City Plan 2040 document will now be sent out for public consultation before heading to the government for final approval

The City of London has formally approved its plan to build 1.2 million sq m of office floorspace over the next 16 years.

The City Plan 2040 has been rubber stamped by the Square Mile’s primary decision making body, the Court of Common Council, the last of three committees votes it needed to pass.

The document, which also sets out how the City will attempt to become a seven-day-a-week cultural and leisure destination, had previously been approved by the planning and transportation committee and the policy and resource committee.

It will now be published for public consultation before being evaluated by an independent planning inspector and finally being sent to the secretary of state for approval later this year.

Undershaft 2024 5

Eric Parry’s revised plans for 1 Undershaft, which would be the tallest tower in the City

Policy chairman and political leader of the City of London Corporation, Chris Hayward, said: “The City is an asset to London, the UK and the world. It creates jobs, drives investment and is home to many precious heritage assets, all of which are for the benefit of communities, both domestically and overseas.

“As policy chairman and political leader of the City of London Corporation, I want to urge everyone connected with the Square Mile to participate in the public consultation round, to ensure that the City can realise its potential as the most innovative, inclusive and sustainable place to invest, work, live, learn and visit.”

New details released earlier this year outlined three “key areas of change” where the new office floorspace will be built, including two areas earmarked for tall buildings.

Most of the new floorspace will be mopped up by the City cluster, the group of towers in the eastern half of the City where Stanhope wants to build the 74-storey 1 Undershaft, which was submitted for planning last month.

This will be supplemented by smaller areas deemed suitable for new development around Fleet Street and Liverpool Street.

A new contour map included in a draft document for the 2040 plan sets out the maximum heights of tall buildings in the City cluster, which has a central peak around 1 Undershaft of 300m, although Eric Parry’s proposals for the site would rise to more than 309m.

A much smaller area in the west of the City around Holborn and Fleet Street is the only other area where tall buildings would be allowed under the plan, with a stricter height limit of no more than 90m.

>> See also: Eric Parry submits full planning application for revised 1 Undershaft

The plan also aims to make the City’s riverside play an “enhanced role” for the City with more leisure, culture and recreation destinations with enhanced greening and connectivity.

Office developments in general must take a ‘retrofit first’ approach, prioritising the refurbishment of existing space over newbuild options in a policy assigned “significant importance” in the plan.

All large developments will be required to achieve a minimum BREEAM rating of “excellent”, and aim for “outstanding”, and a minimum five star NABERS UK rating.

The City has previously announced an ambition for a “net zero Square Mile” by 2040, 10 years ahead of the government’s target for the rest of the UK.