Planning & Licensing update – 27th August

In terms of new applications, there have been few of particular note submitted over the past month. On the domestic front, residential flat refurbishment applications where Listed Building Consent is required continue to flow through steadily. Indeed, there have been 23 in the year to date compared to just 10 in the same period last year – no wonder we have all had to buy new ear plugs!  

On the commercial front there are a couple of issues which should be highlighted. The first relates to two recent applications from 21 Moorfields and the second to an application from 2 London Wall Place for change of use of the vacant space on the ground/first floor from restaurant to offices.

21 Moorfields – bollards  – and orange lighting

By way of brief background, the development at 21 Moorfields is moving relentlessly onwards and upwards. Whilst planning permission for the scheme was granted some time ago, conditions (as is the case for virtually all major developments) were attached to that permission which require further details to be submitted and approved at various stages. In this regard, the developers have recently submitted two Material Discharge Conditions (MDCs).

Bollards…….

The first relates to details of the proposed “hostile vehicle mitigation measures” (ie. bollards) that are being proposed to provide security for the building in Moor Lane (planning reference number:19/00717/MDC)

An article detailing this application “Moor Lane – why such a poor relation to London Wall” has already been posted on the website. The BA has submitted an objection to this application  and has asked the City planners that, before any planning permission is waved through, proper co-ordination with the Moor Lane greening scheme be established. A proposal could then be submitted for a more appropriate design that would enhance the design of the streetscape which could then be taken to the promised Consultation on the scheme in September.

If anyone feels that they would also like to comment on this application then please just click here.

……and orange lighting for the City Walkway Bridge over Moor Lane??

The developers then submitted another application, this time relating to alterations to City Walkway Bridge over Moor Lane. (planning reference number: 19/00186/MDC).

Again by way of brief background, we were told at a recent online meeting with the developers that the underside of the cantilevered section of the Walkway Bridge is to be orange and the proposal is to light it so that the light falls onto the steps below. If the orange is to light the steps then it will clearly be on 24/7. The planning application submitted does not actually show this proposed orange lighting, an omission which we feel is rather misleading, as the pictures below demonstrate. The first one shows the proposal with the orange cantilevered section whilst the second is the picture submitted in the application – showing no orange at all.

Given the proximity to the many bedrooms opposite, we plan to object to this on the grounds of light pollution and loss of residential amenity. Orange lighting is, in our view, also not in keeping with the character and appearance of the surrounding Grade II Listed buildings directly opposite. 

The BA and nearby residents have objected to this proposal. Subtle lighting on the steps themselves would surely be a more sensible solution and would not affect the lives of so many residents in the near vicinity.   If any resident is of a similar view, they can similarly object by commenting on this proposal here

2 London Wall Place – change from restaurant to office use

An application from 2 London Wall Place (ref: 21/00678/FULL) has been submitted for the change of use of the vacant part on ground/first floor from restaurant to office use. From the nearby residents’ point of view, this clearly seems a better option than a restaurant – and, indeed, far better than the events management company which we understand had previously shown interest!

The only potential cause for concern is the use – or more precisely the timing of the use – of the small patio area abutting the Highwalk. The managers of the property, Brookfield Estates, confirmed that the patio area would form part of the site and the occupants would be able to use it even though it was not demised. They did reassure however that stringent rules would be imposed as to the use of the outside space and when and what it could or could not be used for.

However, in order to both protect residents’ amenity and prevent noise disturbance, we are of the view that a condition should form part of any approval granted which would limit the hours of usage of the outside space to, say, 9pm. It is our intention therefore to request that the City of London Planning Department consider this.

If any resident is of a similar view, they can similarly request that this condition should form part of any planning approval by commenting on the relevant webpage here

On a lighter note……….

For anyone who did not see this recent article in The Guardian headed “Does London really need a gigantic glowing orb the height of Big Ben?” can read it here. Let us hope that the City planners have not seen it and get any ideas……………

And finally, the first sighting of the “C” word. For those who think it is still summer, a recent application has been submitted for the proposed use of Broadgate Circle for a “temporary Christmas Forest installation”. And yes it really is only August………………

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