Lambeth Council gives Shell Centre plans the green light (UK)

The London Borough of Lambeth has approved the planning application by Braeburn Estates to redevelop the Shell Centre on London’s South Bank. Braeburn Estates is a joint venture of Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar. The 1.45 million ft² (approx. 135,000 m²) mixed use scheme, which has been master planned by Squire and Partners, will transform the 1960s office site, providing new offices for Shell and other corporate organizations as well as hundreds of new homes and new retail outlets. It will make a significant contribution to the on-going regeneration of the Waterloo and South Bank area.

A mix of offices, homes and retail space will integrate with open and attractive public areas, with the iconic Shell Centre Tower at its heart.

The 27-storey Tower will remain the centerpiece of the new site, and will continue to be owned and occupied by Shell. It will be complemented by eight new buildings, one of which will incorporate a further 245,000 ft² (approx. 22,800 m²) of new offices and trading floors for Shell.

Approximately 800,000 ft² (approx. 74,300 m²) of office space (including the Shell Centre Tower), along with around 80,000 ft² (approx. 7,400 m²) new retail units, restaurants and cafés, will be accompanied by approximately 800,000 ft² of residential space incorporating up to 877 new homes, including affordable housing.

The highly sustainable development is planned for completion in 2019, with construction starting at the end of this year.

Under the approved plans, new pedestrian routes through the site will improve connections between Waterloo Station and the South Bank. A widened Chicheley Street will open up the approach to the London Eye, while a ‘city square’ at the heart of the scheme will provide open space and enhanced public realm.

The 50:50 mixed use scheme presents a welcome contrast to the residential-focused developments dominating London. The construction project, which will continue over an anticipated six-year period, will employ an average of 700 workers on-site rising to approximately 1,630 at the peak of construction.

Once construction is complete, the redevelopment will significantly increase the number of jobs on site with more than 6,000 people expected to be employed between the two new commercial buildings and the Shell Centre Tower. The additional commercial space in the redevelopment will extensively expand the Shell London head office, allowing all of their 4,000 London based staff to be located in the same office for the first time.

The two new commercial buildings in the proposed redevelopment will accommodate approximately 4,120 office-based jobs, up to 295 retail jobs, and around 50 jobs in the community and leisure areas, totaling up to 4,465 jobs.

This presents new opportunities for employment both during construction and in long-term jobs around the South Bank.

Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman and Chief Executive, Canary Wharf Group, said: “We are delighted that Lambeth Council has approved these plans for us to work on such an important and historical site.

“We will continue to work with the London Borough of Lambeth and the local community as we move to the next phase of planning and development to ensure that all involved in the area get the best possible opportunities from this new development.”

Qatari Diar Group Chief Executive Officer Khaled Al Sayyed, continued: “Our development will be a unique place to live and work in the center of London, providing locals and visitors alike with much needed public space, entertainment and culture.”

Ed Daniels, Country Chair, Shell UK, said: ‘This approval is an extremely positive step for a development that will not just regenerate Lambeth and provide vitality to the local community, but also secure the long-term future for Shell and it’s London based staff on the South Bank.’

More than 1,000 local people, businesses and visitors have shared their views on the future development, through an extensive, year-long community consultation, which has helped to shape the scheme master plan.

Source: Canary Wharf

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