london wall west


Further to our recent email, the City has now formally submitted a full planning application to develop London Wall West. The application is currently being validated by the City’s planning department, and once this process is complete, they will publish details of the scheme and relevant documentation on their planning portal. We will of course alert you as soon as this happens. From the mocked up images they have already issued it would appear that little has changed since the last scheme they proposed over a year ago. There has been radio silence on the scheme since October 2022.

We have written a letter to Chris Hayward, Chair of Policy and Resources, which you can read in full here. The main tenets of our opposition are simple and, we believe, correct and justifiable and our letter focuses on the City’s claim to have consulted widely over a period of two years.

We believe that the City has failed properly to consult as required by both National Planning Guidance and their own Statement of Community Engagement. They have failed to fulfil the specific commitments made in 2022 for further engagement in advance of the submission of the planning application. They have failed to demonstrate that they have taken into account resident feedback to shape and guide the new development proposals. 

In October 2022 the City promised that “The scheme’s design team will now amend the design and prepare a 3D model so a final proposal for London Wall West can be presented next year, ahead of submitting a planning application”. This has not happened, despite repeated demands. Physical models are the only way to accurately assess the impact of a scheme on the local environment. Computer generated models can only provide selective views that have been decided upon by the designers.

There has been no direct communication with residents since April 2023, when the City acknowledged a real desire locally for the retention of the former Museum of London building and Bastion House, and claimed that they wanted to explore the possibility of a viable alternative to demolition. 

 The City has provided no feedback on the results of the subsequent soft market test, in which developers were afforded a mere 30 days to respond, other than comments from the City that it had been successful and that there had been what were described in a public meeting by Chris Hayward as “credible” expressions of interest. These credible responses to retain and develop the existing buildings have been ignored by the City.

The City has failed to offer evidence demonstrating that the benefits of demolition clearly outweigh the benefits of retaining the existing buildings, even though these requirements are described in the their own planning policy guidelines. 

We feel that the timing of the submission of this planning application is indicative of the City’s approach to consultation and avoidance of scrutiny: over the festive holiday season, when levels of engagement with stakeholders, including City residents, will be predictably at their lowest, and it will be challenging to marshall our resources.

The LWW site offers the opportunity to email the planning team with questions about the scheme and we would urge you to tell the City that their claim on the website that “these submissions follow over two years of consultation with the local community” is inaccurate and misleading. Or if easier, you can email Gwyn Richards, the Director of Planning and Development, and if you could cc that would be helpful.

We are carefully considering our next steps and will keep everyone informed of our plans and publicise what everyone can do to ensure their voice is heard. We are obviously entering a new and critical phase and if there are others who you think would wish to be informed of the campaign, please do ask them to sign up to the BQA website. The more representative we are, the more powerful our voice.