1-8 Long Lane – application to convert site to hotel now submitted

The expected application from the developers of the site at 1-8 Long Lane has now been submitted and all of the associated documents can be viewed on the City of London’s planning website (Planning Reference: 23/01417/FULMAJ).

The application is for the: “Demolition of existing buildings to basement level and construction of a nine storey plus basement level building for hotel use (Class C1) with retail (Class E(a) / E(b)) use at part ground and basement levels together with ancillary cycle parking, associated servicing, plant, amenity terraces, landscaping and other associated works

What is being proposed?

The documents appear consistent with the plans shown at the time of the public consultation in September/October 2023. In addition to the brief summary of the proposals above, the Planning Statement states that “The proposal will occupy a long, triangular site on Long Lane, with a pocket garden at the eastern end designed by Farrer Huxley, and with significantly more planting and public seating than the hard-landscaped area currently features. Double doors from the ground floor retail unit will open onto the garden. The remainder of the ground floor will be the hotel reception and guest lounge, with various back-of-house facilities and two vertical circulation cores. Hotel accommodation is arranged on both sides of a central circulation route on levels 01-08. The building steps back on the two uppermost levels to provide private guest terraces with level threshold to some guest rooms”. The full Planning Statement can be read here.

Proposed access to the hotel

In terms of access to the proposed hotel, Volume 10 of the Design & Access Statement states that “The main guest access to the hotel is off Long Lane. The retail unit will also be accessed from Long Lane. Delivery access will be the south of the site on Long Lane with goods in to the rear of the building at GF level. Staff will enter the site via the pocket garden around to the rear pedestrian / cycle entrance”

We would note that although many hotel guests are likely to use public transport to access the hotel, Long Lane is a busy narrow road and this may give rise to concerns about the prospect of regular traffic congestion with taxis picking up and dropping off residents. We do note, however, that there is a designated small servicing road at the rear of the proposed hotel. 

Proposed building slightly (very) lower than the 2021 consented scheme

Volume 7 of the Design and Access Statement, which can be viewed here, states that “the project team has worked hard to design a building that sits within its local context. This involved determining an appropriate height that can not only accommodate the hotel but also takes into consideration our neighbours and the consented 2021 scheme. Our proposed building, excluding plant equipment, is approx. 350mm lower than the 2021 consented scheme”. (nb. In old money, that is c1.75 inches!).

Given that the previous consented scheme was not only approved back in 2021 but was also for the demolition and construction of a new office block on the larger site of 1-12 Long Lane, it is perhaps hard to recall the height and mass of what was approved then and what is being asked for on the smaller site now. In this regard, Volume 7 also provides some useful depictions of the proposals.  

Concerns re adverse impact on residential amenity remain

All of the issues which were of concern in the previous application such as inappropriate height, massing and significant loss of residential amenity in the form of e.g. loss of light, privacy issues such as overlooking, light and noise pollution etc clearly remain with this current application. The Heritage, Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment documents, Volumes 8 and 9, show the height and massing of the proposed development from sites at or near the Barbican.

In terms of loss of light, overshadowing etc, the Daylight and Sunlight analysis throw up the usual conclusions. For Seddon House, Lauderdale Tower and John Trundle Court the effects of the proposed building on daylight and sunlight are all deemed to be “within the recommendations of the BRE guidelines. The effects are therefore considered negligible”.

In terms of loss of privacy, overlooking, light and noise pollution, the Planning Statement states at Point 7.94 “On upper floors of the Proposed Development, guest rooms include a private ’garden’ for guests to use. Contemporary design to terraces and balconies provides immersion within nature when looking out from these rooms, bringing benefits for small scale ecology and guest mental 33 wellbeing. Low to ground planting will creep between paving stones softening and adding colour to surrounding architecture enhancing the views out to the City”. However there are no accompanying reassurances provided as to the timing and scale of the proposed use of these outside spaces – an important omission given their proximity to the many residences in the near vicinity, especially those in John Trundle Court, Lauderdale Tower, Defoe House and Seddon House.

However, you will recall that whilst the objections and concerns raised may (or may not) have been noted, the previous office development scheme was approved, giving rise to concerns that raising the same issues again will just have the same outcome.

Conditions were attached to the previous consented scheme……

Having said that however it is worth noting that the prior planning consent in 2021 did have conditions attaching to it which restricted, inter alia, the use of the terraces on the office development to between 8am-9pm on weekdays only. No live, amplified or other music was to be played on the roof terraces and no promoted events were to be allowed on the premises.

These conditions were imposed in order to “safeguard the amenity of the adjoining premises and the area generally in accordance with the following policies of the Local Plan: DM15.7, DM21.3.”

Should this current hotel proposal be approved, we would suggest that such conditions, with perhaps stricter time restrictions, should also be applied to this application in order to protect the amenity of the many residential flats in the near vicinity

Standard Consultation Expiry Date

The Standard Consultation Expiry date is 28th February 2024. Any representations can be made here

1 comment

  1. As an adjacent resident in John Trundle Court I am extremely concerned about the amount of noise and traffic which will be generated by a Hotel with its staff and visitors at all times of day and night on this small corner site.

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