Pelham Street – Planning consent for the development of two office schemes on Pelham Street in South Kensington has been granted.

Plans to deliver approximately 12,000 m2 (GIA) of high-quality office floorspace across both schemes (40 Pelham Street, and 63-81 Pelham Street), which also includes a gym as part of the amenities, were recently approved by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. At its core, the development will help satisfy the growing need for workspace in this specific part of South Kensington.

A range of economic benefits will be generated, including an estimated 610 direct jobs and a contribution of up to £55m in GVA each year to the local economy. Opportunities to sign up for apprenticeships and work placements will also be afforded to local residents during the construction phase. Significant investment towards the local public realm will make the built environment more attractive, acting as a catalyst for future investment.

Volterra, on behalf of Wellcome Trust, prepared two separate economic benefits statements that formed part of the planning submission. The documents explained how a shift in working patterns accelerated by COVID-19, has emphasised how the design of office spaces will need to respond to changing needs. Our work helped demonstrate how the developments’ modern office space would support and contribute to the evolved need for such space in South Kensington.

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Alex O’Byrne, Associate at Volterra, is an experienced economic consultant specialising in economic, health and social impact, economic strategy, project appraisal and socio-economic planning matters.

Alex has led the socio-economic and health assessments of some of the most high profile developments across the UK, including Battersea Power Station, Olympia London, London Resort, MSG Sphere and Westfield. He has significant experience inputting to EIAs and s106 discussions as well as drafting economic statements, employment and skills strategies and affordable workspace strategies.

Alex is also experienced at economic appraisal for infrastructure. He was project manager of the economic appraisal for the City Centre to Mangere Light Rail in Auckland. He also led the economic and financial appraisals of the third tranche of the Transport Access Program for Transport for New South Wales, in which Alex developed and employed innovative methodological approaches to better capture benefits for individuals with reduced mobility.

He is interested in the limitations of current appraisal methodologies and ways of improving economic and health analysis to ensure it is accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, Alex recognises the importance of transparent and simple to understand analysis and ensuring all work is supported by a robust narrative.

Alex holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Manchester and he was a member of the first cohort of the Mayor’s Infrastructure Young Professionals Panel.


Senior Partner

t: +44 020 8878 6333

Ellie is a partner at Volterra, specialising in the economic impact of developments and proposals, and manages many of the company’s projects on economic impact, regeneration, transport and development.

With thirteen years experience at Volterra delivering high quality projects to clients across the public and private sector, Ellie has expertise in developing methods of estimating economic impact where complex issues exist with regards to deadweight, displacement and additionality.

Ellie has significant experience in estimating the economic impact across all types of property development including residential, leisure, office and mixed use schemes.

Project management of recent high profile schemes include the luxury hotel London Peninsula, Battersea Power Station and the Nova scheme at London Victoria. Ellie has also led studies across the country estimating the economic and regeneration impact of proposed transport investments, including studies on HS2 and Crossrail.

Ellie holds a degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Cambridge.