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Year in review: The schemes given the go-ahead in 2015

Schemes which won planning in 2015
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The AJ takes a look at the key buildings which won planning in 2015 

Maggie’s times three 

Heatherwick's Maggie's Centre

Heatherwick’s Maggie’s Centre

Maggie’s Yorkshire designed by Heatherwick Studio

It was a good start to 2015 for Maggie’s. The cancer care centre saw its controversial centre at St Bart’s Hospital by Steven Holl approved after it was resubmitted to City of London planners following opposition from the Queen’s gynaecologist Marcus Setchell and the Friends of the Great Hall. 

This was later followed by approvals for a scheme in the grounds of St James’s University Hospital in Leeds by Heatherwick Studio and another in Manchester by dRMM

McCloud’s HAB housing

HAB Housing's Oxfordshire scheme

HAB Housing’s Oxfordshire scheme

John Pardey’s luxury housing for HAB

TV presenter Kevin McCloud’s HAB housing won planning for its first luxury housing scheme - six-home development in Oxford by John Pardey Architects. Later in the year the developer submitted plans for its largest scheme yet – a 50-home development in Hampshire, again designed by Pardey. 

Balfron Tower revamp

The Balfron Tower, Poplar

The Balfron Tower, Poplar

Source: Michael Mulcahy

Plans to revamp Erno Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower were rubber-stamped

Studio Egret West and Ab Rogers Design’s proposals to reconfigure Erno Goldfinger’s 1960s Balfron Tower in East London were given the go-ahead despite fierce opposition. Protesters feared the changes would force out social housing tenants while Twentieth Century Society director Catherine Croft voiced concern over the plans to strip out the original fabric of the Grade II*-listed building. 

Second-time lucky for Grafton at Kingston

Kingston University by Grafton Architects

Kingston University by Grafton Architects

Grafton’s revised Kingston University scheme [June 2015]

Grafton Architects won planning for its contest-winning scheme for Kingston University. The scheme was originally rejected after councillors voted down the scheme saying it was too large for the Town House site. The Jane Drew Prize-winners revised the proposals and it was granted planning in August. 

Herzog and de Meuron’s Canary Wharf skyscraper

Herzog and de Meuron’s Canary Wharf skyscraper

Herzog and de Meuron’s Canary Wharf skyscraper

Herzog and de Meuron’s Wood Wharf tower - detailed approval July 2015

A new 57-storey residential skyscraper for London’s docklands was given the go-ahead by Tower Hamlets Council in July. The tower designed by Herzog and de Meuron is part of the huge residential-led expansion of the east London business district formerly known as Wood Wharf and now dubbed the New Phase.

Adjaye’s biggest UK scheme

Adjaye's biggest UK scheme

Adjaye’s biggest UK scheme

70-73 Piccadilly by Adjaye Associates

David Adjaye Associates was given the green-light for its biggest job in the UK to date – a £600 million redevelopment opposite the Ritz in Piccadilly. The practice saw off a star-studded shortlist including Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry and Eric Parry to secure the scheme which will replace a post-war office building between Berkeley Street and Dover Street. 

Heatherwick’s ‘kissing’ roofs at King’s Cross

Heatherwick’s ‘kissing’ roofs at King’s Cross

Heatherwick’s ‘kissing’ roofs at King’s Cross

Source: Forbes Massie

Proposed design for Coal Drops Yard by Heatherwick Studio

The latest scheme in Argent’s King’s Cross masterplan – shops designed by Heatherwick Studios – was granted planning last week. The £100 million proposals will transform the area’s Grade II-listed coal drop buildings into ‘London’s most exciting new shopping destination’. The project, which councillors voted in favour by 9 votes to 1, was slammed by conservationists concerned that it would cause ‘substantial harm’ to the historic buildings.   

Reiach and Hall’s nuclear archive

Reiach and Hall's nuclear archive

Reiach and Hall’s nuclear archive

Reiach and Hall’s scheme for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

The Stirling Prize finalist was given the go-ahead for a new archive building in the Scottish Highlands for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The £20 million scheme on a brownfield site near Wick Airport will provide storage for paper and photographic records of the history, development and decommissioning of the UK’s civil nuclear industry since 1940s.

Duggan Morris’ largest scheme yet

Duggan Morris’ largest scheme yet

Duggan Morris’ largest scheme yet

R7 building at King’s Cross by Duggan Morris Architects [approved April 2015] - model

Duggan Morris Architects landed planning for the practice’s largest scheme yet – a 14,000m2 office building at King’s Cross. The 10-storey block, known as R7, will sit alongside Stanton Williams’ Central St Martins school of art and design and is described as a ‘highly flexible building’ which will be able to ‘accommodate smaller, growing companies or larger occupiers requiring a whole floor or more’.

A controversial hotel for Edinburgh

A controversial hotel for Edinburgh

A controversial hotel for Edinburgh

St James Quarter in Edinburgh: competition-winning scheme by Jestico + Whiles

Councillors rubber-stamped Jestico + Whiles’ Edinburgh Hotel despite a recommendation to refuse it from the city’s planning officers. No sooner has the £850 million scheme been given planning than a petition was launched calling on Scottish ministers to overturn the decision

Trouble for Hall McKnight on the Strand

Trouble for Hall McKnight on the Strand

Trouble for Hall McKnight on the Strand

Hall McKnight’s Kings College scheme on the Strand [resolution to approve April 2015]

Hall McKnight’s plans for the Strand faced turbulent times. The £50 million proposals for King’s College London, which included the controversial demolition of four historic buildings, won planning but were later called in by communities secretary Greg Clark. Historic England changed its decision on the harm the proposed scheme would cause, upgrading it to ‘substantial’. The plans were later withdrawn and the public inquiry dropped.  

Alison Brooks and PTE’s Cambridge homes

Alison Brooks and PTE’s Cambridge homes

Alison Brooks and PTE’s Cambridge homes

Housing by Alison Brooks Architects and Pollard Thomas Edwards for the North West Cambridge Development

Alison Brooks Architects and Pollard Thomas Edwards were given the green light for 240-homes as part of the North West Cambridge development. The scheme is the first private housing within the University of Cambridge’s huge £1 billion masterplan which is being designed and delivered by, among others, Stanton Williams, Mecanoo, Mole and Witherford Watson Mann.

The replacement for the Helter Skelter

The replacement for the Helter Skelter

The replacement for the Helter Skelter

PLP’s designs for 22 Bishopsgate

The City of London unanimously approved PLP’s replacement for KPF’s half-built Pinnacle tower. The 278m-tall proposal will be 10m shorter than the abandoned scheme – dubbed the Helter Skelter – but will have 30 per cent more floor space. The earlier tower stood as a nine-level concrete ‘stump’ for more than three years after contractor Brookfield Multiplex was forced to abandon work on it during the recession in 2011.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Geoff Williams

    The London Skyline is now dominated by high rise buildings in a densely populated area. The risk of fire is immense. The prospect of fire, in high rise building structures, is high and the possible damage to property and potential loss of life are of critical proportions. Fires can only be fought externally up to 7 floors. Accordingly, internal fire systems have to offer security of the electrical supply to all emergency services. High integrity MICC electrical cabling should be considered. The selection of materials is often dictated by price at the expense of quality and products that are fit for purpose to combat fire in emergency situations..

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