Weekly property news from the central London boroughs


EG Radius reports that developer Nuveen Real Estate has submitted plans for the refurbishment and extension of 40 Holborn Viaduct EC1. Eric Parry Architects has lodged proposals for a “radical repositioning” of a 15-year-old Rolfe Judd-designed office building at one of the City of London’s western gateways.Its plans for 40 Holborn Viaduct would strip the 2008 steel-framed block back to its sub- and super-structure and add three new storeys – as well as extending the building outwards towards Holborn Circus with new planted balconies. The redeveloped building would be 12 storeys tall and have a lower-ground floor and two basement levels.

City of London

EG Radius reports that M&G Real Estate has agreed a third major letting at its 900,000 sqft 40 Leadenhall EC3 office development, taking the scheme to 70% prelet in just under a year. The company has signed a lease for 50,827 sqft with fintech company Acrisure.

Property Week reports that Orega is to open 37,000 sq ft of new flexible workspace at 70 Gracechurch Street in the City of London. The flexible workspace provider said it had completed a management agreement with landlords, with the new space set to open in January 2024. The office space will be refurbished to provide around 650 workstations alongside meeting rooms and collaboration spaces on the fourth and seventh floors of the building.


City of Westminster

Property Week reports that Shaftesbury Capital has instructed CBRE to sell the group’s Fitzrovia assets in London for in excess of £100m, according to reports. The Times revealed the newly merged West End property giant was seeking buyers for around 100,000 sq ft around Goodge Street and Charlotte Street. The portfolio, which is expected to attract the attention of sovereign wealth funds and cash-rich family offices for the Middle East and Far East, comprises 28 hospitality and leisure units, 11 offices, seven retail units and 56 flats.

The Architects’ Journal reports that Marks and Spencer has launched a legal bid to overturn Michael Gove’s rejection of its Pilbrow and Partners-designed plan to demolish and redevelop its Oxford Street store. The Levelling Up secretary made headlines last month when he overruled a planning inspector’s opinion and threw out the contentious proposals for the retailer’s Marble Arch site. Sacha Berendji, M&S’s operations director, announced this morning: ‘Today we have launched a legal challenge against the government’s decision to reject our Marble Arch store proposal. ‘We have done this because we believe the Secretary of State wrongly interpreted and applied planning policy to justify his rejection of our scheme on grounds of heritage and environmental concerns.


The Architects’’ Journal reports that a group of protestors have broken into and occupied a row of empty Ministry of Justice-owned houses in London, calling for them to be converted into council housing. The demonstration was staged to object to the sale of the government-owned empty homes to developers, with the protesters demanding the units instead be leased to the local authority for use as social housing. The houses were 28 former prison officers’ flats on Roman Way, on the doorstep of Pentonville Prison in Islington, some of which have lain empty for 27 years.


Partnerships Bulletin reports that a contract notice has been issued by the London Borough of Lambeth for a private partner to deliver Phase 2 of its Somerleyton Road regeneration scheme. The authority issued a prior information notice for the project in March this year, seeking market feedback on plans for a 234-unit residential scheme, including 65 extra care units. It has now released the contract notice for the project, which identifies a programme including “more than 320 units” and a minimum of 50 extra care units, all delivered as part of a carbon Net Zero package that maximises affordable housing delivery.


Property Week reports that Landsec has let the fourth floor of its net zero office development The Forge in Southwark, London to carbon capture firm Carbon Clean. The company, a leading provider of carbon capture technology for industrial firms, is rapidly scaling up and has taken 9,400 sq ft of office space at the site for its new headquarters. The Forge, opened in April, is the UK’s first commercial development to meet the UK Green Building Council’s definition of a net zero building.

Construction Enquirer reports that Southwark Council has selected Higgins Partnerships as its development partner for a two-phase £176m regeneration of Ledbury Estate in Peckham. Four existing blocks were identified as ‘having serious structural and fire safety issues’ by the council. They will be replaced with a new development of 340 mixed tenure homes set within six blocks ranging from five to 22 storeys in height plus a community centre and a multi-use games area plus wider estate improvement works.

Tower Hamlets

Construction Enquirer reports that developer Urbanest has appointed a contractor to deliver its new PBSA scheme. The £250m trio of towers next to Billingsgate Market in Docklands will also become Europe’s largest Passivhaus development.The scheme will deliver 1,672 student beds and 80 residential apartments for students of University College London (UCL).The three towers will be between 28 and 48 storeys and the ground floor level is set to feature a drive-thru McDonalds restaurant together with 40,000 sq ft office and affordable incubator workspace.


Wandsworth Council has announced a major expansion in the number of publicly-available electric vehicle charging points with the latest wave of investment delivering more than 500 new lampost chargers. The borough’s tally of charging points is rising to nearly 1,500 – more than virtually everywhere else in the country – as the result of a partnership with charging supplier ubitricity.


Property Week reports that Ultra-high-net-worth individuals and family offices have acquired £1.3bn worth of London office assets over the past 12 months, according to Knight Frank. Knight Frank found that private investors have been behind 44% of central London office investments over the past year, compared with the long-term historical average of 36%. With fewer prime assets being listed for sale due to market volatility, Knight Frank said cash-rich buyers have acquired £690m of secondary stock, or ‘brown’ buildings requiring capital expenditure to meet modern workplace and sustainability standards.