Weekly property news from the central London boroughs

City of London

EG news reports that The City of London Corporation has lodged plans to create a new base for the local police force, converting retail space in a 1960s office block. Plans have been lodged for the redevelopment of part of a Middlesex Street Estate, E1 which will see part of the Estate;s basement, ground floor and first floor car parks become part of an operational base for the City of London police. The plans will also repurpose several retail units on Gravel Lane to become part of the new station.

City of Westminster

Property Week reports that Crumbling RAAC concrete has been found in the Houses of Parliament during a routine ongoing investigation. The confirmed presence of RAAC, or reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, is the latest development in a building safety crisis surrounding the material, which is prone to collapse. A parliamentary spokesperson said that “as part of routine ongoing investigations RAAC was identified in one area of the palace.“ Structural engineers have confirmed there is no immediate risk. Where RAAC is found, mitigations will be put in place as necessary.”

Property Week reports that real estate investment group Hines has opened its new European headquarters at the Grainhouse development in Covent Garden. he group will occupy three floors of the five-level building. The Hines European Value Fund 2 (HEVF 2) acquired Grainhouse, a 91,000 square foot former Victorian seed warehouse, in March 2020 and carried out a three-year restoration and refurbishment project.

Property Week reports that Pocket Planet, an immersive experiential attraction featuring large model UK landmarks and miniature world models, has signed for 30,000 sq ft at the former New Look and Monsoon units on London’s Oxford Street. The leisure experience developer has taken a 20-year lease at 498/504 Oxford Street, from sovereign wealth fund clients represented by James Andrew International.


The Architect’s Journal reports that Endurance Land has secured planning permission to massively extend a 10-storey tower next to Old Street roundabout in London, raising it to 35 storeys. Islington councillors backed the scheme at 99 City Road yesterday (11 September) by a vote of six to four in spite of concerns over its scale. KPF says it will retain most of the Postmodern headquarters for the satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat, including the foundations and basement of the 1990s structure.


Hackney Council has pledged £1 million in green investment across the borough for the next three years as it unveils a new “implementation plan” that shows the specific steps it will take between now and 2026. Ranging from solar power projects that could allow Council tenants to purchase discounted electricity to introducing climate-friendly menus in schools, the plan encompasses actions across the five themes used in the borough-wide Climate Action Plan: adaptation, buildings, transport, consumption and environmental quality.

Hammersmith and Fulham

Property Week reports that IWG has agreed to take over 55,000 sq ft of workspace in Hammersmith. west London from its ailing competitor WeWork. The flexible workspace provider will open its latest co-working location at 12 Hammersmith Grove under its Spaces brand, offering dog-friendly private offices, meeting rooms and co-working spaces. IWG, which recently reported record revenues of £1.7bn, takes over a lease previously operated by WeWork, taking advantage of its rival’s financial struggles and questions over its future.

Kensington and Chelsea

Kensington and Chelsea Council has appointed new members for housing, property and social investment following Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith’s move to employment, culture and the economy. Cllr Sof McVeigh has been appointed as new Member for Housing, while Cllr Emma Will has taken over the property and social investment brief.


Lambeth Council is seeking a development partner to deliver 320 new homes in Brixton. The council is seeking a development partner to ensure the new homes in Somerleyton Road are built as quickly as possible and that the amount of affordable and social housing delivered is maximised. This follows the first phase of the Somerleyton Road project being completed already, with Brixton House Theatre built and the locally listed  Carlton Mansions refurbished.


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.

The Architect’s Journal reports that Greystar has appointed HTA Design, AFK and HawkinsBrown to replace Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) on its £500 million Bermondsey biscuit factory housing-led scheme in south London. Documents put to consultation this summer by Greystar, the site’s new owner, propose several tweaks to KPF’s earlier designs, which were approved by Southwark Council in February 2020 for a 6.2ha mixed-use development near Bermondsey tube station.Greystar says the new designs add around 76 new homes to the scheme, of which 25 per cent will be for social rent. In the earlier scheme, only 10.5 per cent of the housing was for social rent.

EG News reports that Art-Invest Real Estate has been given the go-ahead for detailed plans for its 4.5-acre Canada Water Dockside scheme in London, SE16. Southwark Planning Committee resolved to grant planning for the development, which  is designed to be a world-class green commercial campus targeting the highest standards of sustainability and wellness amidst expansive amenity spaces.


The Financial Times reports that plans by the UK government to dilute rules on water pollution in order to enable more housebuilding were defeated in the House of Lords on Wednesday night in a major setback for Rishi Sunak’s administration. The UK prime minister had proposed to remove EU-era “nutrient neutrality rules”, complaining that they were blocking the construction of up to 100,000 new homes by the end of the decade.