Developers slash housing provision from 1,356 homes to 250 in revised Bishopsgate plan

The developers behind plans for the long-delayed redevelopment of Bishopsgate Goodsyard in east London have slashed the amount of housing proposed from 1,356 homes to 250 under new revised plans.

A visualisation of the revised Bishopsgate Goodsyard development
A visualisation of the revised Bishopsgate Goodsyard development

A previous planning application for the scheme, submitted by Hammerson and Ballymore in 2014, included plans for up to 1,356 homes as well as more than 65,000 square metres of offices and other mixed uses.

The application included 12 tall buildings on the 4.4 hectare site, which straddles the boundary between the London boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets and is close to the City of London. Both Hackney and Tower Hamlets councils had rejected the scheme. 

The application was called in by the former mayor of London Boris Johnson in September 2015.

In April 2016, a report for the mayor by Greater London Authority (GLA) planners said developer Hammerson’s proposal for the site "would result in unacceptable and significant negative impacts" and recommended that the mayor refuse the application.

A decision was due to be taken by Johnson that month but was postponed following a request from Hammerson to "address the concerns" raised by the GLA planners in their report.

Revised proposals, published for public consultation last week, see significant changes to the 2014 plans.

The 2014 proposals included a series of tall residential towers along Sclater Street, which have now been replaced with a series of seven-to-14-storey mansion blocks. The plans include up to 250 homes with "at least" 35 per cent classed as affordable. The previous proposals had envisaged a 15.8 per cent affordable housing rate across the site.

The tallest building in the scheme has been dropped from 46 storeys to 29 storeys.

According to the developers, the revised plans include 130,000 square metres of offices and affordable workspace, 16,000 square metres of retail and a 250-300 bed hotel.

Nicola Zech-Behrens, senior development manager at Ballymore, said: "The revised proposals offer a development that brings a more human sense of scale.

"With reduced heights, and greater provision for affordable and creative workspace, the amendments to the application support the area’s local and international reputation as a hub for tech and entrepreneurs.

"Thanks to smaller retail units, studios and workshops, this part of London will continue to innovate and grow."

The developers said they intend to submit an amendment to the existing planning application to the Greater London Assembly in the new year.

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