31 May 2018

100 CPA members braved an early morning start following the bank holiday weekend to attend our annual tall buildings seminar. The event took place on 29 May, and was kindly hosted by Simmons & Simmons in their Ropemaker Street offices.

NLA and GL Hearn’s London Tall Buildings Survey provides the only comprehensive review of towers over 20 storeys either proposed, in planning or under construction – helping inform the public debate about the changing shape of the capital.

The seminar, chaired by NLA’s Peter Murray, explained the results of this year’s survey and what it means for Central London’s development industry. Following a presentation by Alex Christopher from GL Hearn, an expert panel discussed the role of tall buildings in the City and wider Central London, and how developers and local authorities are working together to create world class working and living environments.

In his presentation, Alex Christopher explained the number of tall buildings in the London pipeline has increased to 510 today from 455 in 2016. However the number of planning applications have fallen by 10% over the same period, and new projects are finding it harder to get off the ground.

Speaking on the panel, CPA Board member Harry Badham – who is UK Director of Development at AXA Real Estate – provided the developer’s perspective on delivering tall buildings using the case study of 22 Bishopsgate. Harry noted that tall buildings were most effectively delivered when developers had a close working partnership with the relevant local authority, managing the impacts on local infrastructure and consolidating freight.

Founder of architecture and design practice DH Liberty, Dara Huang, gave the international perspective with her experience working in Hong Kong and China. She explained the importance of high quality design in shared spaces inside buildings as well as the ground floor public realm.

Christian Silk from Simmons & Simmons discussed his experience acting for 20 Ropemaker Street. He raised some of the key legal and planning issues associated planning applications, as well as the benefits for having tall buildings clustered in global business districts such as the City of London.

We would like to thank GL Hearn, NLA and Simmons & Simmons for their support in organising this event.


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