A fairly grim concrete office block that included a covered walkway between London Bridge and the railway station is to be demolished and redeveloped.
Although in Southwark, the late 1960s building, Colechurch House is actually owned by the City of London’s Bridge House Estates, the centuries old trust fund that manages the bridges across the Thames and gives its surplus to charity.
Colechurch House itself was built in the late 1960s and named after Peter of Colechurch who designed the first stone bridge across the Thames here.
The sale was complicated though as while the Bridge House Estates owned most the site, some of the land was also owned by Southwark Council and by Transport for London — necessitating a joint sale by all three owners.
It’s taken a long time to get to this point tough, with the City first lodging plans for a replacement tower back in 1995, but until they were able to secure the sale with Southwark Council a larger building could never be fitted onto the site.
In 2007, the City secured the necessary legal powers to demolish the elevated walkway, London Bridge Walk as part of the plans to develop the site.
Then in 2013, the council agreed to work with the City of London to secure a sale of their wide pavement on Tooley Street and land on Duke Street Hill. At the time it was said that the sale of the pavement wouldn’t “hinder pedestrian use of the space, as a development is likely to retain this thoroughfare through a colonnaded area whilst building over it.”
The City of London will retain the freehold of the site and a ground rent income from a Norman Foster designed replacement building. Southwark council gets income from the sale, and can expect to receive the usual developer contributions from whatever office building is put on the site.