City of London grants planning permission for ‘Gotham City’

Leadenhall1-MakePlanning permission has been granted from the City of London for a £12.7 billion scheme at 40 Leadenhall Street. The building – dubbed ‘Gotham City’ – is located beside the Gherkin at the heart of the City’s eastern cluster of tall buildings and will vary in height between 7 and 34 office storeys. It will feature two additional basement levels, a roof level plant (total height 170m AOD), a flexible retail/café and restaurant uses at ground floor level and café/restaurant with roof terrace overlooking Fenchurch Street.  The total size of the building is 910,000 sq ft, split between 890,000 sq ft office and c. 20,000 sq ft retail. As part of the design by Make architects; a grade II listed building at 19-21 Billiter Street, built in 1865, will be restored and integrated into the proposed scheme.

The scheme is formed of vertical slices arranged around the listed building which create a striking and considered vertical composition to complement the more curved and leaning buildings on the London skyline. The tallest part of the building is positioned at the northern end of the site to take account of neighbouring tall buildings and steps down in height toward the River Thames and Tower of London to the south.

The proposed new building is also terraced at high level on the northern side of Leadenhall Street so that it remains out of sight when travelling east along Fleet Street along the ceremonial route to St Paul’s Cathedral. Ground floor entrance and retail frontages are set back to create generous pedestrian zones, wider pavements and spaces along key pedestrian routes on adjacent Leadenhall Street, Fenchurch Street, Billiter Street and Fenchurch Buildings.

Nick Deacon, Director of Property, Central London Offices, Henderson Global Investors, which acquired the ‘Leadenhall Triangle’ site on behalf of clients in May 2011 said: “We are delighted to have achieved a resolution to grant planning permission for what will be a very exciting addition to the London skyline and a valuable contribution to the City’s ever evolving tower cluster. This is a significant step forward for the project. We are committed to progressing the scheme and have begun to explore a number of options to achieve this.”

It is estimated that 390 construction jobs will be created on the site and approximately 7,000 people are expected to work in the building when complete.

Paul Scott, Make partner and lead project architect, said: “We are thrilled our scheme has achieved a resolution to grant planning permission and look forward to delivering a world class 21st century building that will both enhance the City’s insurance district and reinforce its premier global position. The design breaks new ground and will join the City of London’s iconic portfolio of modern buildings.”