How the City if London will earn £220m from skyscraper planning permissions in just three years

How the City if London will earn £220m from skyscraper planning permissions in just three years

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The City of London Corporation is on course to earn £220 million from negotiations with companies behind some of the capital’s biggest developments.

For the Corporation – the Square Mile’ local council –  this was the total amount owed from 156 planning applications it approved between April 2016 and the end of March 2019.

In 2014, the Corporation approved plans by CPC and Barratt Homes to turn office blocks in Sugar Quay into 165 luxury apartments. In return for planning permission, the developers owe over £15.4 million.

Over £19 million will be paid by the developers of 22 Bishopsgate, set to become the tallest building in the Square Mile, at 62 storeys high.

Work started earlier this year on WilkinsonEyre’s 51-storey office block, 8 Bishopsgate, which netted £6.1 million for the Corporation.

The incredible sums were revealed in a report discussed by the Corporation’s Planning and Transport Committee on Tuesday, October 22.

In each planning permission, the money was received using the legal powers of a section 106 agreement. This piece of regulation allows councils to negotiate money from developers in lieu of any negative affects a development can cause on its surroundings, during and after construction.

Section 106 money is commonly spent by councils on projects such as apprenticeships and skills training for local people, street improvements, or new community facilities.

Councils often use them to make developers provide discounted “affordable” housing in residential developments.

The amount of money a developer pays will vary with the size of the development, and be paid at different “trigger” stages as construction progresses.

The report said 123 Section 106 agreements, with a value of £199 million, have been fully “signed and triggered.”

And  £173 million of this money has so far been received by the Corporation to be allocated to local improvements.

A further £21 million is in the pipeline, and due when the developments pass the trigger stage of construction.

Another large scale development noted in the report, Creechurch Place, is due to earn the Corporation a further £5.2 million. The 17-storey development by Helical Bar, was worth £95 million.

Prior to the 2016-to-2019 period, the Corporation made about £4 million from the 38-storey Walkie Talkie in Fenchurch Street.

The Corporation’s report did not provide data following April 2019.

 By LDRS reporter Owen Sheppard
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