City of London Corporation maps out the Square Mile's future development

The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee today voted on the Square Mile’s most ambitious Local Plan in decades.

The Local Plan (‘City Plan 2036’) presents a vision to 2036, outlining plans to deliver sustainable development in the City ranging from creating space for businesses to grow, improved transport and servicing, a unique historic environment, healthy streets, vibrant culture, green infrastructure, tall buildings and protected views.

Key development guidance over the next 20 years include:

  • Encouraging office floorspace that is flexible and adaptable to meet the demands of different types of business occupiers, enabling more incubators, start-ups and other small and medium sized companies to set-up here.
  • For the first time, a policy on urban greening: all new developments and refurbishments will be required to include a greening element to the building or public realm to contribute to improving biodiversity, rainwater run-off, air and noise pollution, temperature regulation, and making the City a more visually desirable business location.
  • Developers, along with the transport, delivery and servicing industries will be expected to contribute to freight transport consolidation measures to reduce air pollution.
  • Together with the City’s first Transport Strategy, there is a greater emphasis on pavement space and prioritisation of pedestrians. Providing pedestrian routes through new buildings, similar to that seen at the new Bloomberg HQ and for the approved 1 Undershaft, will become more of a trend.
  • Additional housing on suitable sites seeks to meet the Mayor’s draft London Plan target of 146 City dwellings per year, with affordable housing required on-site.
  • Office space will be complemented by other commercial, cultural and retail growth wherever appropriate, adding to the City’s vibrant 24/7 evolution.

The City Plan 2036 identifies seven key areas of change, where the City Corporation is promoting continued sustainable growth:

  • Liverpool Street area will be a thriving retail environment. Significant enhancements at Broadgate, with plans that when combined with 100 Liverpool Street, would match the current retail offer at 1 New Change on the City’s ‘high-street’.
  • Smithfield and Barbican ‘Culture Mile’ plans include the relocation of the Museum of London to West Smithfield, and the proposed Centre for Music alongside the existing Barbican Centre. Beech Street will be transformed into a cleaner and more welcoming food and retail environment.
  • The Eastern City Cluster will grow to close the gap between the isolated Walkie-Talkie and the rest of the cluster of towers, while introducing more animated ground floor spaces such as the recently completed £50m investment by the Tower 42 estate, in a new retail boulevard called The Avenue. Changes will also include pedestrian priority areas, a push for off-site consolidation and the re-timing of freight and deliveries outside of peak hours.

  • Redevelopment of the post-war sites at Blackfriars provides scope to enhance surroundings including improved access to the enhanced riverside walkway. A large new open space will be provided by the key infrastructure project, Thames Tideway Tunnel.

  • The Pool of London is an iconic part of the City’s riverside where regeneration plans will boost its attractiveness and vibrancy. Use of the River Thames will also increase significantly if new riverside infrastructure enables it to become a major corridor for the movement of people and the transport of materials.

  • The newly redeveloped Aldgate Square will be the focal point between Aldgate and Tower Gateway with plans for better cycling facilities, pedestrian connections and public transport capacity in the area.
  • Fleet Street; 30 years after newspapers moved out, large 1980s office buildings are reaching the end of their leases, with Deloitte and Freshfields moving elsewhere in the City. Alongside a potential new judicial centre, recent creative arrivals such as Framestore and Saatchi and Saatchi, and the proximity to the new Thameslink service and upcoming Elizabeth line, provide an opportunity to refresh the area and property market.

Chris Hayward, Planning and Transportation Committee Chairman at the City of London Corporation said:

“With 150 days to go until Britain officially leaves the EU, it is more important than ever to future-proof the City for the next generation of workers, residents and visitors.

“The Local Plan, which was today approved for consultation by elected Planning and Transportation Committee members, envisages a more attractive, dynamic, inclusive and modern Square Mile in the future, while recognising that we must also cherish our unique heritage assets.

“More than ever we are seeing that businesses are making location decisions based on the quality of the buildings, local amenities and public realm that they can offer their employees.

“With 1.37 million m² of office space under construction which has the potential to accommodate 85,000 future workers, and a 25-year Transport Strategy also underway, this is a once in a generation opportunity to drive cutting-edge and sustainable economic, environmental and cultural change in the heart of London.”

The City Plan 2036 will be open for public consultation on Monday 12 November until the end of February 2019.

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City of London Local Plan draft policies may be found here: http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=78855

Local Plans are required to look ahead over a minimum 15-year period to anticipate and respond to long-term requirements and opportunities, such as those arising from major improvements in infrastructure. They are reviewed at least every five years.

The City of London Local Plan generally conforms with the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework and the Mayor of London’s Draft London Plan 2017.

By preparing a new Local Plan covering the period to 2036, the City Corporation will address national and strategic objectives, whilst also maintaining a positive planning framework to meet the City’s local and long-term needs.