Brent resi offers value

Brent is in the property spotlight with strong five-year house price growth, according to a report in the London Evening Standard.
The report says that being London Borough of Culture for 2020 has helped keep an upward trend in values going. The average Brent home now costs £553,000, still lower than much of London. But over the past five years prices have risen 18.5%, more than most of London.
Certain parts of the borough are particular hotspots – Wembley Central is up by 40% in the last five years. While most of the new homes in Wembley are being built for rental by Wembley Park developer Quintain, those on the market for sale are in demand, as Wembley’s zone 4 prices with zone 2 connectivity draws a crowd.
However, even better for value growth than Wembley is Sudbury, where prices have grown 43 per cent in five years. Sudbury Town station is in Zone 4 on the Piccadilly line, and Sudbury and Harrow Road station has trains to Marylebone in 17 minutes.
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Heathrow takes steps to remain open during virus crisis

Heathrow Airport says it will take steps to reorganise and shrink its operation to remain open throughout the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

Keeping Heathrow open will enable some passenger services to continue, as well as facilitating cargo operations.

The Airport also says that to safeguard the financial resilience of the business, they are taking a number of steps, include reducing operating costs, cancelling executive pay, freezing recruitment and reviewing all capital projects. The management team are reviewing further actions which can be taken if required and as the situation continues to develop.

The UK Government has also confirmed that it will provide support for the UK aviation sector – including airlines and airports.

The airport says prudent management over the past decade means that they are “well funded and in a robust financial position, with cash and committed facilities available of £3.3 billion designed to maintain at least a 12-month liquidity horizon”.

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Green light for Colindale Station redevelopment

Barnet Council and TfL have completed the Section 106 agreement for the redevelopment of the Colindale Station site, and the council has issued a formal approval.

The scheme involves a comprehensive redevelopment of the site, with full planning permission for the demolition of the existing buildings to provide a replacement railway station ticket hall building and including a retail unit. Outline planning consent has also been granted for the construction of a mixed use development ranging from six to 29 storeys in height including up to 860sqm of flexible retail, employment and community uses and up to 313 flats comprising of 168 market sale flats, 25 for social rent, and 120 intermediate.

It is hoped the development will be a catalyst for economic growth for the area around the station.

Avison Young handled planning for TfL on the BDP designed scheme.

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Abbey plans set for approval

ZEDHomes has had its plans for a 581 home redevelopment of the Abbey Manufacturing Estate in Alperton recommended for approval by Brent Council.

The plans, designed by Broadway Malyan, were originally submitted in December 2018. The recommendation for approval is subject to a number of conditions including 115 of the homes being a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership.

The scheme would involve the demolition of the canalside industrial estate and its replacement with a mixed use development of buildings ranging between three and 14 storeys containing 581 residential units, 14,500 sq ft of flexible commercial floorspace of which 6,000 is to be affordable, car parking, landscaping and ancillary facilities.

Bell Cornwell are handling planning for ZEDHomes.

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Digital Skills Partnership review event held at Barnet and Southgate College

SMEs and higher education students came together with the Digital Grid Partnership for an evening of capacity-building and reviewing

Supported by the GLA and funded by the ESF, a Digital Skills Partnership review event was held at Barnet and Southgate College’s Wood Street Campus. In attendance were representatives from local SMEs (small to medium enterprises) working in the technical and creative sectors, working alongside College staff staff to review IT modules for higher education courses.

The aim was to ensure currency and relevance for SMEs in London.  Mark Casey from Nexus UC, David Cole from Netrix Internet Innovation and Bidemi Alabi from Barnet TV are amongst those supporting the initiative.  Also present were higher education students who engaged in “S.K.E.-ing” (speed knowledge exchanging) with the employers.  The next stage is to co-design new curriculum modules and build capacity for work experience.

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Master Brewer plans called in

Inland Homes plans for Hillingdon Gardens have been called in by the Mayor of London following local refusal.

The plans would deliver more than 500 homes in a development of a development of up to 11 storeys on the former Master Brewer site next to the junction of Long Lane and Freezeland Way. The developer describes it as a residential-led, mixed-use neighbourhood of 514 homes, including 179 affordable homes and 1,250sqm of commercial space.

Hillingdon tube station adjoins the site, with direct services into central London in approximately 35 minutes.

Stephen Wicks, Inland Homes CEO, commented: “The announcement that the Mayor of London is ‘calling in’ the Hillingdon Gardens planning application is very welcome, demonstrating our unrivalled ability to identify brownfield sites where we can add value. Not only will Hillingdon Gardens deliver more than 500 much needed homes to the area, it will also provide additional employment opportunities and public realm benefit”.

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White City sale progress

The sale of White City Place is progressing, with four bidders now understood to be still in the race.

An international group including Cadillac Fairview (Canada), GIC (Singapore), Peterson Group (Hong Kong) and Great Portland Estates (UK) have, it is understood, made it through to the second round in the race to buy the 966,290 sq ft office campus.

Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo put its lease, which runs until 2035, over the 17-acre site up for sale with Eastdil Secured for around £250m.

The campus contains WestWorks, MediaWorks, the Garden House, Television Centre, Energy Centre and the Lighthouse building. Tenants already include the BBC, ITV Studios, YOOX Net-A-Porter, The Royal College of Art and Huckletree with L’Oréal set to move in soon.

The BBC sold the site to Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo in 2015 for £87m, and has since redeveloped Television Centre into 432 homes, and a hotel and office space, while refurbishing WestWorks, MediaWorks and Garden House.

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Ealing launches Fit to Bid

The London Borough of Ealing, in association with Branduin Business Support are offering a fully funded support package to enable local businesses get ‘Fit to Bid’.

The programme involves an initial Bid Capability Assessment of each company, and experts then provide 1:1 advice to improve their chances of winning more contracts. The programme is worth over £3,000 for each business, and is fully funded by  Ealing Council

There are ten specialist workshops, including “Ten Golden Rules for Successful Bidding”,  “Writing an effective Executive Summary”, and “Marketing to Tier 1 Suppliers”.

Interested firms should visit the website to complete the simple online Bid Capability Assessment Questionnaire.

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Harrow plans Article 4 protection for conservation areas

Harrow Council’s planning comittee has approved proposals to introduce Article 4 directions for five conservation areas in Stanmore and Edgware.
If introduced, planning permission would now be required for more minor works at buildings on Kerry Avenue, Stanmore Hill, Old Church Lane, Canons Park, and Little Common.
The council will now consult on the proposals.
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Brent reaches Network agreement

Brent Council has agreed to work with Network Homes to support its approach to housebuilding over the next five years.
The council’s cabinet has agreed a co-operation agreement with the housing association, which will allow the two bodies to share knowledge to improve the borough’s housing sector. The intention is that it will help achieve the council’s ambitions to build 1,000 new council homes a year.
The agreement should let Brent Council access Network’s resources and expertise to help deliver across the borough, but will initially apply to four new housing projects – Kilburn Square Clinic and three schemes in Shoot Up Hill at Windmill Court, Claire Court and Watling Gardens.
As well as procurement and construction management, the relationship will also deal with resident consultations and the approach to defects and repairs. 
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Brent consult on the future of St Raphael’s Estate

Brent Council has shown its first set of proposals for the regeneration of the St Raphael’s Estate.

The consultation showed initial designs for infill development and redevelopment – the two approaches being considered to improve St Raphael’s for existing residents while also providing new affordable housing.

Karakusevic Carson Architects, who residents appointed as their chosen architect in July 2019, have created the initial designs following a set of workshops.

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Brent’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “For the last year we’ve been working closely with residents and community groups as they have created plans for how their estate could look and feel in the future. It’s vitally important that the community continues to lead the design process, so I encourage everyone living locally to tell us what they think and their preferred design option.”

Chair of the estate’s resident board St Raphael’s Voice, Asif Zamir, said: “The public exhibition is a significant milestone for all residents; I’m excited to see the community turn out and to have some thought provoking conversations on the possibilities, and their aspirations, for the future of our estate. We will continue to empower residents to lead the way forward together, so that we can get the best outcome for everyone whichever option is preferred.”

Following the exhibitions, the community’s preferred initial designs will be tested to ensure they meet planning guidelines and are affordable. Later this year eligible residents will choose their preferred vision for the future of St Raphael’s.

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West London gets share of good growth funds

The final round of the Mayor of London’s Good Growth fund has given West London projects a share of the £24m on offer.
Launched in 2017 and delivered in partnership with the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), the Good Growth Fund seeks to make London fairer and more inclusive by strengthening civic networks at a local level, encouraging innovation and supporting great design. In total, the Fund has supported 138 projects, allocating more than £75 million.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s growth places significant pressures on our high streets and open spaces – the funding I’m announcing today will help create healthier and more inclusive places to work, live and visit.”
The West London projects funded are:
  • North End Road – A Community Led Re-Design (London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham) – A multi-faceted place-based project focused on improving the high street and market along North End Road – receives £1,000,000
  • Open Havelock, Catalyst Housing (London Borough of Ealing) – To deliver a new canoe club, multi-use sports facility, and workspace, alongside a new play space within the Havelock Estate utilising a series of undercroft spaces that are currently fenced off. The project will also improve the public realm to the Estate’s edge with the Grand Union Canal and deliver an innovative evaluation programme to monitor the long-term impact – receives £517,587
  • West London Disability Hub, Action on Disability (Hammersmith) – To create a new community and service centre for disabled Londoners. The centre will provide benefits advice, employability training, employer training as well as independent living courses. The works will fit out a ground floor unit within a new-build development, as well as create a new community garden space at the back of the community centre – receives £153,670
The Mayor has also made pledges worth £343,500 through the seventh round of his Crowdfund London programme.

In the latest round, Mayoral pledges include £50,000 to The Lexi Hub Appeal in Brent – the UK’s first social enterprise cinema. If successful, its crowdfunding campaign will help it provide 2,000 hours of additional community activities, screenings and volunteering opportunities each year, as part of its wider work to tackle isolation and support the local community.

Under the crowdfunding model, once each campaign successfully reaches their fundraising target the Mayoral pledges will be released. The programme is delivered in partnership with civic crowdfunding platform Spacehive.

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Insight Enterprises stay in Uxbridge

Landid has reached agreement with multi-national technology company Insight Enterprises to take 18,500 sq ft at The Charter Building in Uxbridge for its new London hub.
The company will relocate its London-based operations from The Atrium building in Uxbridge to The Charter Building, taking space on the 4th floor of the 240,000 sq ft workspace. Insight will bring over 200 employees to The Charter Building when it moves into the building in the summer of 2020.
Insight joins other occupiers including global coffee giant Lavazza, multi-national tech firm TraceLink, tech startup Jazz Networks, and flexible workspace provider Spaces, which is fostering a buzzing community of startups, small and micro businesses and larger Uxbridge businesses in need of additional space.
Caffé Kix is also operating on ground floor of the building, providing occupiers and the local community with great coffee and food in a relaxed and friendly environment.
James Silver, Landid Managing Director, said: “The Charter Building brings a completely new kind of design-led contemporary office space to Uxbridge and it’s fantastic that Insight has agreed to join the other dynamic business that have already made the building their home. The pioneering workspace has been designed to meet the demands of modern businesses in a location that offers occupiers fast connections to Heathrow and central London, as well quick access to strategic road links connecting the wider UK.”
Developed by Landid, The Charter Building is the largest new office development in Uxbridge and was one of the largest new office buildings in London and the South East when in completed in November 2017. The developer says the building has been designed to foster collaboration, co-working and creativity.
The project, designed by dn-a architects, saw the original building, which was once the UK headquarters for Coca Cola, completely stripped back to its structural frame. The floorplates were extended and a new penthouse floor with access to a roof terrace was added. The new building features ceiling heights up to four metres, flexiible floorplates and a voluminous central atrium, as well as a 100m internal ‘street’ that runs from north to south through the ground floor. The ‘street’ acts as a dynamic breakout area, encouraging serendipitous encounters, co-working and collaboration and will enable occupiers to meet clients, brainstorm with colleagues over a coffee from the onsite barista, or simply refocus outside their main office setting.
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Valor buys in West London

Valor Real Estate Partners has bought a 100,000 sq ft multi-let industrial park in Ruislip and a 38,000 sq ft property in Park Royal.

The Ruislip acquisition comprises 10 fully-let units, while the second acquisition in Park Royal is located off the A40. They acquired the two along with another property in  Thurrock for around £50m.

Gustav Detter, Vice-President Investments at Valor, said: “We are delighted to have secured three prime assets in some of the most attractive London submarkets. These assets are very well-placed to benefit from above average rental growth on account of low vacancy rates and increasing occupier demand for logistics assets in these areas.

“Valor continues to pursue our strategy of acquiring quality last-mile logistics assets in supply constrained submarkets with substantial capital available for new opportunities.”

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London is no.2 in KPMG tech league

The 2020 Technology Innovation Hubs report includes perspectives from KPMG’s latest global Technology Industry Innovation Survey, now in its eighth year.

More than 800 global technology industry leaders ranked the cities and countries that are leading innovation centers. The publication also outlines what technology company executives and venture capitalists should consider when selecting and investing in technology centers.

Singapore is the only location in the world ahead of London on the list of “leading technology innovation hubs outside Silicon Valley”. Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and New York were ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Survey respondents voted a modern infrastructure the most important factor to enable a city to become a technology innovation center, followed by an urban locale that attracts young professionals, the presence of at least one research university, and available investment funding.

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TfL and A2Dominion announce Hounslow site

TfL has announced that it is working with A2Dominion to bring forward plans to deliver around 400 new affordable homes in Hounslow.

The proposals, which cover a 1.48 hectare site, have been designed by HKR architects and include the delivery of around 400 new affordable homes across four buildings. They will be a mixture of both shared ownership and London Affordable Rent, which provides low-cost rented homes to support low-income households. The rent levels for London Affordable Rent are set by the Mayor of London and are substantially below open market rents.

TfL say the site is being designed with a sustainable focus and includes the planting of new trees and a range of biodiverse planting across the development.

The development will provide a range of benefits for the local community, including improved pedestrian and cycling facilities, such as cycle parking.
There will also be a new public square and gardens for the local community and around 1,400 sqm of retail space created.

The designs will ensure that the station’s Grade II-listed ticket hall is preserved and kept at the centre of the proposals. The new station concourse, which will be built as part of the development, will also allow for improved step-free access via lifts to be provided in the future.

“We’re looking forward to engaging with the local community on our plans, which also include a variety of improvements for the local area, including a new public square and gardens and cycle parking”, said Jonathan Cornelius, Head of Property Development, at TfL

Danny Lynch, Director of Land at A2Dominion, said: “Hounslow is a very important borough for us, having provided homes in the area for over 70 years we have developed a very strong relationship with the council. Through schemes like this, we expect that relationship to strengthen further in the future.”

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Envac lifts Wembley Park recycling rates

Wembley Park residents are recycling five times more than the national average for apartments, a positive outcome of Quintain’s investment in the Envac waste management system.
The developer started deploying the system, which sucks segregated waste from buildings through tubes to a central location, over ten years ago, and it is still being rolled out across Wembley Park now. When complete it will remove an estimated 700 tonnes of carbon emissions from the local environment and have the capacity to handle up to 6,000 tonnes of waste and recycling per year.
Quintain was the first UK developer to install the Envac automated vacuum waste system in 2008 with a view to increasing domestic recycling rates and contribute towards creating a sustainable environment. The Envac system vacuums waste that has been emptied into inlets through a series of underground tunnels at speeds of up to 70kph into a single collection station, reducing the need for unsightly on-street bins and significantly reducing the need for refuse lorry collections.
The results demonstrate the positive impact the Envac system is having at Wembley Park. Wembley Park residents are bucking the trend and have recycled up to 5 times more than the national average for apartments, the system has helped increase the local authority’s recycling rates by 30%, and refuse lorry trips have been dramatically reduced, meaning emissions have gone down by 90%.
Waste that is unable to be recycled is more sustainably disposed of than traditional refuse. Excess waste from Wembley Park is taken to a waste-to-energy plant to be incinerated and converted into electricity, so nothing from the Envac system ends up in landfill.
The system has also saved a significant amount of ground level space at the 85-acre site. Envac will save the space of 1,116 traditional wheelie bins, the equivalent of 237 car park spaces or 184 shipping containers. This has allowed for significantly more active spaces for amenities in the Tipi residential buildings and shared social uses for residents. One of the major residential and retail development plots at Wembley Park, which completed in December 2018 – home to Tipi’s Landsby and Scala buildings – was able to increase retail floor space by approximately 2,000sqft through the reduced bin storage areas alone.
Over 4,000 metres of Envac infrastructure is installed throughout Wembley Park. Quintain’s thinking and investment to incorporate Envac into the masterplan so early allowed London Designer Outlet to connect to the system prior to opening in 2013, as well as the Hilton hotel in 2012. The Envac system has the capacity to handle up to 6,000 tonnes of waste and recycling per year, and will be capable of serving homes across Wembley Park once the development is complete. Tipi will manage 5,000 homes at Wembley Park and the Envac system is a prime example of the kind of services being installed across the estate to reduce costs and pollution while promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.
Councillor Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment at Brent Council, said: “This is a great example of a developer leading the way, using the latest technology to increase recycling and cut carbon emissions. Wembley Park was the first place in the UK to use this technology and it’s another reason why Brent is getting cleaner and greener. Quintain and Brent Council continue to work closely together to ensure that Wembley Park is a safe, clean and green place to live”
James Saunders, Chief Executive Officer at Quintain, said: “We are very proud of the sustainable environment we have been able to create at Wembley Park, and a large part of that is due to the Envac system. The fact our residents are recycling five times the national average is a testament to the convenience and sustainability of Envac. Meanwhile, the lack of wheelie bins and rubbish trucks makes Wembley Park a safer, cleaner and more attractive place and the ground floor space saved in our buildings is critical to our ability to create more active street frontages. Alongside cities like Stockholm, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Singapore, we believe automated vacuum waste systems, such as Envac, are the next great innovation for the modern way of living.”
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London Growth Hub roadshow visits Hammersmith

A new decade means change for every small and growing business. It means new opportunities as technologies emerge, markets develop, consumer tastes change and business needs evolve. It’s a time when every small business needs to ask itself: are we ready?

The London Growth Hub Roadshow is taking place in Hammersmith on March 11 and 12. The Roadshow aims to ensure that small businesses are equipped and resilient.

Working with respected partners, including Google, Facebook, The British Library, this roadshow delivered by the London LEAP will be hosting a range of workshops open to SMEs and business owners.

The events, at Hammersmith Huddle:
Wednesday 11th March
Google: Social media strategy (9:00am – 10:00am)
Google: Build your brand online (1:00pm – 2:00pm)
Facebook: Find new customers using Instagram (5:00pm – 7:00pm)
Thursday 12th March
Facebook: IG Story school (10:00am – 12:00pm)
MOPAC: Cyber security (10:00am – 11:00am)
British Library: Developing new business ideas at a time of change (2:00pm – 3:30pm)
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Join the West London Property Lunch

The West London Spring Property Lunch will take place on Friday 27 March 2020 at Fulham Palace, 1pm.

This Spring, with the support of Better Futures and WSP, the spotlight will be on CleanTech and green construction. The WLB property lunches bring together key influencers from West London’s property, construction and planning sector for networking during a three-course lunch.

The West London Spring Property Lunch will take place at Fulham Palace.  The Palace is a Grade I listed building with medieval origins and was home of the bishops from at least the 11th century until 1973. The Fulham Palace Restoration Project began in the 2000s and was completed in 2019.

Speakers are Paul Vick, Principal Architect, Paul Vick Architects; and Nick Belsten, Executive Director, WSP.

Link for booking can be found here.

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West London start-ups win big

West London companies have won half the awards available at the London Business Awards 2020.

The London Business Awards are a celebration of some of the most exciting companies and entrepreneurs based in the UK capital, showcasing their success stories and highlighting London’s status as a global business community.

With award categories spanning a variety of growth areas, this year’s winners were (West London companies in bold):
One To Watch – Spyras (an Imperial College spin off)
Disruptor of the Year – Mitt Wearables (based in the Ugli Building in White City)
Best London Newcomer – Sitetracker (based in Hammersmith Town Centre)
• Impact Award for Education – VotesForSchools
Impact Award for Health – Medshr (based near Charing Cross Hospital)
• Impact Award for Environment (joint winner) – Olio
• Impact Award for Environment (joint winner) – Ocean Bottle
Startup of the Year – FilmChain (and Imperial College supported spin out)
• Scaleup of the Year – Checkout.com
• Paying It Forward – Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE

In his speech at the ceremony, Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business, reiterated that London remains open to business, talent and investment from around the world. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London also said: “My warmest congratulations go to all the winners and nominees. London is a richer, stronger and more vibrant place thanks to their contributions, helping to power our economy, enrich our society and create the prosperity that sustains our communities.”

Laura Citron, CEO London & Partners, London’s international trade, investment and promotion agency added: “It’s an important time to be celebrating London’s business community – its diversity, creativity, ambition, knowledge transfer and warmth. These awards are an opportunity to shine a light on the success of London’s businesses that make London such a global hub for innovation.”

A number of awarded companies are graduates of the Business Growth Programme and the Mayor’s International Business Programme – the accelerator programmes run by London & Partners that provide free support services to help high-growth startups and scaleups expand in the capital, and beyond. Between them, the Business Growth Programme and Mayor’s International Business Programme have supported more than 1500 London-based businesses in the technology, life sciences, creative and urban sectors.

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