Hines gets go-ahead for central London office and resi project

Hines has obtained planning approval to build a new, landmark office and residential development on a 2-acre site that has remained undeveloped for 20 years at 18 Blackfriars Road, south of the Thames in central London.

The development will consist of three buildings, two providing more than 400 new homes, of which 40% will be affordable, while the third will have 800,000 sq ft of offices. There will also be 20,000 sq ft of new affordable workspace for local and socially minded enterprises, assembly rooms for use by the local community, modern educational space with links to local institutions, children’s play areas and a new, central public space with retail and food outlets. A 150% increase in biodiversity is also planned for the site, including the planting of around 100 new trees.

18 Blackfriars Road is designed to be fossil-fuel free, 100% electric and Net Zero Carbon in operation, with 95% of the site’s heat demand served by ground source heat pumps. The project aims to provide the first high-rise scheme in the UK to achieve the WELL Community Gold Standard, which certifies developments that support health and wellbeing.

Hines worked with architects Foster + Partners, and Lipton Rogers, to obtain the consent from Southwark Council.

“Our plans will transform an undeveloped piece of land, most of which has lain empty for over 20 years, into much needed new homes and first class, sustainable and tech-enabled offices, built around a central hub which we hope will become a brand new convening space for the local community,” Ross Blair, senior managing director and country head of Hines UK, said.

“Businesses of all sizes and from all sectors are demanding more from their offices because their employees are demanding more from them. 18 Blackfriars is all about rising to that challenge and delivering the office of the future.

“Bringing this scheme to life underlines our long-term conviction in London as a thriving, global centre for culture, education and business.”