Square Mile new development proposals surpass pre-pandemic levels

Lord Mayor

The City of London Corporation received more planning applications last month than the same month last year, meaning incoming applications are now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

Since the national lockdown in March, the number of planning applications received by the authority has been gradually increasing, with a slight easing off over the summer.

Autumn saw a steady rise in applications with the total number received in November amounting to almost seven per cent higher than the number received in the same month last year.

The City Corporation also made more planning decisions last month than in November 2019.

The number of schemes being negotiated at the pre-application stage remains at a very high level indicating a strong City pipeline for 2021.

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Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee, Alastair Moss, said: “These sustained high-volume development figures show the City continues to be an attractive and world-class location for developers and investors, despite the pandemic.

“The high volume of planning applications, including for high-quality and flexible office space, show that the confidence in the City remains robust. Businesses still require a central space where colleagues can meet to collaborate, innovate and socialise. 

“The novelty of working from home is wearing thin for many, with workers increasingly keen to return to the buzz of the City.

“For now, it remains vital that all Londoners act responsibly and continue to follow the Government guidance – but these development figures demonstrate the enduring power of the Square Mile as a global hub for business.”

Among the planning applications to have been received in 2020 were major strategic transformative schemes and a trend towards cultural resurgence in the Square Mile, including the Museum of London’s proposal to create a new museum in West Smithfield. 

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