Planning update 28th October 2021

1 Golden Lane acquired by Castleforge Partners

It has been announced that, following the departure of UBS, property investment firm Castleforge Partners has acquired 1 Golden Lane and plans to fully refurbish the building ‘as part of its renewed strategy for investment in London’s commercial market’. The firm has stated that the internal structure is to be redesigned and will ‘incorporate roof gardens and landscaping around the building to improve the area for incoming occupiers and local stakeholders’.

As this project is in its very early stages, no preliminary plans are available as yet (a pity as it will be very interesting indeed to see where they plan to locate the roof gardens on those pitched zinc roofs). However, the developers are in the process of contacting all key stakeholders to introduce themselves and we have been advised that briefings are due to begin shortly, perhaps as early as next week.

We will obviously provide updates as and when we know more.  

New Barbican Centre boss has big plans for the future

Not strictly to do with Planning Matters, but in a recent article in The Times, the headline of an interview with new Barbican Centre boss Will Gompertz (ex BBC) says that he wants “to turn the Barbican into the Old Trafford of the arts”. He apparently chose Old Trafford as an icon for the Barbican Centre to aspire to as it was a place which not only showcases “the greatest practioners in the world” (really? – did you see the game last Sunday Mr Gompertz?!) but also means “something very deep and personal to millions of people who live around”.  

Moving swiftly on, the article reports that Mr Gompertz has “adored the Barbican Centre” for years and describes it as an “architectural masterpiece”. When asked what his plans for the Centre’s future were, he responded that “the journey is to turn the Barbican from being an international arts centre into an international arts, education and enterprise centre”.  One way to achieve this would be via “creative enterprise” – he would like the Barbican “to set up a venture capital fund, using private money from City financiers, so it becomes a hub of support for new creative businesses”. The article goes on “He even knows where they could be housed. We have huge exhibition halls, he says, What are we going to do with those? You could put a school in. We have amazing car parks. How could they be repurposed?”

Schools in exhibition halls? Repurposed car parks? Interesting times may lie ahead! The full article can be read here 

Decision on the Tulip

Again whilst not strictly a planning issue affecting the Barbican Estate, just to update that the Planning Inspectorate has recently written to all the parties to the Public Inquiry advising that the Appeal on ‘the Tulip’ will be made by way of a decision from Government on or before 11 November 2021.

Please let them come to the right decision!

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