A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs
Ham & High reports that the planned tower blocks at the O2 Centre site would be “totally out of scale with the area” and “not something people will welcome at all”, according to local figures. Landsec, owner of the O2 Centre, unveiled a new consultation which sets out more detail on the scheme for 1,900 homes between Finchley Road and West End Lane, but community groups and local councillors remain unconvinced by what they’ve seen so far. Camden Council’s opposition leader Cllr Oliver Cooper has also called on the town hall to make sure a new planning policy document isn’t “tantamount to giving planning permission” for the development. Camden is expected to bring forward its Site Allocations Local Plan (SALP) document this summer.
City of London
Estates Gazette reports that 22 Bishopsgate is set to welcome three new tenants in the coming weeks – a UK insurer, an Asian bank and a Wall Street law firm. Fidelis Insurance, a bespoke insurer, has gone under offer on around 50,000 sq ft at the tower over two floors while the Korean Development bank is targeting around 11,000 sw ft across half a floor. Law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has gone under offer on around 70,000 sq ft across three floors of the building. 22 Bishopsgate is the second-tallest skyscraper in Western Europe, behind the Shard, and contains 1.2m sq ft of offices over 62 floors, along with more than 100,000 sq ft of amenity space.
Bisnow reports that London’s largest commercial property owner is lining up the sale of its biggest single asset in the UK capital, in what would be the biggest office sale since before the coronavirus pandemic if a deal completes. Landsec is weighing the sale of 21 Moorfields in the City of London for a price of around £850m and would look to reinvest the money into its development programme. Landsec’s 21 Moorfields totals 564,000 sq ft and is under construction, with completion due in 2022. Investment bank Deutsche has agreed to pre-lease at least 469,000 sq ft on a 25-year lease, with the bank renewing its commitment to take the space after the pandemic had started.
Hackney Gazette reports that a new hotel and office complex made of shipping containers is to be built in Haggerston following a temporary five-year permission given by councillors. The new Snoozebox development, a scheme aimed at “millennials, cost conscious business professionals and tourists”, will made out of prefabricated containers with an outdoor terrace. The Snoozebox is set to be put together on land on Ormsby and Pearson Streets, near Randall Cremer primary school, which developers said had welcomed the proposals due to fly tipping problems on the currently vacant land. It will feature 79 office units and 44 hotel rooms, with 10 per cent of the office units classified as ‘affordable’ with rates set at 60 per cent of local market rent.
Hammersmith & Fulham
My London News reports that Shepherd’s Bush Police Station has been put up for sale by the Mayor of London’s office and earmarked for redevelopment. The station in Uxbridge Road, which included nine cells, closed in late 2020. This was after a larger base for the Central West police unit opened at the new Hammersmith Police Station in September. The property was first listed for sale on the Estates Gazette last month. The listing states that the 1,584 square metres of land – equal to six tennis courts – could become a “mixed-use” development.
Islington Gazette reports that Ocado has lost its high court battle with Islington council over its bid to open a round-the-clock delivery hub next to a school in Tufnell Park. The food delivery giant applied to open a delivery hub on the Bush Industrial Estate site, bordering Yerbury Primary School in 2019, after the site’s owner Telereal Trillium was granted a lawful development certificate by the council in 2017, allowing for storage and distribution. But the certificate was revoked in October last year after a successful campaign led by a group of residents and families of Yerbury pupils called NOcado. They were concerned the site – which could serve up to 100 delivery vans a day at peak times – would be noisy and increase pollution near Yerbury School’s playground and residential streets.
Estates Gazette reports that a campaign group set up to promote the development of affordable housing has failed in a Court of Appeal bid to block the redevelopment of London’s Elephant & Castle. Although the court found there were no grounds for a U-turn, after a four-year campaign activists say their work is far from over, highlighting that pressure put on landlord and developer Delancey and Southwark Council led to significant gains including upping the number of social housing and a better deal for displaced traders. Demolition is already underway with hoarding up along the decommissioned shopping centre, which finally shut its doors last September.
East London Advertiser reports that the fourth application for 2,000 new homes and a new shopping precinct at the Asda supermarket site was adjourned at Tower Hamlets Council’s June 9 strategic development committee meeting after a four-hour debate. The issue was too big to be decided at a single hearing, council members decided, after facing 122 letters and four petitions with objections to the scheme. Pressure on Isle of Dogs’ services, especially mains water and drainage, as well as daylight and sunlight being obscured in neighbouring properties, still need to be resolved.
Property Week reports that Oxford Street retail void rates have risen to 17% because of the rise of online shopping and the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 36 units that appeared to be empty out of a total of around 215. This marks a sharp increase on the 24 out of 264 units reported by Retail Week as standing empty in January 2021, based on data from the Local Data Company. Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of the New West End Company, acknowledged that the number of voids was high, but said that some of the empty units would soon come back into use. “It’s been quite tough, because there are quite a lot of empty voids and hoardings,” but “there’s about £4bn of developments coming through [on Oxford Street] over the next three years, which highlights the market confidence,” he said.
Bdaily reports that Developer Fenton Whelan has announced the launch of Park Modern, a £500m 190,000 sq ft luxury development facing south over Hyde Park and Kensington Palace Gardens. Park Modern comprises 57 one to six bedroom residences including lateral apartments, three trophy penthouses and mews houses. In addition, the development features 30,000 sq ft of 5-star hotel style amenities including a concierge, resident’s lounge, restaurant and cafe, porte cochère with valet parking, and a wellbeing floor with a 25 metre pool, gym, spa, cinema, and treatment salon.