City of London approves plans for 32-storey tower

Plans for a new 32-storey office tower in the City of London have been given the green light.

A City of London committee today approved an application from developer Hertshten Properties for the building at 85 Gracechurch Street. The proposals, which involve partly demolishing an existing building, will create more than 27,000 square metres of new office space.

The scheme will also create retail spaces and a public hall with 24-hour access on the ground floor, with a “heritage garden” and cultural space on the fifth floor, which the Museum of London is involved in creating. This fifth-floor space will link to a walkway providing new views over Leadenhall Market.

The building, designed by architects Woods Bagot, will also feature a new public pedestrian route intended to provide better access to Leadenhall Market. The plans incorporate more than 600 bicycle spaces.

The 1930s facade of the existing nine-storey building at the site will be retained. The current building is not listed, but sits within the Leadenhall Market Conservation Area.

Historic England objected to the proposals, saying that “harm would be caused to conservation areas and listed buildings” and arguing there was “no policy support for a tall building in this location”.

But the report from City of London officers said that “virtually no major development proposal is in complete compliance with all policies”. It concluded that the proposals “accord with the development plan when considered as a whole”.

The City of London’s Planning Applications Sub-committee chair Shravan Joshi said: “Developments such as this are a vote of confidence in the City as a global business hub and will help us meet the continued demand for high-quality office space in the Square Mile.

“This scheme sets a high bar for others to follow. It will create a major new public hall, a pedestrian route and a cultural space showcasing the rich history of this part of London, supporting our destination city vision of the Square Mile as a seven-day-a-week visitor destination.”

Leave a comment