Some of the galleries affected by redevelopment in Cork Street, Mayfair, have been given hope that they can move back once the work is completed.
Conditional permission has been given
for the Pollen Estates site at 5-9 Cork Street, provided a section
106 legal agreement being drawn up secures "a minimum of 1,727 sq m
of the new retail accommodation" to be occupied "for art or antique
gallery/shop purposes, at a market rent for art gallery/antique
shop use (final definition to be agreed)".
Three months were given for that legal
agreement to be completed (from March 5) and a decision over
permission would be made then.
This development affects five out of
the 22 galleries in Cork Street. Their leases expire in
The planning application is listed on
Westminster City Council's website as "pending decision"
(12/10803/FULL). ATG asked the council to confirm when a final
decision would be made but despite repeated requests have yet to
receive an answer.
However, galleries further along Cork
Street, at nos.22-27, are still fighting proposals by landlord
Native Land, who want to replace the current building with luxury
That planning application mentions
"demolition of the existing building and construction of a new
building comprising nine floors above ground and three basement
levels, including retail (Class A1) (of which a minimum of 994 sq m
GIA shall be occupied by Art Galleries)" and also "a publicly
accessible arcade at ground floor level".
However, there appears to be no
legally binding provision in place to ensure that the space is
indeed reserved for art gallery use - class A1 is retail as a whole
- and dealers affected say they have been kept in the dark about
whether they will be offered space in the new building, or if rents
ATG understand that only three
galleries remain party to a legal challenge to Native Land's plan,
which is set to be heard in mid July and centres on regulations
under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
The application for the site between
29 and 30 Old Burlington Street and 22-27 Cork Street (ref
13/01715/FULL) is listed by Westminster as "pending
Again, when ATG asked the council when
this was likely to be decided they failed to answer.