Green light for Berkeley JV £367m Battersea plan

London’s Wandsworth Council has approved plans to build 839 homes, a nursery, shops and public square on the former Battersea gasholder site in Nine Elms.

The proposal, a joint venture between Berkeley Group’s developer St William and National Grid, would include 201 affordable homes for local residents to buy or rent at a reduced price.

The four gasholders, which neighbour the world famous Battersea Power Station, were decommissioned in 2013 and demolition is already well underway.

Alison Dowsett, Managing Director of St William, said: “This will open a former industrial site up for the first time in over 150 years and create a fantastic new place for the borough.”

Designed by Squire and Partners, the master plan consists of 12 buildings ranging from seven to 26 storeys in height and a new public square.

The mixed-use scheme would provide just over 50,000 sq ft of new education or office floorspace.

Vacant possession is due in spring 2016 with construction scheduled to start on site soon after. First occupations are scheduled for 2019.

The disused gasworks occupies a key position between Battersea Park and the new town centre now being built at Battersea Power Station.

The developer is set to make a £30m contribution to the cost of extending the Northern Line to this part of Battersea as well as a range of improvements to local community services.

A further £4m is being provided for improvements to neighbouring Battersea Park Station, including a second entrance and new lifts.

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Plan unveiled for £200m City of London office project

Swiss-based Partners Group is joining forces with Marick Real Estate to develop a 245,000 sq ft office building at 80 Fenchurch Street in the City of London.

Demolition of a vacant building on the site in the heart of the City insurance district will start by the end of June.

Construction of the stepped block rising to 14 storeys will start in early 2016, with completion expected by the first quarter of 2018.

The joint developers said the scheme, which has planning, will involved a total investment of £200m.

Designed by architects TP Bennett, the office block will boast a series of tiered roof gardens over nine individual building elements making up the stepped block.

80 Fenchurch

Stuart Keith, Vice President, Private Real Estate, Partners Group, said: “The recent rebound in the UK economy has created a significant supply-demand imbalance in the City of London in terms of Grade A office space, with vacancy levels close to historic lows and rents steadily climbing.

“80 Fenchurch will be perfectly placed in terms of location, timing and quality of build to capitalise on this attractive market opportunity.”

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Green light for Berkeley’s £615m White City scheme

Berkeley Group developer St James has secured a resolution to grant planning permission from the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham for its vast 1,465-home White City scheme in West London. 

The 10-acre Marks & Spencer warehouse site will be transformed into a residential neighbourhood set in a new 4 acre public park known as White City Green.

This open space will be fully funded by St James and provide opportunities for a range of leisure and recreational activities and events.

The whole development aims to deliver new homes, along with commercial, office, community and leisure space. It will bring £615m of investment, create 620 jobs in construction, and deliver just over 30% affordable housing on and off site.

A new bridge and pedestrian deck across London Underground’s Central Line will give direct access to the Westfield London shopping centre to the south.

Berkeley White City

The Marks and Spencer warehouse is due to be vacated in July 2016 and construction is planned to start at the earliest opportunity.

St James will deliver the scheme in several phases over a 15-year period.

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Great Portland races to build record project pipeline

Great Portland Estates is planning to start six more major London projects as developers in the capital scramble to meet demand for new space.

With six major projects on the go already, the developer now boasts the largest development pipeline in its history.

Announcing strong annual growth today, GPE said its substantial pipeline of opportunities included an additional 18 uncommitted projects, including six schemes totalling 548,600 sq ft with potential starts in the next 24 months.

Spending will rise from £325m on the half-dozen projects already committed to or in construction to £533m if the next six go ahead.

Toby Courtauld, chief executive, said: “Our 1.2m sq ft committed and near-term development programme is the largest we have ever undertaken and accounts for around 25% of all core West End speculative deliveries over the next four years.

“It contains some exceptional schemes, including a major contribution towards the regeneration of the east end of Oxford Street.

“In addition, our long, flexible pipeline of future projects contains many enticing prospects, often near to Crossrail stations, stretching well into the next decade.”

Six schemes in the near-term pipeline

148 Old Street, EC1 – obtained planning permission for a major refurbishment of the existing 97,800 sq ft building to create around 151,700 sq ft of high quality office space. GPE will have vacant possession this month and is targeting completion of the scheme by early 2017.

Hanover Square, W1 – obtained a revised resolution to grant planning for a mixed-use development scheme which will now deliver 223,600 sq ft of space and enhanced urban realm. The development scheme is owned in our 50:50 joint venture with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority with a potential start upon delivery of the station structure by Crossrail.

Tasman House, 59/63 Wells Street, W1 – submitted a planning application to replace a tired 1950′s building with 36,500 sq ft of new office and retail space.

Oxford House, 76 Oxford Street, W1 – continues to work up plans ahead of a planning application submission for a 90,500 sq ft major refurbishment of the mixed-use property incorporating a significant increase in the retail space. The building sits directly to the south of Rathbone Square, W1 and is opposite 73/89 Oxford Street, W1.

The Group’s near-term programme also includes proposed refurbishments of Mortimer House, W1 (23,100 sq ft) and 84/86 Great Portland Street, W1 (23,200 sq ft).



In total, GPE’s 2.5m sq ft development programme covers over half of the existing portfolio and upcoming deliveries in the core West End represent around 25% of this sub-market’s total forecast speculative supply over the next four years.

GPE said it expected to see a pick-up in the speculative development pipeline as developers respond to stronger occupier demand levels and the prospect of rental growth.

But it predicted many of these West End schemes would face significant barriers with the lead time between development starts and completions expected to take several years.

“These barriers increasingly include a shortage of contractor capacity which is both reducing market access to new entrants or those developers without meaningful pipelines of work and supporting construction cost inflation.

“While construction costs are rising from a relatively low base, the major cost consultants are forecasting annual cost inflation of 4-7% over the coming years for commercial schemes,” said Courtald.

“Across our business, we expect to be able to largely mitigate these cost increases and capacity constraints through rental growth, our deep relationships with contractors, effective supply chain management and our pipeline of opportunities.”

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Wates wins third Greenwich Peninsula resi block

Wates Construction has landed a £76m apartment scheme at Greenwich Peninsula for developer Knight Dragon.

The building, designed by architects Pilbrow & Partners, is the firm’s largest build on the vast residential scheme to date, after winning two previous residential projects.

The latest job will comprise a 32-storey tower with a seven-storey podium at its base containing 269 private and affordable social apartments. It is due for completion in spring 2017.

Located on plot 104, the new apartments form part of phase two of a major programme of works to deliver 10,000 new residential units on the Greenwich Peninsula – one of the largest regeneration schemes in Europe.

Wates previously won contracts for 201 flats on plot 114, after Willmott Dixon dropped out as lead contractor, and 144 flats on plot 115

The builder also completed a new marketing hub for the large site last year

Mark Tant, managing director, Wates Construction, London Residential, said: “This contract marks another milestone reached in this ambitious regeneration scheme and demonstrates our ability to deliver large-scale high-rise residential projects that add to the changing landscape of the capital.”

Richard Margree, Chief Executive of Knight Dragon, added: “This is a vital site for London to provide homes for people who want to live and work in the capital.

“Knight Dragon has invested £500m so far and is committed to delivering a vibrant and viable development.  We already have 1,300 homes under construction, with 500 to be completed in the next few months.”

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