50 Fenchurch Street
City of London Approves Planning Applications for New Development
We were delighted to share our ambitious proposal with members last autumn. Today, we can announce that the City of London has given us the green light on this project. See the City's press release here.
Resolution to grant planning consent was achieved for the project at the City of London’s first virtual public Planning and Transportation Committee, with 29 voting in favour and one abstention. The City of London’s ability to ensure planning processes continue transparently is applauded, given its importance in ensuring London’s pre-eminence as a world financial centre. So many of our staff, members, and professional advisers have been involved in this achievement - we are indebted to all of you for your support!
The scheme designed by Eric Parry Architects includes a new office building, replacement Livery Hall for The Clothworkers’ Company, public roof garden and winter garden and a significant new public realm situated around a restored Grade I church tower. The scheme pioneers extensive urban greening in the City of London. 50 Fenchurch Street is at the forefront of the City of London’s drive for improved urban greening and enhanced public realm. The development will provide over 3,400 sq m of new public space, with a generous new public realm of approximately 1,500 sq m area at ground level. At Level 10 there is a 360-degree public viewing experience, allowing visitors to arrive at a large terrace with spectacular vistas over London. Level 10 also provides a double-height winter garden, which the public can access throughout the year. 50 Fenchurch Street will be the first building of this scale to incorporate extensive vertical landscaping in the City of London.
The proposed scheme will improve two listed buildings. The Grade I listed Tower of All Hallows Staining will be set within a new street level public realm. The Grade II Lambe’s Chapel Crypt will become publicly accessible.
The new office building will provide 78,000 sq m of office accommodation (GIA) over 35 storeys. The innovative external design significantly enhances the environmental performance of the façade. The façade includes bespoke ceramic cladding at ground, a seamless glazed podium level and a crafted glass detail on the upper levels. This when combined with the vertical landscaping creates a unique building for the City skyline.
Irrespective of Covid-19 the City office development pipeline is very constrained post 2020. This coincides with an upcoming peak in major lease events between 2023-2027, particularly in the legal sector. 50 Fenchurch Street is set to benefit from this future supply / demand imbalance. A new Clothworkers’ Hall will be located largely beneath the new proposed public realm. This will be the seventh Livery Hall for The Clothworkers’ Company, which has called the site home for nearly 500 years.
Eric Parry, Founder and Principal of Eric Parry Architects has commented: “The commission to redevelop a site of this scale and significance is special in any city but in the historic heart of the City of London it presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The design journey of this urban proposition has been one of the most remarkable alignments between commerce, culture and the public realm that I have experienced. The proposal will unite more than 800 years of the City of London’s history with its future in a development that will dramatically improve the experience of the city for all.”
Clerk to The Clothworkers’ Company, Jocelyn Stuart-Grumbar, has said: “We are excited about this bold proposal – which provides office accommodation that is especially suited to flexible working environments – and about the evolution of Clothworkers’ Hall. The project is part of our long-term strategy for investing in the future of The Clothworkers’ Company, as well as The Clothworkers’ Foundation, here in the City of London. This scheme offers us the opportunity to unlock our assets, increasing our charitable impact during a period in which this will be so essential.”
There are now various legal agreements to enter into with the City, and these can take several months to finalise. At the same time The Company will plan the strategy to market our site and enter into discussions with potential development partners. Although the economic conditions have been affected by the current Covid-19 pandemic, our project is a unique one, and we are hopeful that it will continue to attract interest. The advantage The Company has, however, is that it has very long-term time horizon, and if we feel that any offer made is not currently acceptable, we are able to wait for a period when conditions become more favourable.
The new Clothworkers’ Hall will be designed with our future needs in
mind – including the responsible management of our historic assets,
together with the comfort and wellbeing of our staff, members and
guests. It is important to all of us that we take the time necessary to
plan properly for our seventh hall on this historic site, and we look
forward to sharing those plans with you – as they develop – in the
months to come.
The slideshow below, which we shared with members last autumn, has been updated to explain the project.
Use the backward / forward arrows ( "<" or ">" ) in the bottom-left corner of the slideshow to navigate through the presentation.
Where are we in the process?
- In November 2019, we communicated our plans to members and key stakeholders in the community, and held a public exhibition in (20-21 November 2019).
- We submitted our planning applications at the end of the year (2019).
- As of 14 May 2020, the City of London Planning and Transportation Committee approved our planning applications.
When will all of this happen?
- We are still in the early stages of the process, having just received planning permission, the plans for the commercial tower and livery hall are likely to evolve in the coming months as we explore our options to bring these plans to fruition.
- A development is not certain and, if it were to proceed, work on site could not begin before 2022.
- There would be an estimated 10 months of demolition (including archaeological and conservation activities).
- If a development proceeds, it is estimated that the building of a commercial tower and new Livery Hall would take an additional four years.
What will we do whilst the new Livery Hall is in development?
- We are currently carefully considering all our options for continuing The Company’s and The Foundation’s ongoing operations, providing for staff and continuing to run events, etc.
- Our firm commitment is to continue offering members a programme of events (as close as possible to our normal programme), but in an alternative venue whilst we demolish and rebuild our own Livery Hall.
- However, we cannot make any concrete plans until we are certain the project can move forward successfully.
- We will use the e-newsletter and the Clothworker Magazine to communicate our plans, as they evolve and become finalized, throughout the process.