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Land Securities Group plc instructed the JLL Planning Group on a 1.3 acre city block in a prime location on London’s Oxford Street. The site has now been cleared for development but it formerly contained underperforming retail floorspace, obsolete office space and student accommodation for University College London.
An ambitious and innovative scheme was drawn up to redevelop the site with a single building of very high quality architecture. The development would contain a mix of uses which will include 11,500 sq.m. of retail, 25,360 sq.m. of offices and 9,500 sq.m. of residential floorspace.
JLL was appointed to provide strategic planning advice throughout the process and liaise with all parties and stakeholders in the development process. The Planning Group was effective in making the case to consultees, including the New West End Company, for improving the retail offer on this part of Oxford Street. We also established a dialogue with key stakeholders, including the politicians and numerous local community groups.
The scheme was referred to the Greater London Authority (Mayor of London) on the basis of height, and to the Secretary of State on the basis of retail floorspace. JLL worked in conjunction with the client and the project team to devise a design solution and a building form acceptable to Westminster City Council, the Mayor, the local community and the other key consultees. The Planning Group justified to the Mayor the imperative need to relocate the student accommodation (to Victoria) and why a commuted sum in lieu of on-site affordable housing provision was necessary in order to facilitate the development.
The Planning Group prepared the planning submission, negotiated the permission as well as the planning obligations and reviewed the conditions on the planning permission. Planning permission was secured in May 2008. The scheme is anticipated to be the largest city-block redevelopment in London’s West End for the foreseeable future.