Docklands News

Canary Wharf skyscraper plans return with second staircase

Morris+Company has added a second set of stairs to a proposed 52-storey tower in Canary Wharf after the London Fire Brigade (LFB) raised safety concerns over the original design. Developer Ballymore's planning application for the 424-home tower was due to ruled over by Tower Hamlets Council in January; however, it was withdrawn following the LFB's comments that the single-staircase design did not provide a ‘suitable and convenient means of escape’ in the case of a blaze. The updated plan replaces a lift in the building’s southern core with a new stairway that can be accessed from every floor. The changes, which do not affect the number of homes or the building’s façade, mean there will be one fewer lift for the building. However, a planning statement said the other three lifts had been "increased in size and will operate at a faster speed to meet waiting time requirements". Morris+Company's 174m-tall tower is earmarked, alongside a pocket park, for a 0.44ha site running along Cuba Street. The castle-inspired scheme is now due to be ruled on by Tower Hamlets' Strategic Development Committee in the coming months.

Architects' Journal (15/03/2022)   My London (15/03/2022)  

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PIC pumps £83m into Newham housing scheme

The Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has revealed an £83m investment into housing in Newham, East London. The partnership with the London Borough of Newham will fund the construction of 161 homes on a brownfield and industrial site close to London City Airport. The project is funded by the regeneration lease structure, which provides PIC with long-term, inflation linked cashflows. The model offers benefits to all stakeholders including increased employment and spending the local economy during construction. The investment takes PIC's urban regeneration investment to almost £600m in 18 months.

Professional Pensions (15/03/2022)   Property Week (15/03/2022)  

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BTL landlords could see tax bills rise by a third

Landlords could see stamp duty bills jump by a third if Rishi Sunak introduces a new tax in his Spring Statement. The Office for Budget Responsibility left a note in autumn Budget documents pointing to the three percentage point stamp duty surcharge on additional properties increasing to four. Ben Beadle, of the National Residential Landlords Association, says a four percentage point charge would shut out new investment at a time when rental supply was at an extreme low, warning: “Increasing stamp duty would lead to a sharp fall in the supply of homes to rent”. Such a move would particularly hit those landlords who chased high yields in the North. 

The Daily Telegraph (16/03/2022)  

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First-time buyer numbers nearly doubled last year

First-time buyers take an average of eight years to save enough money for a deposit on their first home, new research has found. According to the Barclays Mortgages' First Time Buyer Index, the average person starts saving for a deposit at 24-years-old and buys their first home when they are 32. The research also found that the number of first-time buyers in the UK has almost doubled in the past year. However, 56% revealed that they would have struggled without support from their family. First-time buyers paid an average of £281,000 for a house in 2021, down £12,600 compared to 2020 but more than the average house price in 2019, which was £249,700. The survey also revealed confusion from potential homeowners about how to even start the process. More than 55% confessed they had no idea where to begin, while 39% didn't know they had to factor in solicitor's fees. Nearly half were unaware of stamp duty. 

Metro (15/03/2022)   The Independent (15/03/2022)  

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£250m deposit required for Buckingham Palace

With the Queen moving out of Buckingham Palace to "work from home" at Windsor Castle, research has found it would cost almost £250m just for a deposit to purchase the London landmark. Mortgage solutions specialist Henry Dannell found that the building's estimated market value is £995m, with monthly mortgage repayments sitting at nearly £1m per month, or £3m for anyone paying off the loan. Other Royal residencies would also come with a hefty price tag, with Windsor Castle costing £124m up-front, while Sandringham would require ‘just' under £200,000 each month in repayments, Henry Dannell calculated.  

City AM (14/03/2022)  

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Royal Albert Docks project up for sale after developer collapses

A £1.7bn Docklands project backed by Boris Johnson during his time as London mayor has been put up for sale after the the developer behind the project fell into administration. Six buildings at the Royal Albert Dock development are being sold by Savills. The developer behind the proposals, ABP (London), collapsed earlier this year following an extended period of troubles that owner Xu Weiping blamed on the UK's decision to leave the European Union. The site, just east of Canary Wharf, will have “retail, leisure and residential accommodation, all conveniently located within five minutes of London City Airport and Crossrail", Savills said in the marketing document. 

The Sunday Telegraph (06/03/2022)  

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