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Leadenhall Court 1 Leadenhall Street London EC3V 1PP

Report of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director.

Minutes:

Deputy Alistair Moss (Deputy Chairman) withdrew from the meeting for this Item.

 

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director seeking approval for the demolition of the existing building and redevelopment to provide a 36 storey building with 28 floors for office use (Class B1) with retail floorspace (Class A1-A4) at basement, ground and fourth floor, office lobby and loading bay at ground floor, a publicly accessible terrace at fourth floor, 5 floors of plant and ancillary basement cycle parking (63,613sq.m GIA).

 

The Assistant Director, Planning and Development reminded Members that this follows a previous permission which was granted by the Planning and Transportation Committee on 25th January 2017, which was the subject of an application for a non-material amendment granted on 22nd February 2018. He went on to highlight that this application differs from the previous proposal in the following ways:

• Reduction in retail provision and increase in office space;

• Relocation of the servicing bay from Whittington Avenue to Gracechurch Street;

• Widening of the pavements on Gracechurch Street and Leadenhall Street;

• Reduction in the basement depth;

• Reduction in height;

• Façade refinements; and

• Relocation of the public terrace from level 2 to level 4.

 

He added that deliveries would be consolidated and would be restricted through the S106 agreement so that they take place outside pedestrian peaks.

 

He drew Members’ attention to the fact that the planting of five trees was proposed on either side of the loading bay as part of the wind mitigation strategy.

 

The Assistant Director, Planning and Development reported that the development was adjacent to both the Bank and Leadenhall conservation areas. Overall, it was hoped that the scheme would enhance the retail and pedestrian nature of the area and would be a successful addition to the City Cluster – as such Officers recommended that planning permission be granted.

 

An additional condition aimed at safeguarding the amenity of the adjoining premises and an amended condition 16 was tabled.

 

Members proceeded to debate the application.

 

A Member commented that, with the aim being to make the area more pedestrianised, there should be higher tests around wind, particularly in the terrace area where people should expect to be able to sit outside comfortably all year round.

 

He went on to state that Whittington Avenue was not very aesthetically pleasing and suggested that, in the long term, thought might be given to installing a glass canopy over this to help further transform the area and make it as welcoming as possible.

 

Another Member questioned whether an assessment of the anticipated increased footfall in the area had been carried out. The Assistant Director, Planning and Development reported that pedestrian flow had been assessed alongside TfL and that both parties agreed that this would be acceptable going forward.

 

A Member raised concerns around noise, dust and vibrations as a result of the works and the possible effects this might have on businesses in the market trying to increase footfall and also on the current drainage system in the Market with mention of surface water drainage within the report. She questioned whether any mitigation would be put in place around these issues. The Assistant Director, Planning and Development reported that the developer would be required to provide details around this prior to commencing any works.

 

Another Member raised concerns around the service bay entrance being moved to Gracechurch Street which could lead to issues with the busy traffic lights at the junction here. He also questioned if access here had been discussed with TfL who might then be able to give further thought to the phasing of the lights. The Assistant Director, Planning and Development reported that banksmen would be used around the entrance to help direct and manage traffic and that Officers had fully engaged with TfL on this matter. Both parties were satisfied with the proposed arrangements.

 

A Member commented that he felt that the revised application appeared to be a real lost opportunity given that Leadenhall Market was supposed to be one of the City’s principal shopping areas and a reduction in retail provision was now proposed. He added that he felt that the developers proposals had therefore gone from too ambitious to not ambitious enough on the retail front.

 

Another Member disagreed with this point and suggested that the City Corporation needed to look again at retail given the changing nature of this and the increasing number of high street retailers going bust. The Assistant Director, Planning and Development stated that, whilst the amended proposals were for less retail space, they would still result in more retail space than was on site at present. Officers were satisfied that the proposals achieved the right balance here.

 

In response to questions around the public viewing gallery offer, the Assistant Director, Planning and Development reported that this was a very different offer to elsewhere given that it would be at a lower level and would also create some synergy with the 4th floor restaurant proposals. With the development expected to house 4,000 employees, it was also felt that the external space offer was particularly beneficial.

 

A Member commented that this appeared to be an improvement in comparison to the original application but added that she felt that there were elements which required more discipline on the developers part. She went on to state that, whilst deliveries were to be capped to a maximum of four per hour in between peak times (10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 16:00), consolidation would still be essential. With regards to wind, the report states that strong winds would only occur for 1.8 hours per year, however, this was very close to the threshold of 2 hours per year and it was therefore felt that more mitigation was needed here.

 

The Member went on to state that she felt that the developer could make greater efforts with regard to achieving a satisfactory BREEAM rating. With regard to the informative concerning cooking and ventilation, the Member commented that the Committee had considered this matter at their last meeting and had been of the view that all ventilation equipment should be cleaned daily. She asked that this be reflected here. The Assistant Director, Planning and Development agreed with this point and undertook to look at some standard wording around this and attach an appropriate condition.

 

In response to the comments regarding strong winds and mitigation, the Assistant Director, Planning and Development reported that this had been the subject of rigorous testing and that the City’s most up to date guidance on this had been used. It was something that would also be revisited after a year from the commencement of works. He added that Officers were satisfied that the wind conditions were suitable in terms of terrace use with the imposed conditions. He also clarified that a consolidation centre would be used for deliveries.

 

Henry Colthurst moved that an additional condition be added stipulating that acceptable wind measurement on the terrace should be seating standard and standing standard in all other areas.

 

The motion was seconded by William Upton.

 

The Assistant Director, Planning and Development reported that, whilst, a condition along these lines could be imposed, the developer had currently met all of the City’s existing criteria in this area. He would therefore need the Chairman to agree to some flexible wording around targeting certain wind levels.

 

A Member commented that, given that the application before the Committee was consistent with the Corporation’s current policies, it was an area that Officers should be asked to strengthen in due course as opposed to being asked to make policy ‘on the hoof’.

 

Henry Colthurst withdrew the motion and asked, instead, that Officers look closely at this matter in due course.

 

The application was then put to the vote where it was unanimously approved with no abstentions.

 

RESOLVED – That,

 

(a) The application be referred to the Mayor of London to decide whether to allow the Corporation to grant planning permission as recommended, or to direct refusal, or to determine the application himself (Article 5(1)(a) of the Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008);

 

(b) Planning permission be GRANTED for the above proposal in accordance with the details set out in the attached schedule subject to the Mayor deciding to allow the Corporation to grant planning permission, the planning obligations and other agreements being entered into in respect of those matters set out in the report, the decision notice not to be issued until such obligations have been executed;

 

(c) Officers be instructed to negotiate and execute obligations in respect of those matters set out in the report under Section 106 and any necessary agreements under Section 278 of the Highway Act 1980.

 

 

 

Supporting documents:

 


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