Anglo American & De Beers

17 Charterhouse Street

Planning Potential successfully secured planning permission at committee for the development of a new corporate headquarters for Anglo American & De Beers, bringing the historic business back to the heart of London’s jewellery community.

Located in the Hatton Garden Conservation Area, the site is predominantly occupied by the former De Beers headquarters, the majority of which was constructed in the 1970s, with a later extension added in the 2000s. The site is also home to St Andrew’s House, a Grade-II listed building recognised as one of the oldest surviving examples of public housing in the UK.

In March 2017 De Beers moved from the site to join parent company Anglo American in Carlton House Terrace, Westminster, however, a desire to return to Hatton Garden and the centre of the jewellery trade presented an opportunity for the full redevelopment and refurbishment of the old site to create a high quality new corporate headquarters designed to meet the needs of a modern business.

The planning permission allows for 40,000 sq ft of additional floorspace through rear and rooftop extensions. It was accepted that the setting of the listed building would be enhanced through the built form aligning with the historic building line, creating a new ‘street’.

Throughout the pre-application process, we advised on the development of a sensitive scheme that would preserve the overall character of the Conservation Area but soften the 1970s exterior, transforming the previous ‘fortress-like’ appearance. With heritage a key-concern from the Local Authority we held a series of design workshops with Planning, Conservation and Heritage Officers establishing that the scale and principle of the proposed changes was acceptable. We also presented to Camden’s Design Review Panel.

The return of a well-known name to the area meant the scheme attracted a great deal of attention from the local community and we were keen to ensure everyone was given an opportunity to view and feedback on the proposals. In addition to a well-attended public exhibition, we held meetings with the local BID and business owners.

Our careful messaging during the consultation resulted considerable positive feedback being received with stakeholders recognising the benefits of one of the biggest names in the jewellery trade returning to the area. We ensured this positive feedback was heard by the Local Planning Authority. No objections to the application were received and the scheme received unanimous approval at Committee.

Summary of achievements

  • Initial planning appraisal and provision of strategy advice
  • Management and coordination of the planning application including preparation of a planning statement
  • Monitoring of planning application and securing consent at planning committee
  • Negotiation with LPA in respect of design
  • Negotiation of Section 106 matters
  • Provision of full public consultation and communications support