Planning and Licensing News Update – May 2021

  • The BA has submitted its response to the consultation on the City’s Draft Local Plan. You can read it here.
  • A small group is proposing changes to the City’s Code of Practice for Deconstruction and Construction sites to make it stronger in its protection of neighbours of building sites. Contact Jane Smith for more information

Planning Applications

The current situation with regard to recent planning applications is as follows:

New planning applications received

City Place House (ref: 21/00116/FULMAJ)

  • The application for the demolition of the 9-storey City Place House at 55 Basinghall Street and its replacement with a 12-storey building “for commercial, business and service use with retail use at ground floor level” has now been validated. The new development will see a major expansion of the site’s footprint (from c24500sq m to c45000 sq m) and the closure of Highwalk from London Wall to Guildhall whilst construction work is taking place
  • The application also includes the partial demolition, reconfiguration and refurbishment of the lower floors of the adjacent City Tower (40 Basinghall Street). The existing first floor terrace area is to be reconfigured and re-landscaped and a new pedestrian route will be created between London Wall and Basinghall Street.
  • This application also involves the rescission and alteration of areas of the City Walkway through City Place House and City Tower, and the rescission and alterations to the city walkway and walkway bridge over Basinghall Street. This will include the partial removal, re-alignment and reinstatement of the Bassishaw Highwalk.
  • In conjunction with the above application, there is an associated application (65-65A Basinghall Street; ref: 21/00201/LBC) concerning the removal of part of the Highwalk and installation of a new City Walkway bridge

Full details of these applications can be viewed here.

Barbican Estate signage (ref: 21/00325/LBC)

The City of London Planning Dept has finally published the application for Listed Building Consent for the “replacement of behaviour signage across the Barbican Estate”.

The signs are to be 600mm wide, 300mm high and 19mm deep to be placed at 30 strategic locations around the Estate, chosen so as to be “visible from entrances on to the Highwalks”.

Full details of this application can be viewed here

Planning applications approved

  • 18-19 Long Lane: refurbishment and increase in height of 2 floors (approval granted 23 March 2021; ref: 20/00798/FULL)
  • Ironmongers Hall: addition of two floor to Ferroner’s House (approval granted 30 March 2021; ref:20/00986/FULL)

Planning applications approved by the Planning & Transportation Committee but yet to be formally ratified

  • 150 Aldersgate Street: two additional floors + expansion into Bartholomew Place (ref:20/00371/FULMAJ)
  • 1-12 Long Lane: demolition of existing buildings and construction of 10-storey office building (ref: 18/01020/FULMAJ)

Planning applications submitted but still to come to the Planning & Transportation Committee for approval

  • The Turrett: conversion into residential flat (ref:20/00272/LBC)
  • Wood Street Police Station: conversion of site into luxury hotel and spa (ref: 20/00773/FULL & 20/00774/LBC)

If you would like any further information on these or see any previous applications made over the past five years then please contact Sue Cox for a full list.

Planning applications pending

  • In December 2020, the Planning and Transportation Committee approved the repurposing of 39 spaces in London Wall Car Park for use as an Amazon last mile logistics hub. This is part of the City’s 25-year Transport Strategy to reduce the number of motorised freight vehicles on its streets and lessen traffic congestion.

    This proposal is, however, subject to Amazon Logistics obtaining planning consent for the change of use of the space and it is expected that the planning application will be submitted “in the coming weeks”

Next Planning & Transportation Committee meeting

The next Planning & Transportation Committee meeting is to be held on Tuesday 8th June 2021.

Once the agenda is published, we will inform of the key items accordingly.


On the Licensing front, the number of applications submitted for pavement licences has increased significantly in the past few weeks as the prospect of the easing of lockdown gathers pace.

What are pavement licences ?

A pavement licence is a licence granted by the local authority… which allows the licence-holder to place removable furniture over certain highways adjacent to the premises….. these licences to remain in place for a year but not beyond 30 September 2021. Where a pavement licence is granted, clear access routes on the highway will need to be maintained, taking into account the needs of all users, including disabled people.

Planning permission is not required – once a licence is granted, or deemed to be granted, the applicant will also benefit from deemed planning permission to use the land for anything done pursuant to the licence while the licence is valid.

Very quick consultation process

Pavement licences are presently granted primarily under Part 7A of the Highways Act 1980. …..The fee for applying for a licence under the new process, is capped at £100 and the consultation period is 5 working days (excluding public holidays) starting the day after the application is sent electronically to the authority.

If the local authority does not determine the application before the end of the determination period….. the licence is deemed to have been granted …..and the business can place the proposed furniture such as tables and chairs within the area set out in the application for the purpose or purposes proposed.

Wood Street Bar & Restaurant – licence applied for and then withdrawn

Wood Street Bar & Restaurant in Fore Street submitted and then withdrew an application for a pavement licence to set up 60 table places directly outside the bar “to be used by persons for consumption of food or drink” on the following days and times: Monday-Friday 11.30am – 7.30pm and Saturday-Sunday 11.30am- 5.30pm.

Many objections to this application were lodged prior to its withdrawal. Our understanding is that a revised plan will be submitted by the premises in due course and we will respond accordingly once the new details are known

Other pavement applications in the reasonably close vicinity of the Barbican Estate include:

St Barts Brewery, 66 West Smithfield

The Globe PH, 83 Moorgate

Costa Coffee, 67 Long Lane for a new pavement licence Monday-Sunday 6.30am – 5.30pm

Dose, 70 Long Lane for a new pavement licence Monday-Saturday 7.00am – 5.00pm

Apulia, 50 Long Lane has applied for a new pavement Monday-Sunday 12pm-11pm

Area news update

  • 2021 The Square Mile – Future City
    The City Corporation has recently published a document entitled “2021 The Square Mile: Future City” which sets out how the City “must adapt to post-pandemic economic and social trends in order to remain a world-leading ecosystem”. The report sets out a “vision for the next five years with detailed actions to enhance the City’s competitiveness and attractiveness…… ensure the Square Mile is the world’s most innovative, inclusive and sustainable ecosystem as well as an attractive place to work, live, learn and visit”. The report can be read here.
  • Changing City Skyline
    A recently published press release from the City of London Corporation shows “updated images visualising how the Square Mile’s skyline will look by the mid 2020s. The new images capture all major developments which have been resolved to approve by the City’s Planning & Transportation Committee over the past 12 months. The release contains a list of the 12 new buildings approved and their heights, which range from 135m-304.9m. There are also approx 6 further tall buildings (of over 75m) applications currently being discussed by the City of London Corporation’s Planning Team with developers. The full press release can be read here.
  • City of London’s “unwavering” confidence in resilience of City’s office market
    In a letter to the Editor of the Financial Times, the City of London Corporation stated that it was “simply incorrect” of the newspaper to suggest that the Corporation was “looking to tilt the balance away from the primary business role of the Square Mile through converting offices to housing” as part of its recovery plans. The Corporation reiterated that “offices remain at the core of our recovery plan” and that it had “committed to growing high quality office floorspace by a minimum of 2m sq metres during the period 2016-2036 in our draft City Plan. Indeed the press release confirmed that the Planning & Transportation Committee had “granted consent to applications equivalent of almost 80% of the total office floorspace – or 190,297 sq metres – approved for the whole of last year”. The full letter can be read here.
  • Centre for Music no more….but Barbican Centre to get major facelift
    As most people will now be aware, the City has confirmed that “given the current unprecedented circumstances, its ambitious plans for a Centre for Music will not be progressed. Alternative proposals for the site – currently occupied by the Museum of London – will be brought forward over the coming months”. The accompanying press release states that instead there is to be “a major renewal of the City’s leading cultural destination, the Barbican Centre” with “plans to reimagine and upgrade the 40-year-old complex”. To achieve this “a competitive selection process to find a world-class architect-led team to take this project forward will be launched later this year”.
  • Planning & Transportation Committee
    The most recent meeting of the Planning & Transportation Committee was held on Wednesday 12th May 2021. Two key agenda items were discussed: Item 5 ” to formally receive the Petition presented by Mark Bostock to the 15th April 2021 meeting of the Court of Common Council regarding the City of London Corporation’s current planning process” (the petition has been signed by over 1200 people) and Item 6 Daylight and Sunlight Guidance (given that the proliferation of new developments in the vicinity can impact hugely on residential amenity in the form of loss of light). The outcomes are awaited.

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