The new Albert Square has been started (at last) with a completion date of late 2019 early 2020.
Time to repost a snip of one of the sections from the planning application that gives a view on what the new Albert Square will look like. Perhaps this is why they are ramping up storylines about development in Walford...
Are some of the upper floors of the new buildings used as stages for the show or could they be used for production offices.
Historically a large number of the backlot properties were just shallow 'frontage' - with no practical interiors at all, other than enough to allow a front door to open realistically. This was certainly the case for the houses on Albert Square. Most of the EastEnders interiors are shot separately in a studio with removable flattage to allow for more flexible lighting (so you shoot three wall a lot of the time, rather than four wall) and use decent Fisher booms for sound rather than personal mics or poles.
There are exceptions - like the Minute Mart shop and the Chippy, which have practical interiors. The new lot design - which is currently under construction - looks to have more actual interior space, but it doesn't look that practical for day-to-day production usage, and given that there is no major shortage of office space on the BBC Elstree site AFAIK I don't see the need for that.
neonemesis and Rkolsen gave kudos