Site & Local Context

The building’s frontage faces north onto Buckle Street. There are a number of tall building developments in the pipeline to come forward in the future, some are under construction and others completed. All of which are set to completely transform the area not just from a visual point of view but also in terms of the nature of the area, with the mix of uses proposed in these development including residential, office, hotel and leisure.


The site

The existing office building is 5 storeys. It was built in approximately 1990 to meet the office requirements at the time. However, the building is now outdated and no longer meets modern requirements for office accommodation. The building has been vacant since 2014, and is currently being used on a temporary basis by ‘live in guardians’. To use the building as office space and meet modern requirements it will require significant internal remodelling which would be prohibitively expensive.

Photos of existing building

Immediate vicinity


There are three listed buildings located immediately adjacent to the site including St Georges German Lutheran Church (grade II* listed), 19A Leman Street [Dispensary] (grade II listed) and St Georges German Infant School (grade II listed). Recognising the importance of these historic buildings, we have sought early advise from our Heritage consultants, Heritage Collective, to understand their setting and how we can approach our site to ensure we are developing a set of proposals which are sensitive and respectful as well as complementary to these important buildings.

In addition immediately to the east of our site lies the 28 storey Altitude Point development, a residential led mixed use development with some retail and office floorspace. To the west, at 19 Buckle Street, is City Reach, a 7 storey building, which is also a residential led mixed use development. Opposite our site and currently under construction is Aldgate Place development. Buckle Street is as a result becoming far more residential in nature. Our site therefore lends itself well for apart-hotel (temporary housing) use.

St George Lutheran Church

The former German Lutheran Church 1762-3, founded by Dederich Beckmann, a wealthy sugar boiler. The building materials present on site are stock brick with slate roof. The building is an important visible symbol of the sizable German minority that lived in Whitechapel from the start of the 18th century. The church itself was established to cater for the religious needs of the resident German sugar bakers in Whitechapel and only closed its doors in 1996. Architecturally the building is a restrained example of English Baroque with notable Wren influences.

19A Leman Street (Dispensary)

The building is dated 1858 and was designed by architect G H Simmonds. It is formed of two storeys with a basement. And built as a dispensary to provide free medical and surgical help to the poor. The building itself has a number of design features of architectural merit and is an example of mid 19th century Baroque.

St George’s German and English Infants’ School

The main school building fronts onto Alie Street with the Infants’ School lying to its north. The former dates from 1877 to designs by E.A. Gruning and was built for the adjoining German Lutheran church. The building is ground plus two storeys all and has a basement.

Previously refused plans

As mentioned a previous proposal by Galliard Homes was refused by LB Tower Hamlets in December 2015. Part of the reason for refusal of this application was that the plans were considered’ detrimental to the townscape including the local heritage assets. The previous planning application sought to demolish the existing office building and build a 17 storey mixed use building comprising office space and serviced apartment.

Sketch and elevation of the previously refused scheme taken from the Planning Statement. Planning application Ref:PA/15/01141

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21 Buckle Street