Special Delivery: Royal Mail seeks buyer for controversial Mount Pleasant development site

One of the most talked-about schemes in central London

A For Sale sign has been hoisted above a huge section of the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office site in London’s Clerkenwell.

The Royal Mail has confirmed the 2.5 hectare plot, which takes up around half of the total area and has planning in place for over 600 new homes, is now up for grabs.

Proposals drawn up by AHMM, Allies & Morrison, Feilden Clegg Bradley and Wilkinson Eyre – submitted in 2013 and controversially green-lighted by former mayor BoJo – envisage it holding ten blocks of up to fifteen storeys.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman told Building Design that the company had begun to market “parts of our Mount Pleasant site that are surplus to our operations”, adding that the other 2 hectares would be “retained for processing and deliveries”.

She said: “We are also now in the process of identifying potential contractors to start working on separating our operations from the areas of the site earmarked for development. These works will take around three years to complete and require significant investment from Royal Mail. They are vital to any future redevelopment on the site. It is expected that these works will begin later this year.”

Sadly she would be drawn on the asking price.

Livid local residents have apparently called in celebrated architect Francis Terry to help design an alternative low-rise scheme with a neo-classical vibe.

Officially opened in 1889, the site was once one of the largest sorting offices in the world. It’s so big, in fact, that it sprawls across the jurisdiction of two borough councils – Islington and Camden – which has made things extra-complicated from a planning POV, as you can well imagine.

Full report here

Photograph by Edward Betts (CC-BY-2.0)