Commercial development prioritised in new Draft London Plan
The new Draft London Plan was launched in December 2017 and sets out the Mayor’s outlook for the future development of London.
Planning policy continues to evolve positively for the commercial sector, with the plan estimating that there will be demand for a further 4.7-6.1m sq ft of office floor space over the next 15 years.
Westminster City Council moves to restrict further change of use from offices to residential
Westminster City Council is consulting on an Article 4 Direction, which will prevent further changes of use in the West End from office to residential.
The council estimates that employment in Westminster will increase by 80,000 jobs over the next two decades and a further lossof office floor space will increase the risk to the West End ‘Central Activities Zone’.
MSD announces plan to establish UK
Discovery Centre in London US BioPharma group Merk, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) announced its intention to open a new life sciences research facility in London, creating 150 new research roles and 800 support jobs.
Merk & Co already has similar research centres in San Fransisco Bay and Cambridge Massachusetts.
The company is in the process of identifying the site for its new facility but sees London as an important location in the UK’s golden triangle for academic science.
London appoints its first Chief Digital Officer
The Mayor of London has appointed the capital’s first ever Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Theo Blackwell.
Blackwell will play a leading role in developing the infrastructure to see London become one of the world’s leading smart cities.
Part of the CDO’s role will be to establish London as a global tech hub and transform the way that public services are designed and delivered to London’s population.
West End take up hits a 10 year high in 2017 at 4.8m sq ft
Take up was boosted by several significant transactions, the largest being the 311,800 sq ft letting to Dentsu Aegis at 1 Triton Square, NW1
Prime West End rent per sq ft down to 2013 levels
Supply fell back to 4.1m sq ft, with the availability rate down to 4.6%
Grade A supply is at its lowest level in 10 years, with only 920,000 sq ft of ready to occupy space on the market
Proportion of supply in ready to occupy Grade A space