WSP and London First, with the support of West London Business, Capital West London and the West London Alliance, have reviewed significant London developments and identified critical success factors which accelerated progress and have now published the findings in a report which also identifies the West London Orbital as a significant locally transformative project.
Adequate funding, a collaborative relationship with the relevant borough and transport infrastructure are three of seven factors which led to the successful progress of significant developments in London, the new report says, and should be considered in West London to accelerate the delivery of proposed homes, employment space and social infrastructure.
In the report, published the Capital West London Growth Summit in Hammersmith on Tuesday 29 October 2019, WSP and London First identify several success stories among London’s Opportunity Areas and large developments where delivery has been achieved, and detail the key factors which enabled progress.
Three major case studies were analysed as part of the report – White City, Kings Cross Central and Wembley Park – to identify these key success factors.
- White City Opportunity Area: The £8bn White City regeneration comprised 110ha spread across three sub-areas: White City East, Shepherd’s Bush Town Centre and White City West.
- King’s Cross Central: A vibrant new city quarter, King’s Cross Central is close to completion and will contain 50 new and refurbished buildings set in a network of new streets, squares and public space.
- Wembley Park: To date, 2,000 homes have been competed at Wembley Park, with 3,000 more under construction and outline consent for a total of 8,000.
Seven common themes that led to successful delivery of these developments were identified:
- Transport: The sites had existing infrastructure to provide good transport connectivity, with further upgrades in the pipeline.
- Land: Land ownership and title issues were resolvable.
- Funding: Cash flow could be managed to fund future development by sequencing revenue opportunities.
- Patient capital: Investor shared the developers’ long-term vision, supportive of building at pace.
- Collaborative relationship with borough: Working with local leaders to build a place that enhances opportunity for local people and fits with local economic development plans.
- Cultural assets: Creating value through a strong brand or local architectural and cultural heritage.
- Infrastructure: The ability to invest in waste, digital and energy infrastructure.
The report shows that West London has significant opportunities to deliver projects which will provide communities across the seven boroughs with connected and sustainable places, and is perfectly positioned to take advantage of significant projects like the Elizabeth Line and HS2, and more locally transformative projects such as the West London Orbital.
The report’s authors highlight the importance of the West London Orbital as the key scheme in West London, with the proposed rail service aiming to enhance public transport connectivity, facilitating 29,000 additional homes and 23,000 jobs.
When considering the existing challenges facing delivery in West London, the above success stories helped to identify seven action areas which should be prioritised to see successful developments across the boroughs of the West London Alliance (WLA). These include maintaining a focus on delivery, attracting private sector funding and the phased and coordinated delivery of transport and other utilities.
Ian Liddell, Managing Director, Planning & Advisory at WSP, said: “West London’s potential to deliver thriving, connected and sustainable places for communities across the boroughs of the WLA is clear, but challenges exist in accelerating the delivery of such developments. There is an ambitious pipeline of projects which will support West London’s future growth, and our identified success factors could support the delivery of significant developments which will provide housing, jobs and social infrastructure, including the potentially transformative West London Orbital.”
Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive at London First, said: “This report shows how business and local authorities can work together to unlock delivery of much-needed housing in the capital. Good transport connectivity is critical to success and the West London Orbital is a fantastic example of a truly transformative regeneration scheme.
“London’s transport infrastructure is dependent on stable, reliable funding and the government can help unleash development in West London by committing to the independent National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendation to invest at least 1.2% of GDP on infrastructure and to ending the uncertainty over HS2 and Old Oak Common once and for all.”
Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive at West London Business said: “West London is one of the most successful and best-connected economies on the planet. The report highlights the huge potential in the years ahead with tens of thousands of homes and jobs in the pipeline across the sub-region’s opportunity areas – and significantly enhanced connectivity on the way through Crossrail, HS2 and the West London Orbital.
“WSP’s and London First’s study is a timely call to action for public and private sector leaders to continue to raise our game – focussing on critical success factors from attracting patient capital to ensuring land ownership issues are resolvable. This will ultimately ensure West London’s wealth of opportunity is realised in a timely manner and the benefits maximised for all.”