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lookwestlondon is now the official news feed for Capital West London, the collaborative inward investment and trade venture for the seven West London Boroughs. Your favourite West London economic and development news feed is now on the Capital West London website.

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Corum buys in West London

Corum AM, a french investor, has bought a building in Stockley Park for around £40m.
The acquisition of 2 Roundwood Avenue, the european headquarters building for US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, from Janus Henderson’s for £40.5m has recently completed. The property provides 97,720 sq ft across two conjoined buildings.

Stockley Park is a landscaped business park close the Heathrow Airport. Other occupiers include Apple, Celgene, Alexion, Canon, Sharp and Toshiba.
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Heathrow finances “robust”

Heathrow’s financial position remains robust with £3.2bn of cash and committed facilities available to the business, while management continues ongoing work to reduce the airport’s cost base, says the airport.

This is in response to credit rating agency Standard & Poor lowering by one notch the long-term ratings on Class A and Class B debt issued by Heathrow Funding Limited, with both retaining negative outlooks due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19. Heathrow retains investment grade credit ratings on its Class A and Class B debt which now stand at BBB+ and BBB- respectively. 

The airport says the decision reflects Standard & Poor’s updated view on airports and forecast for a global recession that will result in a slower recovery in passenger traffic. The agency notes “the airport sector in Europe is facing an unprecedented decline in air traffic as Europe has become the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic and the governments have introduced travel restrictions and quarantine orders. In addition, S&P Global Ratings now expects a eurozone and global recession in 2020, which will likely slow the recovery in passenger traffic.”

Heathrow Chief Financial Officer Javier Echave said:  “The spread of COVID-19 is having a tragic human cost and significant effects across the global aviation industry. Prudent management and investment in the airport over the past decade puts Heathrow in a strong financial position. We’ve taken steps to reduce our cost base and reorganise our operation which will help us keep Britain’s hub airport operating and protect vital supply lines throughout this crisis. We will continue working to restore our strong rating as soon as possible”.

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1500 Middlesex University students helping with coronavirus response

Middlesex University (MDX) is providing continuous personal development training to returning NHS retirees and supporting Tavistock Clinic wellbeing programme .
As part of London Healthcare Education Group, MDX works alongside all London higher education institutions and NHS partners that deliver nursing and midwifery programmes. Since the coronavirus crisis started, these groups have been meeting almost daily about how to work in an efficient and effective way to prepare students for working on the frontline when the government’s coronavirus emergency bill – allowing students to extend their clinical placements and for our finalists to potentially be registered on the ‘emergency Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register’ – is passed, and to ensure students are fully supported when they go into practice. We also continue to work with our wider partnerships in the private, independent and social care sectors.
All MDX second and third year nursing and midwifery students will either be in practice, in our North Central London partner trusts such as the Whittington, Royal Free and Moorfields Eye Hospital, or returning to practice during the crisis. MDX staff are working with Health Education England (HEE) to identify who is ready to go onto the government’s emergency register if they opt in. Alternatively, second and third years have an option to extend their clinical practice up to 80% as part of their training, supporting the expansion of the NHS workforce in non-emergency roles.
While first years are paused in their clinical placements, MDX has been working with Capital Nurse, a programme to ensure excellent nursing is delivered collaboratively across London to meet healthcare needs, to enable them to nominate themselves as Healthcare Assistants. 96 first year students have volunteered for this so far. MDX also has trainee nurse associates on an apprenticeship route – a programme which has grown rapidly and is up for a 2020 Student Nursing Times award – who will be going back to help their employer Trusts as Healthcare Assistants. In total, around 1500 MDX students will be mobilised to help.
Students are being surveyed about whether they want to opt in or not to the emergency register. “Given the prevalence and spread of the virus, all students will be taking risks on our behalf, and while we did not anticipate anything less, we are so grateful for the outstanding contribution they are offering ” says Head of School of Health and Education, Professor Carmel Clancy.
MDX Nursing and Midwifery has an extensive CPD contract with many of our NHS local providers and as part of this we are actively engaged in upskilling staff in key clinical skills: this work continues, with many of our own clinical/tech staff going into clinical trusts to deliver. With the coronavirus outbreak, the demand for CPD has increased: the clinical skills lab on campus is on standby to be deployed as required.
MDX staff are also supporting North Central London NCL In Mind, a project by the Tavistock Centre pulling together all resources in wellbeing.  The context for developing this initiative centres on the need to safeguard our health and social care staff’s emotional wellbeing throughout what is anticipated to be a protracted period of extremely challenging working conditions. There are circa 52,000 staff directly employed by the 12 NCL provider trusts alone, which doesn’t take account of our colleagues in commissioning, primary care or social care, and academia. The project intends to coordinate communications and easily disseminate psycho-social education tools for improving mental wellbeing.
Professor Clancy adds – “A nurse is a nurse is a nurse. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in front line, in a care home or an academic institution. First and foremost you’re a nurse. From an educational, management or professional point of view we’re all playing our part”.
Dr Sinead Mehigan and Associate Professor Kathy Wilson, from the Senior Leadership Team for Nursing and Midwifery say: “MDX has offered a Nursing degree since the 1990s.
“Innovation has always been one of the university’s key strengths, particularly in the healthcare area. We support students who have come to us through non-traditional educational routes; we were one of 11 national pilot sites for the Nursing Associate programme and we’ve been instrumental in leading on, and giving support to, secondments in the Capital Nurse programme.
“We have led on the development of the Pan-London Assessment Document that enables us to work in partnership with other universities to guide and support our learners’ progress in practice. This all stands us in good stead in working collectively to tackle the coronavirus outbreak”
“We are working with policy makers and the Nursing and Midwifery Council to devise what is necessary on a daily basis and are drawing up rapid programmes to upskill practice returners.
“It is impossible to fully recognise the impact this unknown situation is having on our students, many of whom are soon be on the front line, and our academic staff are providing essential and continuous support.  Our nursing team have been absolutely outstanding in pulling together at this time of crisis”.
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Sustainable Construction

An online panel session run by West London Business discussed sustainable construction, and the issues which might be obstructing its more enthusiastic adoption by the construction sector.

Nick Belsten, of WSP, kicked the discussion off with one of the key points, saying: “The government have committed to some quite rigorous standards, and over the next decades going to have to respond. It will be important to bring everyone together and work collaboratively”.
Silo working is often seen as the enemy of innovation, so this is clearly very important. Cllr Peter Mason of Ealing Council thought collaboration was vital to progress. He also thought that somehow there needed to be a realisation among developers that sustainability could not be in competition with the delivery of affordable homes. 
Embedding sustainable construction and operation in to buildings often adds cost at the build stage. However, a full life costing model will show that often such practices pay off in the long term. But it’s the up front cost which means that sometimes the sustainability is compromised by the affordable home requirement, or vice versa. Cllr Mason said: “As a local planning authority, we can influence through the planning process, but sustainability  needs to be a central plank of how we go about design and build. Ultimately it needs developers and architects to engage fully and embed such technology in their buildings. It is not a nicety, it is a necessity.”
Paul Vick, of Paul Vick Architects, said that designing in sustainability could increase the life time value of a building, by increasing its longevity. If a building is cheaper to run, or more flexible, then it will last longer before it needs to be replaced. “Over the long term, the environmental elements arw more important”, he said. “And we are building for the next generation, and their perception of value may be different to that which has gone before. We need to keep that in mind.”
Lee-Ann Perkins, of the Better Futures Programme (a WLB partnership with City Hall and Imperial College), gave an overview of some of the cleantech start ups they have supported. Powervault – an in-home battery storage provider, are manufacturing and installing batteries to be charged by solar or other cheap power options, providing power to be used later.
Airex provide smart air bricks – an element of a typical home which founder Tim Roebuck suggested caused 15% of the heat loss. These bricks regulate the amount of ventilation to reduce the loss. Brittany Harris, of QFlow, said that their  sevice can make commercial gains, and is doing so for companies like Canary Wharf Group, through waste tracking, material checking, and air quality monitoring.
West London has an emerging cluster of cleantech companies, and this sector can provide significant economic growth. If they can help transform our built environment and make it better suited for the next few decades, then they will help all those that occupy it.
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Tesco Osterley update

St. Edward have run a second consultation on the plan to relocate Tesco Osterley to the Homebase site on the Great West Road, and build around 2250 homes across the two sites.

Plans for the Osterley site

The plans involve demolishing the Greenford Homebase store and redeveloping that site as a new Tesco with multi-level parking and homes above. The store was designed in 1987 by Grimshaw Architects, and was granted a five year certificate of immunity from listing in January 2020.

The present Tesco Osterley site, once home to the Imperial Biscuit Factory and adjacet to the Sky Osterley Campus, would then be redeveloped as homes.
The consultation documents say the two sites, which sit either side of the Grade II listed Gillette Building, have the potential to jointly deliver 2,250 high-quality homes as well as community facilities and green open spaces and will be subject to two separate planning applications. They are in the Great West Road Opportunity Area which aims to deliver a minimum of 7,500 new homes and up to 14,000 new jobs.

The plans for the Homebase site, seen from Syon Lane station

The London Borough of Hounslow has produced its own Plan for the Opportunity Area. This envisages seven new mixed-use quarters where new development will inject vibrancy, urban life and a new focus into this part of Hounslow. At a local level, both sites are allocated for residential-led mixed-use development.
JTP are the architects on the Osterley site, while Patel Taylor are working on the Homebase one. Planning applications are expected later in 2020.
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SEGRO to buy in Perivale

It is reported that SEGRO are in advanced negotiations to acquire the Perivale Park Industrial Estate.

The park, owned by Hermes, has been on the market, and it is understood that SEGRO are close to finalising a c£200m deal. The estate includes a dozen units of varying sizes, up to around 70,000 sq ft.

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Network submits Northwick Park plans

Network Homes has submitted detailed plans for 654 homes on land they acquired in 2019 at Northwick Park.

The PRP Architects designed scheme involves the demolition of the existing buildings on the site on Nightingale Lane, and their replacement with a 654 home development of which 245 will be affordable.
There will also be retail space, highways improvements, and open space, in a development designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.
Sphere 25 are handling planning.
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Ealing third in “Best places to live in London” list

Ealing is often called the “Queen of the Suburbs”, and it remains a popular place to live among Londoners.

Now the latest “Best places to live” list from The Times ranks it third in the whole of London. The combination of established desirable locations with well-designed new developments, the high quality environment with many excellent parks and museums, and the fabulous connections to central London, the rest of West London, and the world via Heathrow put it very high on the desirability list. 

Connectivity will increase still further when Crossrail opens, with Ealing Broadway station (pictured above) then just 19 minutes from Liverpool Street.

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Origin Housing and Hill celebrate topping out at Harrow One

Origin Housing and Hill have hosted a topping out ceremony at Harrow One, a 204 home development on the site of the former Cumberland Hotel.
Harrow One’s apartments are in two buildings, with the scheme designed, say the developers, with the wellbeing of its residents and the surrounding environment in mind. There will be around 400 cycle storage spaces to encourage environmentally friendly travel. The buildings will also include energy saving features such as photovoltaic panels on the roofs and a communal heating plant.
The £70 million scheme will also create commercial spaces and a public plaza in the heart of Harrow. The newly built Victoria Hall, a community hub annexing both buildings, will provide a space for residents to gather, learn and celebrate. 81 of the homes are affordable.
Calum Kidd, Deputy Regional Director at Hill, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating our second joint venture with Origin and Harrow Council. Harrow is a diverse borough, home to an array of strong educational facilities, including The Media, Art and Design Campus for the University of Westminster, as well as a wealth of shops, restaurants and bars situated in the historic streets of Harrow-on-the-Hill. With one fifth of the borough dedicated to green spaces and Harrow-on-the-Hill station just a six-minute walk away, we expect Harrow One to be sought-after by young professionals, first-time buyers, and downsizers alike.”
Carol Carter, Chief Executive at Origin Housing, said: “Effective partnership has been crucial to getting this development out of the ground and it is great to work with Hill again on our second Joint Venture together and to have the support of Harrow Council. The scheme will bring a great mix of homes as well as a new community hall and an attractive public piazza for central Harrow.”

Councillor Keith Ferry, Harrow Council, said: “I am delighted to have been invited to attend this important milestone in the development, on the site of the former Cumberland Hotel. This project provides much needed homes for Harrow.”

Hill and Origin’s first joint venture, in South Harrow, Echo One, included 69 private sale, 18 affordable rent and 29 shared ownership homes.
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H&F fitness centre refurbishment complete

The Lillie Road fitness centre has completed a council-funded makeover.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council recently invested in improvements at leisure centres across the borough – with the Lillie Road Fitness Centre recently fully reopening following the major upgrade which involved new gym equipment, a new group cycle studio, refurbished changing rooms and a new user-friendly self-entry system.
“It’s great to see these fantastic improvements which along with our new Pay and Play membership mean anyone in the borough has access to living a more active life,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment.
“With these improvements we’re building on the hard work we’re already doing to ensure the health and well-being of our residents and to tackle the rising obesity epidemic.”
The refurbishment comes following H&F Council’s renewal of its agreement in summer 2019 with the charitable social enterprise GLL to run the borough’s three centres, Hammersmith Fitness and Squash Centre, Lillie Road Fitness Centre, and Phoenix Fitness Centre and Janet Adegoke Swimming Pool.
It also follows the launch of a new residents’ ‘Pay and Play’ membership card which offers free annual membership to use any of the three centres.
Pay and Play membership. The new membership means everyone now has the chance to live a more active lifestyle and enjoy the perks of the newly-overhauled fitness centres.
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Mindspace opens in Hammersmith

Mindspace, the flexible space provider, has leased its latest site in Hammersmith, the operators third London site.
Mindspace will build and manage 35,000 sq ft of coworking and flexible space, on floors 6-8 of the Metro building, which is owned by a fund managed by Patrizia. The new Mindspace site will accommodate approximately 630 members, and the opening is scheduled for June 2020.
Mindspace says it will provide “uniquely designed and attractively furnished spaces accompanied by a wide range of business services such as guest check-in, community programming, activities and events, and other concierge-type services”. Mindspace will also offer various amenities for all tenants of the building, such as meeting rooms, board room and event spaces. 

Dan Zakai, CEO and co-founder, Mindspace said: “With a global track record of over 30 successful locations in 7 countries and 16 cities, inclusive of London – the coworking capital of the world, we are excited to take the next step in our growth. We plan to bring our unique flex space approach to this building and create a space that our partners and members can be proud to call their office.”
The Metro Building in Hammersmith, a key office submarket in west London, provides just under 110,000 sq ft of office space over nine floors. Other tenants include Weber, Agoda International, Capcom, Virgin Hotels and IATA.
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Romulus submit Shortlands plans

Romulus has submitted plans for a major refurbishment of 3 Shortlands, the central Hammersmith office building.

3 Shortlands, currently home to Hammersmith & Fulham Council while their town hall is refurbished, would be expanded and reclad under the plans, adding 110,000 sq ft of office space, a 240-room, Accor Adagio-operated hotel, as well as retail space, and an arts and craft hub to the existing 181,000 sq ft building.

The additional offices would be operated by Romulus’s co-working brand, Huddle, which is already in occupation in the curtrent building. Other tenants include Love Holiday, Formula E, Bullion Vault and Jac Travel.

The plans, designed by Fletcher Priest, would be delivered in two phases between now and 2027.

Construction work could start on the new hotel in early 2021 if consent is granted.

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Power Road Studios sold

Helical has sold the Power Road Studios in Chiswick to a private investor for £41.5m.
Helical bought the building in 2015, and has since refurbished it and produced a series of lettings. It was originally built in the 1930s as a Singer sewing machine factory, and now provides 57,000 sq ft of workspace over four buildings.
The site also has consent for the construction of a new 30,000 sq ft building, a 13,000 sq ft roof extension to building one and a small amenity block.
Tom Anderson, Senior Investment Executive at Helical, commented: “This disposal is in line with our clear strategy of selling non-core assets and realising proceeds which we can recycle into new value add and development opportunities in our core central London markets.” 
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Stanhope’s Chiswick Park buy backed by Bank of China

It is reported that Bank of China financed the £312m acquisition by developer Stanhope and Asian investor Lekker Til of Building 7 at Chiswick Park.
Stanhope has bought back in to the park it developed, and then sold. It was development manager for the building after Blackstone bought the entire park in 2011 and began speculative development of what was the final building in the masterplan.
Building 7 tenants include US-based flexible offices group VentureX, Pernod Ricard, and Danone.
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Hammersmith eco-cargo bike delivery service hits 1,000 parcels

The cargo bike service has just completed more than 1,000 journeys in the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. 

The Parcels not Pollution service was launched last September. It uses an e-cargo bike for business deliveries in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush town centres. It reduces congestion and improves air quality in town centres.
With most journeys involving several deliveries, it means potentially thousands of van trips removed from busy town centres.
“We launched this service because making our borough a cleaner, better place to live and work,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment. “It’s great to see this service being so well used as businesses join our efforts to fight the climate emergency.”
So far, dozens of local businesses are signed up to the service, which uses an emissions-free e-bike for the last leg of parcel delivery to help reduce the environmental impact of freight traffic in H&F. The scheme is available in both Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush – with plans to expand to Fulham town centre shortly. Along with expanding locations, delivery hours have also been extended and will now run from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
H&F Council is partnering with Hammersmith BID, Transport for London and e-cargobikes on the scheme. Goods arrive at the freight hub in Ladbroke Grove. For all goods arriving before 3pm, deliveries are made the same day. There is no charge.
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Copland homes plans approved

Brent Council’s plans for a 250 home development on the site of the former Copland Community School have been approved .
The school was replaced by the newbuild Ark Elvin Academy on a neighbouring site. Now the former school site at the junction of Cecil Avenue and Wembley High Road will be replaced by a Karakusevic Carson designed five to nine storey mixed use building containing 250 new homes, and up to 3,622sqm of flexible workspace and community space,  as well as landscaped courtyards and playspace. 40% of the homes will be affordable. 
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Brent pushes back Borough of Culture events

The Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, has today announced changes to the London Borough of Culture programme in response to the impact of coronavirus, meaning Brent’s time in the spotlight will continue in to 2021.

Brent 2020 is rescheduling its programme until later in 2020, with the Kilburn High Street Party and Liberty Festival, the Mayor of London’s free festival celebrating of the work of Deaf and disabled artists, happening in the summer of 2021. Lewisham’s year as London Borough of Culture will move to 2022. Croydon will remain London Borough of Culture for 2023.

Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said: “It’s important that we all follow the Government’s instructions to stay at home unless it is essential to leave. But we do not want Londoners to miss out on the amazing creative programmes that Brent, Lewisham and Croydon have planned, so that is why we have re-scheduled our plans. We will work closely with artists, the boroughs and all those involved to ensure they are supported during these challenging times.”

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Finchley Central images released

Transport for London and Taylor Wimpey are working together to develop plans to improve the area around Finchley Central station, developing new homes, retail, community facilities and new public space, including a pocket park.

The partners say their vision for Finchley Central is to “deliver a new heart to the town centre: one that provides affordable, sustainable homes, places to work and public spaces to enjoy”.
They aim to link both ends of the existing high street through new public space and improved station access.
The plans would provide new facilities like a community cycle hub that would include areas to store bikes, changing facilities and a café. The pedestrian experience would be improved by reconfiguring congested roads like Nether Street Junction and delivering a new pedestrianized plaza to access the station.
A second round of consultation was held recently. A planning application is expected later in 2020.

Aerial showing site

Proposed masterplan

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Barnet consults on Local Plan and Transport Strategy

Barnet Council is consulting on its Local Plan and its long-term transport plans that aim to plan how the borough is going to grow in the years to 2036, with new homes including affordable housing, and new spaces for business, sport and recreation; and cater for the expected growth in the borough’s population over the next 20 years and build on current transport options.
Local Plan
Councillor Shimon Ryde, Chair of Barnet’s Planning Committee, said: “Barnet is a great place where people choose to live, work and study. We must plan to make sure it stays that way and has enough homes to accommodate our growing population. We want to hear the views of residents and businesses on our approach to planning for the future of Barnet.”
Barnet’s excellent schools, vibrant town centres, vast green spaces and diverse communities are among the many factors that make it a popular place where people choose to live, work, study and visit.
The plan says growth will be focussed in the most sustainable locations such as town centres and places with good public transport, and will be supported by infrastructure such as schools and health facilities, as well as open spaces. Barnet is planning for over 3,000 new homes every year for the next 15 years, and is planning for at least 35 per cent to be classed as ‘affordable’ housing. New policies have been introduced on ensuring new homes are built to a liveable size, providing stronger protection for existing housing from conversion and short-term lets, and encouraging wider housing choice with new forms of tenure such as Build to Rent.
There is greater emphasis in the Local Plan on making Barnet’s town centres more attractive and safe places to visit and enjoy during the day and evening as well as encouraging investment.
Consultation on the first formal stage of the Local Plan concluded on 16 March.
Transport Strategy
The council’s Draft Long-Term Transport Strategy 2020-2041 outlines proposals to support population growth through a safe, reliable and convenient travel network that improves air quality and public health.

Councillor Dean Cohen, Chair of the Environment Committee, said: “This transport strategy is aimed at making Barnet a better place to live, work, study, and visit over the next 20 years. We want to make it easier to get about, particularly given the significant future increase in families and older people in Barnet. The infrastructure we have today will not be fit for the larger population of tomorrow. This family-friendly strategy also sets out how we will help people lead healthier and more active lives and reduce the damaging effects of air pollution.”

Barnet is already home to 394,400 residents – more than in any other London borough. This figure is expected to grow to almost 450,000 by 2030, with many more elderly people.

As there is a finite amount of road space in the borough, congestion can only be addressed by reducing reliance on the car. The council is encouraging residents to use more sustainable and active methods of travel such as walking, cycling and public transport.

The strategy sets out plans to improve various methods of transport, with greater travel options made available for residents to help them lead more active lifestyles.

The consultation will run until Friday 24 April 2020.

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