Pope’s Road office tower planning application published

Adjaye CGI Popes Road development
Computer-generated image by architects Adjaye Associates of the exterior of the proposed new building

Planning documents published on the Lambeth council website show that the height of the proposed office tower on Pope’s Road has been reduced by 11 metres and that plans for a hotel on the site have been dropped.

A total of 125 documents setting out the plans, some lengthy, are available on the website. The expiry date for comments is 12 May.

The proposed development is for two towers, one 19 storeys high, the other eight. There would be a publicly accessible restaurant of more than 500 square metres at the top of the smaller tower.

architect drawing
The large tower seen from the east and the smaller from the west

The key planning statement document shows that the plans have been extensively discussed with both Lambeth council and the Greater London Authority.

It also gives details of largely supportive responses from local organisations and politicians.

The statement acknowledges that the public reaction has been “mixed”. The height reduction and dropping of hotel plans are a result of this.

Accusations of gentrification are addressed directly in the statement, which repeats the developer’s and council’s stress on the need for more office space.

It also says the development will extend Brixton market and increase footfall – a key concern of local traders.

The existing Pope’s Road public toilets would be demolished as part of the plans, but the development would provide more modern facilities and more of them, also open to the public.

architect CGI
The towers seen from the junction of Valentia Place and Brixton Station Road

The application says the scheme is a joint venture by the Amsterdam-registered company AG Hondo Pope’s Road BV, “who have an agreement to purchase the site, currently occupied by Sports Direct and Flannels”.

It says “Hondo is part of a property development company who have a longstanding presence in the borough having purchased Market Row and Brixton Village in March 2018.”

Taylor McWilliams, the sole director of Hondo Enterprises, which runs Brixton Village and Market Row, is also a director of AG Hondo Pope’s Road BV, along with Robert Tieskens, a director of the Netherlands arm of the giant New York based investment company Angelo Gordon.

The official UK Land Registry still records the owner of the site as Sports Direct. It bought it for £11,750,000 in June 2017 and valued it at £23m when it transferred it from one part of the company to another in December 2018.