On Monday 28 November 2016 the City of London's Planning and
Transport Committee approved (19 votes in favour, 2 against) a
resolution to grant permission for the development known as 1
Undershaft which at 73 storeys will be the tallest building in the
City of London (that is 304.94m or a little over 1,000ft for the
So isthis the time for developers to think big and
The proposed development is (self-evidently) a "tall
building". It will deliver a gross floor area of
154,100m2 (GEA), including 131,937m2 of
office space and a 2,930m2 public viewing gallery on
Levels 71 and 72. The Undershaft scheme appears to have many
similarities with another recently debated "tall
building", the Pinnacle. Like the Pinnacle, if the benefits of
a scheme and the delivery of objectives in line with planning
policy guidelines can be demonstrated, planning permission is more
likely to follow. See our
previous post on the Pinnacle.
The City of London commented that "the proposal accords to
the development plan as a whole". Further 1 Undershaft will
deliver 7% of the additional office floor space sought in the
London Local Plan, which aims to increase City employment by 35.6%
by 2036, and is also in line with "strategic objective 1 in
The City of London Local Plan 2015" which is "to maintain
the City's position as the world's leading international
financial and business centre". 1 Undershaft may eventually
house up to 10,000 workers.
This Decision could further be seen as a rubber stamping of the
Government's comments that "London is open for
business". Chris Hayward, the chairman of the City Planning
Committee, said: "This development shows the high levels of
investor confidence in London's status as a global city
following our decision to leave the European Union."
We now expect a period of negotiation to begin between the
landowner/developer and affected neighbouring land owners whose
rights to light may be infringed by the development of 1
Undershaft. These discussions will be set against the new powers
that can be used to extinguish neighbours' rights to light
under s203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. When the Pinnacle
was in difficulties with rights to light the City used s237 Town
& Country Planning Act powers to extinguish such rights.
We therefore wait to see how this matter unfolds and whether
this may be a "test case" for the new legislation.
Remember, developers, if you can think big and justify that the
benefits of the scheme outweigh the burdens and rights deprived,
the sky might just be the limit...
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