Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

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

City of London

Bisnow reports that Canadian real estate giant Ivanhoe Cambridge has sold one of the City of London’s most distinctive-looking office buildings for more than twice what it paid six years ago. Suntec REIT has paid £353M for The Minster Building, a 293K SF office building in the insurance district of the City. The office complex, which measures 293,398 sq ft, is leased to 13 tenants and has a WAULT of 12.3 years. The purchase includes income guarantees of around £2.2m, with resect to two years of gross rental for vacant spaces in the property, and around £4.5 relating to two years of gross rental for the retail leases and around a year for a co-working lease.  This is the second recent acquisition for Suntec, which also paid £430M in October for a 50% stake in the Nova office scheme in Victoria.

Bisnow reports on the Tower 42’s netting owner a huge uplift in value. In mid-2011, Natie Kirsh stepped in and paid £282M for Tower 42, a 6.9% yield. That is 200 basis points higher at least than average City of London office yields today. He invested £50M in refurbishing the tower and the five smaller buildings that make up Tower 42. He turned the supposed bug of short leases to smaller companies into a feature, improving the income on the building by appealing to companies looking for small offices on flexible leases. Income from the property, which comprises a 320K SF, 42-storey tower and 180K SF of surrounding office buildings, has improved substantially

Hammersmith & Fulham

ShepherdsBushW12.com reports that 142 flats will be built in Maccfarlane Place development. The old BBC multi-storey car park on Wood Lane will be knocked down for the development to proceed. The project is a joint venture between Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo and the new housing will be managed by Peabody with 71 London Affordable Rent, 34 London Living Rent and 37 flats for Shared Ownership. Designed by Maccreanor Lavington Architects, the buildings form part of the wider Television Centre development which will eventually have around 950 homes in total.


Estates Gazette reports that Derwent London has signed online marketplace Depop at uts office building at 20 Farringdon Road, EC1. It has taken five-year lease for the 33,500 sq ft second floor of the building. This new base will be more than double the floorspace of its existing office in Shoreditch. The block, opposite Farringdon station, was refurbished in 2016, and contains 142,800 sq ft of offices, 1,200 sq ft of retail and a 22,300 sq ft gym across six stories. The area has attracted significant interest among tech occupiers in recent months, with Snapchat and TikTok also setting up shop nearby.

Kensington and Chelsea

KCWLONDON reports on Earls Court Development Company launching Earls Court Community Fund to support local communities in and around the Earls Court site, with up to £180,000 committed this year. The aim of the fund is to make a difference to the lives of people in the local area by offering grants to charities and community organisations that provide much-needed projects, services and activities. Organisations can apply for a grant of up to £15,000 per year and to be eligible, applications must meet at least one of the three priority areas: 1. Communities and people, 2. Health and wellbeing, 3. Young people training. Rob Heasman, CEO of ECDC said: “By launching the Earls Court Community Fund, we hope to play a small part in improving the quality of life of those living nearby, and helping organisations grow and thrive.”


Estates Gazette reports that Lendlease is to develop its first office block at the £2.5bn Elephant Park regeneration of the former Heygate Estate. The developer is proposing an 18-storey building comprising 480,000 sq ft of net space (class E), with ground floor flexible commercial and offices on the upper floors. The new proposals for plot H1 on Walworth Road seek to provide 10% of Southwark’s projected requirement for new employment space over the next 15 years. Plans also include an allocation for 10% affordable workspace and proposals for potential health hub, subject to council confirmation.

City of Westminster

Estates Gazette reports that Westminster City Council is pursuing plans to deliver up to 1,200 homes in a mixed-use development spanning three sites on Church Street. The regeneration of the Church Street estates has been a point of contention between the Conservative-controlled council and London mayor Sadiq Khan for many years.

City of Westminster announces that the council has launched a new investment service to encourage new and growing business to set up shops in Central London. The service aims to attract sustainable investment to contribute to the creation of employment, assist London-based entrepreneurs to scale their businesses within Westminster and support the launch of new occupiers in the West End in the wake of the pandemic.  The new service will capitalise on the area’s historic success and recent investment in infrastructure by working with partners including the area’s Business Improvement Districts, to build and shape Westminster’s business ecosystem.

City of Westminster has confirmed that the Marble Arch Mound will feature an one-off light exhibition by W1Curates when the 25m tall hill opens to members of the public on Monday July 26. This collaboration between Westminster City Council and W1Curates will offer members of the public an opportunity to enjoy a special art exhibition called Lightfield, led by British/American artist, Anthony James.

Tower Hamlets

Architects Journal reports on plans have been submitted to Tower Hamlets to demolish the existing six-storey 1980s office Ensign House on the South Quay waterside plot to make way for the 495-home tower. The project is backed by Hong Kong-based developer the Far East Consortium, which bought the site in 2020 for £28.25 million. It will provide homes for private sale as well as 125 affordable homes and will include 296m2 of shops at ground floor level and a pocket park to create ‘breathing space’. The tower will have private homes on the higher levels, while the affordable housing would be located on levels 6-20.