Firm secures planning consent for large Covent Garden scheme

26 March 2019

London, 26 March 2019: Savills Investment Management (Savills IM) has been granted planning permission on behalf of a FTSE 100 Corporate Pension Fund Mandate by Westminster City Council for a proposed redevelopment of an island site on Drury Lane, Covent Garden to be known as ‘The Grain House’.

The Grain House will be a rare building of scale in Covent Garden to be delivered in early 2021. This heritage-led project will combine four buildings to provide 66,000 sq ft of office space on the upper floors and 23,000 sq ft of flexible retail, restaurant, and gym uses on the ground floor and basement level.

The existing buildings - bounded by Drury Lane, Dryden Street, Arne Street and Shelton Street - have a rich history, with former occupiers including a seed merchants, a metal foundry, and a non-conformist chapel. Barr Gazetas’ design draws on the industrial heritage of the block, sensitively restoring many of the original features, whilst bringing in a highly contemporary element in the form of an extension constructed from CLT panels. Existing third, fourth and roof top floor structures will be removed, and upward extension will create a five and six storey building, with rooftop plant enclosure and terraces. The individual building facades and roof spaces will be maintained to protect the character of the site and the wider conservation area whilst internally the office space will be designed for the modern occupier with high specification, flexible floorplates and provide communal working spaces in both the reception, atrium and via a large roof terrace.

In line with the fund’s sustainability initiatives, the asset will aim to achieve ‘BREEAM Excellent’ and ‘WELL Building’ accreditation as well as ‘WiredScore’ to ensure an innovative, future-proof building is delivered.

In their judgement, Westminster City Council praised the extent to which Savills IM and their team had communicated and engaged with the community.

The Project team includes Savills as Project Manager and Planning Consultant, Quantem as Quantity Surveyor, Scotch Partners as MEP, and Elliott Wood as Structural Engineer. CBRE are appointed as the office leasing advisors with Shelley Sandzer and Savills advising on the retail uses.

Lucy Winterburn, Fund Director at Savills IM, says:

"The Grain House is a great success story for Savills IM, who have worked extensively with the council and local stakeholders to aid the planning process and ensure a sensitive, conservation-led approach was maintained throughout. This is such an exciting project to work on and the planning consent that has been secured is testament to a great Team effort and engagement in the decision to refurbish rather than redevelop the site."

Benjamin Cottle, Director of Building and Project Consultancy at Savills, says:

"We are delighted to have delivered this successful planning application for Savills IM. We have all collectively bought into an engaged dialogue with Westminster Council and their feedback is that our community led approach has led to a scheme with no objections which has hugely contributed to the overall planning process."


Citigate Dewe Rogerson

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“Westminster City Council praised the extent to which Savills IM and their team had communicated and engaged with the community.”