Internet giant Google has gained planning permission to build a huge new UK headquarters building at King's Cross in central London.
Camden Council's planning committee gave the green light to the £1 billion project yesterday (August 10th). Measuring 11 storeys in height and covering more than one million sq ft, the building has been described as a 'landscraper' and is so large that not even Google and its 4,000 on-site staff will fill it. Instead, the company will take up 650,000 sq ft and the rest will be used by other firms.
The main contractor for the building of the complex is Lendlease, with the deal believed to be worth in the region of £350 million. Construction Work should start early next year.
It was designed by Heatherwick Studios and BIG. Heatherwick boss Thomas Heatherwick said: "Strong support for an ambitious building in an important part of the city is more proof that London is not afraid of its future. We’re excited to start building."
The fact that such a large project is taking place in King's Cross has various implications. It helps build on a series of recent developments around the vicinity, which with its Eurostar connection and access to six Tube lines - more than at any other station in London - is in a prime location.
More widely, however, the news comes at a time when the overall level of investment in commercial construction has declined amid ongoing uncertainty over Brexit. This was a key finding of the July Purchasing Managers Index by Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Showing the weakest level of construction growth in 11 months, the survey pointed to the commercial sector as a key area of concern. It said "worries about the economic outlook and heightened political uncertainty" had made investors less willing to commit.
In such circumstances, the Google decision may come as a timely boost for jobs, but also as a vote of confidence in the UK at an uncertain time.