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Canary Wharf, Qatar Win Backing for London Shell Centre Project

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By Patrick Gower: May 13, 2013

Canary Wharf Group Plc and Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund won planners’ support to build 877 homes and about 76,000 square meters (820,000 square feet) of offices at the site of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s London headquarters on the banks of the River Thames.

Planning officials recommended that Lambeth Borough Council approve the project by Braeburn Estates Ltd., a joint venture between the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. unit of the sovereign-wealth fund and Canary Wharf, the developer that controls the financial district of the same name, according to a filing published on the council’s website.

“The development would give rise to not only additional jobs in the borough but would also contribute towards strategic objectives for London in its promotion as a world city,” council planners said in the document.

The project includes eight buildings ranging from five to 37 floors and it will retain the tower occupied by Shell since the 1960s. About 20 percent of the homes will be for lower income residents and the developers will pay about 24.5 million pounds ($38 million) to the borough if the project is approved.

The joint venture is seeking to benefit from surging prices and rising rents in the U.K. capital caused by planning restrictions and a lack of development sites. Home prices in London rose 10.6 percent in the year through March 13, aided by a 12.2 percent gain in Lambeth, Academetrics Ltd. said in a May 10 study. Rents in London were about 8 percent higher in March than a year earlier, LSL Property Services Plc said last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Gower in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at


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