Bovis Lend Lease has removed its project team from the £300m Walbrook Square development in the City of London amid continuing doubts over its future.
The Stanhope scheme on Queen Victoria Street, dubbed Darth Vader’s Helmet owing to its appearance, has been delayed until at least 2009, partly as a result of legal wrangling between client Metrovacesa and freeholder Legal & General. The 92,900m2 project is being redesigned because of changing market conditions. It is understood that the alterations may include reducing the height of the planned 22-storey office blocks.
The development will have to be resubmitted for planning permission as a result of the revisions, but Metrovacesa still intends to complete it by 2012.
Metrovacesa agreed to buy the site in September 2007, but became engaged in a row with Legal & General over conditions. In May the pair negotiated an agreement to give Metrovacesa a more flexible leasehold interest.
It has been reported that Metrovacesa may consider replacing architects Jean Nouvel and Foster + Partners on the scheme as it is seeking designs that will be cheaper to build.