Apple has now been accused of blocking out the sun. A number of local residents close to a proposed development of Apple Store at 100 Cheapside in London’s uber-rich financial district claims the store will rob them of their rights to sunlight.
For those of you unacquainted with ancient English laws, this can actually be a legal planning objection to new buildings. Reuters reports:
Rights of light issues have traditionally been resolved informally, often with millions of pounds changing hands before building work begins, or via the workaround — or power to bypass the law — which uses Section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act.
The City of London owns the land in London’s financial district, where currently there is no Apple store, but plenty of iPhone-toting City workers. It’s asking for approval to override laws regarding blocking sunlight to get the Apple store through the planning stage and in to reality.
Reuters reports that the planning application covers with a proposed 10-storey development 87,000 square feet of offices and 13,000 square feet of retail – plenty of space for a big Apple store. U.S. developer Hines is in talks to buy the site for under £25 million. Reuters notes that Apple is currently interested in moving in. Judging by the mock up above, an Apple retail space would fit nicely in that large windowed, street-level storefront.
In a report to its own transport and policy committees the City of London argues the building will bring economic benefits to the area.
The City of London is still looking for a buyer after the original bidder backed out citing concerns over the Rights to Light laws and concerns from neighbouring buildings. Perhaps Apple could step in and add a little of their retail design magic to the proposed design in order to satisfy concerns from neighbours?
The report also pointed to a contribution of 762,000 pounds the developer would make towards community improvements and the Crossrail east-west train link as part of the deal.
Those involved in the project are more than likely happy to have Apple interested in the development. ifoAppleStore notes they even used photos of Apple stores as examples for retail spaces in their application project summary document below: