The Custom House (3)

Rather fascinatingly, the Bermuda-based owners of the scheme to develop the historic Custom House as (another) luxury hotel have withdrawn their proposals before going to the City’s planning committee. This is presumably because they had been told that they would be turned down, so they are no doubt adapting the plans to make them more acceptable.

I hope this might indicate a change of heart on the part of the City post-COVID, acknowledging that a programme of aggressive new development may not, after all, be the best strategy to retain the City’s prestige as a great financial centre and it may, instead, require re-thinking in relation to changing patterns of work. My own view is that it would be worth them re-thinking the area round the Tower, including the Custom House; they should pay more attention to the surviving historic fabric; and they should think how to make the City a better environment to walk round, instead of trying to turn it into Hong Kong.

Remember the hedge fund managers long ago moved out. Many banks went to Canary Wharf. They can’t want the City to become an environment of empty tower blocks.


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