Carter Jonas were appointed by Sustainable Ventures to provide planning advice for the refurbishment and change of use of the 5th floor of the iconic Grade II Listed County Hall to provide high quality sustainable office floorspace for by Europe’s largest community of innovators addressing carbon emissions by Europe’s largest community of innovators addressing carbon emissions.
Located on the banks of the River Thames within the London Borough of Lambeth, and originally built for use as the headquarters of the London County Council and later the Greater London Council, the use of County Hall has slowly changed, and in some cases, become vacant and fallen into disrepair. The 5th floor of County Hall has remained vacant since the Greater London Council left the building in 1986. The Applicant sought to refurbish the space to bring it up to modern standards and formalise the Class E office use.
By virtue of being Grade II Listed, Listed Building Consent was required for the refurbishment works, and this was granted in August 2022 after a period of detailed work and discussion with the planning and heritage officers at the Council.
The Sites highly complex planning history, its heritage status and the unique approach to sustainability taken by the Applicant meant that Carter Jonas were able to successfully argue that a Carbon Offset payment was not appropriate in this instance, and this was agreed by the Council.
The development has sought to push the boundaries of sustainability. Through the minimisation of material use, the choices of proposed of materials and furniture have been carefully considered throughout. Using over 25 different sustainable materials throughout the project design, ranging from plant-based leather offcuts from a members product manufacture, through to sounds baffles made from mushrooms which are fed waste manufactured by another member, demonstrates the applicants innovative approach to sustainability. Each of these material choices are significantly better than a typical office refurbishment without the carbon and resource scarcity impacts associated with traditional construction.
The refurbishment should be considered best in class and an example to all of how constrained sites can embrace sustainable approaches to design and retrofitting.
A resolution to grant planning permission was secured by Carter Jonas in October 2022 subject to the signing of a S106 agreement.