City of London planners busier than pre-pandemic

Grant Prior 12 months ago
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The City of London Corporation received more planning applications in November than the same month last year.

Officials said incoming applications now exceeding pre-pandemic levels shows “confidence in the City remains robust.”

Since the national lockdown in March, the number of planning applications received by the City Corporation has been gradually increasing despite a slight easing off over the summer.

Autumn saw a steady rise in applications with November seeing a 7% rise on last year while more planning decisions were also made.

The number of schemes being negotiated at the pre-application stage remains at a very high level indicating a strong City pipeline for 2021.

Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation, Alastair Moss, said: “These sustained high-volume development figures show the City continues to be an attractive and world-class location for developers and investors, despite the pandemic.

“The high volume of planning applications, including for high-quality and flexible office space, show that the confidence in the City remains robust. Businesses still require a central space where colleagues can meet to collaborate, innovate and socialise.

“For now, it remains vital that all Londoners act responsibly and continue to follow the Government guidance – but these development figures demonstrate the enduring power of the Square Mile as a global hub for business.”

Among the planning applications received in 2020 were major strategic transformative schemes and a trend towards cultural resurgence in the Square Mile, including the Museum of London’s proposal to create a new museum in West Smithfield.

In June, the City Corporation approved the Museum of London’s plans which promise an exceptional cultural visitor attraction and many substantial economic, environmental, cultural and social benefits for the area.

The City Corporation’s planning pipeline looks to build on the strong end to 2020, with many significant developments nearing the final stages of refinement before being submitted for decision in 2021.

To manage demand, the City of London Corporation recently reinforced the planning department by recruiting additional City planners and introduced the new roles of a senior Major Projects officer, a Planning Delivery Officer and a senior role focussing on sustainability.

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