Transport for London has selected thirteen property partners to help take forward its ambitious site development programme across London.
All thirteen will be appointed to a development framework that aims to help TfL develop its vacant or underexploited sites in a more proficient way than is traditionally the case with public bodies. The organisation believes that working in long term partnerships will deliver greater efficiencies than working on a site by site basis.
It will also be inviting “the wider GLA family” to use the framework to bring forward developments on their own sites.
The winning list includes property developers British Land, Canary Wharf Group, CapCo, Land Securities and Stanhope (with Mitsui Fudosan). There are housebuilders Berkeley and Redrow, and construction group Balfour Beatty. Consortium or partnership bidders selected are Barratt with London & Quadrant, U+I with Notting Hill Housing, Mace with Peabody Trust and DV4, and Mount Anvil with Hyde Housing.
“After an extremely competitive process, we have appointed a selection of leading development organisations that we will work with to bring forward thousands of much needed homes, along with commercial space and jobs that will help support the Capital’s continued growth,” said Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at TfL. “The 300 acres of land we have announced for development is just the first phase. We are currently reviewing our assets to see how many more sites we can develop, especially in outer London, to provide homes that Londoners can afford while also generating revenue that can be reinvested in the transport network.”
“This framework marks a major step forward in allowing us to work with leading private sector developers and housing associations on an important part of our portfolio.”
The selection comes after more than 50 companies registered an interest in early 2015, at which point TfL said it would be bringing more than 50 sites with development potential into play. The aim is to build out space above tube stations, reuse under-exploited assets alongside depots and help to generate £3.4bn in non-fares revenue by 2023, to reinvest in the capital’s transport network. A third of that sum is expected to come from property development. With many of the sites in the ideal location for working Londoners, alongside stations or other transport nodes, the expectation that large amounts of sensibly priced or affordable homes can be delivered.
The organisation showed how keen it was to get moving by submitting three projects to planning committees, before its partners had been committed. Between them, the schemes will deliver more than 600 new homes. A development above the new Nine Elms station and a new station at Northwood have been put forward, along with a mixed use redevelopment of a former Underground depot alongside Parsons Green station.
Francis Salway, who chairs TfL’s commercial development advisory group, commented: “TfL has some of the best assets in London and over the coming years we will be working together with these developers to ensure that we are delivering for Londoners.”
LPA Perspective: It took a little longer than intended, but TfL has started 2016 with a raft of high profile, and experienced, development partners, and its first three applications in for consideration. The first test will be deciding who rides alongside on each of those, as they make their way through the planning approval process.
The hope is that the partners can be quickly allotted to other projects, enabling more to be designed and brought forward for development. This project feels as though it already has momentum, which needs to be maintained. Only then will it pull in other members of that “GLA family” to deliver their projects. This is a laudable second aim, our only hope is that pragmatism trumps professional pride, and other parties come in under the framework, too. That could really help turnaround the reputation of some public bodies, who have been woefully poor in delivering decent development to date.