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Demolition Begins for New Goldman Sachs HQ Development

Fleet Building MapAt the last Planning & Transportation Committee meeting, free-standing demolition consent was sought and granted under a ‘delegated decision’ made by officers, for the site currently occupied largely by the Fleet Building and Plumtree Court.

Planning permission for the whole scheme was granted in 2012, but this application was specifically just for the demolition of the current buildings.

I thought that this ‘free-standing’ demolition was a little unusual, as whilst the existing office space has been derelict for a number of years, it obviously could provide more use than a vacant plot.  That, coupled with the fact that this decision about one of the largest plots of land in our ward was granted by Officers under delegated authority rather than directly by Members, sparked my interest so I wrote to the planners for further information.

Officers stated that the developer has and continues to spent a significant amount of money to ensure that the full scheme pursuant to the 2012 permission can be carried out, and in documenting all necessary processes, including detailed arrangements with the City and TfL for highways works and related improvements.  This was not considered consistent with an intention to demolish and then abandon the project.  In addition, I’ve been told that “significant ‘penalties’ would be incurred in terms of enhanced CIL liabilities on future development were the 2012 permission (or a variation of it) not to be implemented in the near future”.

Indeed, the free-standing demolition consent was apparently sought to aid the development programme, as it enables demolition to commence promptly before certain “pre-implementation” requirements with third parties were in place.


The start of the demolition is the next step in the regeneration of a large area of our ward, and begins a 4-year project to build a single 1.2m sq.ft. office complex, due to become the European Headquarters of Goldman Sachs.

The currently planned building has been designed by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, and includes a number of environmental enhancements that should bring improvements to the surrounding streets.

Further details of the proposed landscaping around the building, can be found in a promotional brochure from landscape architects GROSS.MAX.

While this is going to take some time to complete, I hope that this development brings much needed life and improvements to this large and almost forgotten part of our ward and City.

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3 thoughts on “Demolition Begins for New Goldman Sachs HQ Development

  1. Jenny says:

    Please make them stop banging!

    • Graeme Smith CC says:

      Sorry to hear about the disturbance (no pun intended). Please take a look at the following information and links to see the options available, and get in touch if you need us to assist when dealing directly with the City of London’s Pollution Control Team who work to achieve “flexible solutions for contractors, residents and businesses”. Tel 020 7606 3030, or email

      If residents are likely to be disturbed by noise, the permitted times of operation, including ancillary activities such as deliveries, will be restricted to standard hours:

      8am – 6pm (Monday to Friday);
      8am – 1pm (Saturday); for some areas these times may vary.
      No working is permitted on Sundays, bank holidays or other national holidays.

      Contractors are required to use methods which minimise noise disturbance and to liaise with neighbours. If contractors do not adhere to these or other times and requirements requested to minimise noise disturbance to neighbours, the City can impose them by serving a formal notice. However most complaints are resolved informally.

      Disturbed by noise?

      Construction, demolition and street works

  2. Andrew says:

    I beg to differ. It is monstrously out of scale and St. Andrew’s and the vicarage nearby especially, the wonderful quirkiness of Holborn Viaduct, and even the modern buildings will be swamped by it, like some gigantic iceberg that’s floated into the area and got stuck there. Like an iceberg, all who see it will hope that it will melt away, but we won’t be so lucky. I never thought I would get sentimental about a brutalist block like the Fleet Building, but it was eminently reusable and had the wonderful ceramic tiles along the street. Do we really want EC Dubai?   It doesn’t matter what ‘we’ want. We will get it anyway.


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