Mayor says sign-off possible by December - if plans are lodged this week
The redevelopment of Bishopsgate Goodsyard could still get planning permission by the end of this year if the plans are lodged quickly enough, mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said.
When developers Ballymore and Hammerson unveiled their revised proposals for the long-running project in November last year they said formal plans were expected to be lodged in early 2019, but the most recent round of consultation only took place in March.
Documents relating to a planning-performance agreement for the project published by City Hall reveal that Khan still believes the revised application could be evaluated and determined before the end of this year – but only if the plans are lodged in the next few days.
One document states that a planning-performance agreement made between the Greater London Authority (GLA) – Khan’s officers – and the developers agrees that consideration of the Goodsyard application will require a “dedicated and suitably experienced planning officer at the GLA”.
It noted that Ballymore and Hammerson had agreed to fund the post in full, and that it was “anticipated that the position will cease in December 2019”.
“A full public and stakeholder consultation exercise will be undertaken by the GLA on receipt of the revised proposal before the anticipated planning report and recommendation to the Mayoral Representation Hearing, anticipated for some time in late 2019,” it said. However, the document suggested the timescale involved the submission of the application by the end of this month.
Khan is responsible for determining the Bishopsgate Goodsyard proposals because his predecessor Boris Johnson used his planning powers to take the application out of the hands of Tower Hamlets and Hackney councils in 2015.
Ballymore and Hammerson took their proposals for the prime 4.4ha City-fringe site back to the drawing board after a residential-led 1,354-home scheme with towers by PLP was put on hold in 2016, following opposition over its scale and massing. The architect subsequently walked away from the project.
The developers then pushed ahead with a lower-rise scheme featuring an office tower by Eric Parry Architects – along with retail, leisure and housing elements by project mainstays Buckley Gray Yeoman, Chris Dyson, and Spacehub. It is this scheme – masterplanned by FaulknerBrowns – that is expected to return to City Hall any day.
When designs for the commercial-led revised plans emerged in November last year, Khan said the scheme could be determined this summer if the project team lodged their plans before January.
Since November, the development team has steadily increased the quantity of housing proposed from the scheme. As of March, Ballymore and Hammerson were targeting 132,700 sq m of work space, 500 homes, 3,400 sq m of cultural space, and a 150-bedroom hotel.
The scheme’s Parry-designed lynchpin tall building was described as being 29 storeys, rather than the 46-storey tallest element of the PLP-led scheme.
While the reduction in storeys suggests a drop in height of more than a third, the actual reduction in height from the earlier scheme’s tallest element is less than a quarter – from 177.6m to 139m.
A spokesperson for the Bishopsgate Goodsyard development team said work was progressing well with the scheme.
“We have been engaged in positive and constructive conversations with the GLA, Hackney and Tower Hamlets and have listened carefully to feedback from a wide range of local and interested stakeholders at our recently completed public consultation,” they said.
“We will be submitting our revised proposals for this important site in due course.”