In summer 2020, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, consulted the London Assembly, GLA staff and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) staff on plans for the GLA to leave the current City Hall building next year and move its headquarters to The Crystal building in the Royal Docks.
The lease for the current City Hall building was granted in 2001 for 25 years, but it allows for a ‘break’ in the contract after 20 years, in December 2021. This means the GLA will have a chance to consider leaving its current premises before the lease is renewed.
The move to The Crystal, a building owned by the GLA, would result in significant savings, enabling the GLA to safeguard frontline services for Londoners.
Like other local and regional authorities across the country, the GLA is facing financial challenges due to the loss of business rates and council tax income as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Therefore, it is even more important for us to prioritise our spending on crucial front-line services rather than internal running costs.
To enable the potential relocation, we are looking to submit a planning application to Newham Council to formally change the building use.
When The Crystal was built, the use of the building was limited by planning regulations to holding exhibitions and conferences. The current planning application would allow us to change the permitted use to accommodate regional government and civic functions.
Listening to the local community
Any move to The Crystal would be an important decision for not only all Londoners, but especially residents and businesses in the local area. Therefore, ahead of a formal decision, we would like to hear from local people to understand your views on the change of use.
The Mayor has yet to make a formal decision on whether to relocate City Hall to the Crystal Building. He is expected to announce his decision in the coming weeks.
The planning process would enable any potential move to take place before the end of 2021 – the date at which the ‘break clause’ for the lease at the current building expires.