London mayor won’t stop ITV studios redevelopment

London mayor Sadiq Khan has chosen not to intervene in £400m plans to redevelop ITV’s former South Bank studios at 72 Upper Ground, despite the government having halted work.

The proposals from developer Mitsubishi Estate and development manager CO—RE set out a landmark redevelopment of a 2.5-acre site into a commercially-led mixed-use scheme comprising 850,550 square foot of workspace.

Planning approval for the scheme was awarded by Lambeth Council in March. But it became a national talking point two months later, after the then levelling up secretary Michael Gove ordered a pause to the demolition of the former ITV studios.

The Article 31 notice has thrown the future of the redevelopment into doubt while the government considers whether to ‘call in’ the plans.

Lambeth Council contacted Sadiq Khan’s office on 10 August to review the plans, giving him two weeks to decide on the future of the development.

But, in a letter revealing the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) decision, Jules Pipe, deputy mayor of London for planning, regeneration and skills, said the mayor does not wish to refuse or take in the planning application.

The letter states that the decision is still subject to action from the secretary of state.

Pipe wrote: “Having now considered a report on this case, I am content to allow the local planning authority to determine the case itself, subject to any action that the secretary of state may take, and do not therefore wish to direct refusal or take over the application for my own determination.”

CO—RE director Stephen Black said: “We’re very pleased that the GLA and Lambeth Council have both recommended for approval a building that will bring investment, over 4,000 new jobs and new workspace to one of London’s most famous destinations.

“Crucially, it will benefit the local community through the London Studios, which will provide 40,000 square foot net of affordable space that is tailored to the needs of Lambeth’s emerging creative industries.”

He continued: “Our proposals will transform a dormant, closed-off site on a popular part of the River Thames into an open and welcoming building that prioritises high-quality workspace, and the provision of new arts, cultural and green public spaces. It will make a deserving addition to the South Bank.”

This article was originally published on Construction News’ sister site, Property Week, on 23 August 2022.

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