UK Government turns down office plans for London Bridge tower

The government has rejected two different proposals for office-led tower schemes in New City Court at London Bridge.

In a report from Construction News, Michael Gove, Communities Secretary, declared neither application for New City Court should be granted.

He stated that the high-rise proposals would harm the historic surroundings, according to Construction News’ sister title Architects’ Journal.

Original plans were submitted by Great Portland Estates (GPE) to Southwark Council in 2018, and involved the demolition of a 1980s building on the site in St Thomas Street, near London Bridge.

GPE then submitted a second, shorter scheme in April 2021 after concerns were raised over its height. But the council failed to make a decision on whether it should go ahead.

As a result, the developer appealed the 2018 and 2021 applications, along with linked listed building consent applications on the two schemes for the revamp of the neighbouring Georgian terrace at 4-16 St Thomas Street. Both appeals were granted.

Regarding the tower, Gove agreed with the Planning Inspector, Claire Searson, who shared that the upper-floor public gardens in the proposal would be beneficial elements, but added that “the success of the ground-floor space [was] more limited due to size and light issues.”

You can read the full report here.