National Grid and The Berkeley Group have formed a Joint Venture called St William Homes to develop brownfield land owned by National Grid Property.
National Grid has over 20 sites in London – including Southall Gasworks. They say the sites could in total provide over 14,000 homes over the next 10-15 years.
The joint venture will have funds available of up to £700m, making it one of the top ten house-builders in Britain by turnover. It aims to commence development activity on its first site in 2016, with the first homes being delivered in 2017.
Steve Holliday, the Chief Executive of National Grid, said: “By bringing together Berkeley’s development expertise with National Grid Property sites, we hope to transform redundant land that was once at the heart of the industrial revolution to meet the housing and commercial needs of the 21st century.”
Rob Perrins, Managing Director of the Berkeley Group, said: “St William will take these sites and turn them into new communities. I am delighted to be working with a partner like National Grid which shares our values and has such a strong pipeline of land and assets.”
National Grid and Berkeley will be equal shareholders of St William, each owning 50% of the equity. National Grid’s investment in St William is limited to the value of the sites acquired by the JV. Funding of the £700m will be through a combination of shareholder equity and bank funding at an equity-to-debt ratio of approximately 50:50.
Sir Edward Lister, deputy Mayor for Planning was pleased by the news, saying: “London’s population is set to rise by thirty seven per cent to more than 11 million people by 2050 and innovative approaches to housebuilding such as this well help to unlock vast swathes of land and deliver thousands of much-needed new homes. National Grid has numerous sites across the capital that are ripe for regeneration and this partnership will stimulate development and create new jobs. Schemes such as this go hand-in-hand with the Mayor’s work to accelerate the building of thousands more homes for Londoners with a range of pioneering new policies, including the creation of new housing zones and a housing bank.”