastern Curve Garden and support Ridley Road Market. The Dalston Plan also takes up community calls for a building height strategy for the area, as well as outlining a number of opportunities for development. Planning chief Cllr Guy Nicholson said: “The regeneration of Dalston Town Centre is vital to ensure the future success of the area as we build a fair recovery from the Covid pandemic. “The Dalston Plan Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) delivers on the Mayor’s Manifesto commitment to prepare a new plan for Dalston Town Centre to shape its future.”

Hammersmith & Fulham

My London reports that there is mounting speculation that the Government and TfL will agree a £40 million funding package for strengthening works for Hammersmith Bridge, which could allow it to reopen this summer. Despite this, TfL and the Department for Transport have said that they will not comment while their negotiations are ongoing. If agreed, it would enable pedestrians and cyclists to use the bridge again.

My London reports that Ikea is set to open their first inner-city London store in Hammersmith soon. The long-awaited store at the King’s Mall is due to open this winter, the company has said. It was due to open in spring 2021, but it has been pushed back to “this winter”, according to a company spokesperson. Ikea’s parent company, Ingka Centres, bought the 27,000 square metre King’s Mall off Schroder’s Plc. Hammersmith and Fulham Council leader Stephen Cowan said the town centre would benefit from Ikea’s “huge investment”.


The Financial Times reports that Islington house sales are strong as its cultural life reawakens. Since the beginning of 2021, agents are reporting an uptick in activity. Between January and April this year, the number of agreed sales priced above £1m was 75 per cent higher than in the same period of 2019, according to Savills Research using TwentyCi data. Per square foot, the average price of a property in N1 is up 7.7 per cent in the past 12 months to £1,009, according to LonRes.The inner London borough of Islington is good at retaining residents. The average price paid for a house last year was £1.756m, a record for the area. According to Savills’ deal book, 54 per cent of sellers within the borough in the year to March 2021 were buying there too.

Kensington & Chelsea

MyLondon reports that Hundreds of Chelsea residents have objected to a major redevelopment that would see the demolition of a Marks & Spencer. Plans submitted in March by Kings Road Property Ltd would involve bulldozing a parade of 1980s shops and offices in 81-103 King’s Road. Blueprints show that a five storey building with a modern “central courtyard” would take its place. It would comprise 17,000 square metres of floor space, up from the current building’s 9,800 sqm. A restaurant, cafe and shops would occupy its ground and first floors, while a new basement level would become a “leisure” facility.


Architects Journal reports that plans have been submitted for an 11-storey extension to the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London’s Waterloo. The extension will provide 120 new beds, specialist imaging facilities and 14 new operating theatres. The estimated £50 million extension will also contain more spaces for patients and families to relax, including a new roof terrace. The new hospital wing is expected to open in six years’ time.


London SE1 reports that Transport for London’s finance boss has warned that plans to remodel Elephant & Castle Underground Station could be in jeopardy unless the Government agrees long-term funding for the capital’s transport network. A new integrated ticket hall for the Northern and Bakerloo lines at Elephant & Castle is due to be constructed as part of the redevelopment of the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre site, backed by funding from Delancey’s shopping centre scheme and Lendlease’s Elephant Park development.TfL’s chief financial officer Simon Kilonback was speaking at the transport authority’s programmes and investment committee on Wednesday, “If we continue to get a succession of short-term deals, some really strategic and important investments like the Elephant & Castle station redevelopment will simply become extremely difficult for TfL to take forward.”

Tower Hamlets

East London Advertiser reports that Tower Hamlets Council has adopted the Isle of Dogs Neighbourhood Plan. It was agreed unanimously by Tower Hamlets Council on May 19 as its official planning policy. There was some concern on ruling Labour benches that it could have gone further in a drive for more “affordable” housing in ratio to the number of office and skyscraper developments.


Property Week reports that Shaftesbury has launched flexible work concept Assemble in office locations in Seven Dials and Carnaby Street, London. Assemble provides tenants with flexible space across a selection of pre-designed offices. It will offer space in offices at Seven Dials, the Neal Street Lofts (39-45 Neal Street) and 16 & 20 Shorts Gardens.

Property Week reports that Oxford Street suffered the worst footfall decline of Europe’s major high streets during the Covid-19 pandemic. Average monthly shopper numbers on Oxford Street plummeted 71% between March 2020 and March 2021. Rome’s Via Del Corso was the second hardest hit, with monthly average footfall down 66% over the year. This was closely followed by Rue Neuve in Brussells (down 65%) and Gran Via in Madrid (down 63%). However, according to the research, many of the premium high streets are expected to retain their leadership in the medium to long term and rents could return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023. The recovery of Oxford Street and Champs-Élysées, however, will be more dependent on when international customers were able to return, the research found.

Property Week reports that Qatari Diar has secured a £450m green loan – one of the largest single property asset green loans ever in the UK – to finance the construction of The Chancery Rosewood. The loan will be provided by a consortium of five lenders: HSBC, which also co-ordinated the loan; Credit Suisse; Qatar National Bank; Intesa Sanpaolo; and United Overseas Bank. The Chancery Rosewood scheme would improve the area’s biodiversity by using green roofing and minimising water consumption, it said, adding that it planned to implement energy efficiency measures and ensure the scheme had a positive impact on the community by boosting local employment and expenditure. The Chancery Rosewood scheme is expected to open in 2024


The Times reports that Great Portland Estates is making an £800 million bet on future demand for net zero carbon central London offices. The landlord said it planned to start building the first of four major office buildings in its development pipeline in January next year, subject to planning permission. The developments, in the City of London, Southwark and the West End, comprise about 910,000 sq ft and will cost around £800 million to build. Toby Courtauld, chief executive, said the buildings, once completed, could help the company to more than double its rent roll to £194 million.