Yesterday I went along to the excellent fourth instalment of Place West London
; an annual conference on the development and regeneration sector of West London. With speakers from a whole range of sectors and updates from the players behind big schemes including Earls Court, Wembley, White City, Nine Elms and Hayes the day gave a great insight in to the challenges and the state of the market, which I will try to summarise.
The day kicked off with a number of keynote speakers including Stephen Hammond MP, (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DfT), Daniel Moylan, (Mayoral advisor and TfL Board Member) as well as Lord Clive Soley (Campaign director of Future Heathrow). Unsurprisingly then, the debate centred on transport and infrastructure and more specifically aviation policy (or lack of). Arguments were heard for both the expansion of Heathrow as well as a new airport in the Thames Estuary. However, consensus was agreed between all that government needs to seriously act now, instead of kicking the debate into touch, until after the next election, when it will then be too late.
- As we all know the scope of this project (or projects; 27 independent schemes so far and counting) is huge. 195 hectares, 16,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs, with £1bn of infrastructure.
- The good news. 2,000 resi units under construction with some '"imminent starts" including Embassy Gardens, Vauxhall Sq/Spring Mews, Eastbury House and hopefully phase1 of Battersea Power Station. New planning application for redesign to Hampton House expected in Mid-November, designed by Foster + Partners.
- The challenges. As a market, VNEB is still not really understood. The area is somewhat reliant on market conditions and maintaining confidence. The main challenge is infrastructure, including the tube line extension. £500m is expected to come from CIL receipts, although delivered over a long period. Therefore delivering infrastructure at the right time is a huge challenge. A highly organised collaborative effort between 27 different stakeholders is a must.
- 8.7m sq ft of permitted development across 85 acres with planning consent for 5,500 homes (10-20% affordable).
- Recent completions include 600+ student bed scheme and 306 bed Hilton Hotel.
- London Designer Outlet aso under construction and due to complete in October 2013. This 360,000 sq ft scheme is 45% let and has key anchors in place.
- The first residential plot to come forward will be NW01; a 400 unit scheme which is apparently around a year away to take to the market.
Other bits of note
- S106 relating to Kodak site in Harrow should be signed off within the month (everything going well).
- Harrow's CIL charges to come in to force, June 2013 with a charge of £110 for residential.
- Nice fact relating to Cathedral Group's Old Vinyl Factory site in Hayes is that every Beatles record, ever pressed says 'Made in Hayes' on it. Pretty cool eh!
- Some imaginative temporary uses also appear to be taking place at the Old Vinyl Factory, whilst Hillingdon decide upon the application. Check them out here