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AJ100 breakfast: Land Securities poised to ‘restart’ in the City

The development director of Land Securities’ London portfolio Colette O’Shea told the AJ100 Breakfast Club this morning the company would re-launch activity in the City soon

Speaking at Claridges to representatives of the UK’s largest architectural practices O’Shea said: ‘The issue for us is to decide when to restart [in the City], and I think it’s fair to say it’s fairly soon.’

Last month the AJ revealed that Land Securities’ Walkie Talkie tower at 20 Fenchurch Street by Raphael Vinoly was set to proceed. O’Shea said of the tower: ‘I very much hope it’s built.’

She said: ‘The one thing [Walkie Talkie] has in its favour is the most valuable space at the top has the biggest floorplates.’ O’Shea revealed Kew Gardens had advised on the selection of plants for the roof garden.

On the new government’s planning policy O’Shea said: ‘From the outset government needs to start to recognise what we can collectively [developers and architects] do for the economy.

‘My biggest desire is that people within Whitehall start to realise what we can do to solve the problems.’

Asked what advice she could give to young architects on how to design for building longevity O’Shea said: ‘It’s really hard for a young architect to future proof a building for the changing market.’

But she recognised generous ceiling height and large floorplate size and said: ‘[Going] forward in 10 or 15 years these are the sort of things that would place a building in good stead.’

O’Shea took part in a question and answer session led by CABE chair Paul Finch.

The AJ100 Breakfast Club is sponsored by Schüco, InterfaceFLOR, SIV Human Resources, Hilson Moran and BST Global.

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