Providing affordable workspace for local businesses
Regal London was appointed by a family that owned 70% of a site that comprised part of a potential wider regeneration opportunity. The site had been used as a picture framing factory for over 40 years. The objective was to acquire the adjacent land parcels that were held in two separate ownerships with a view to completing the urban block and creating the optimum site to deliver a transformative placemaking scheme.
Regal London was successful in bringing together the full potential of the scheme, unlocking over 10 years of unsuccessful negotiations between the respective landowners and a number of other developers.
Following the site assembly stage, Regal London then executed its planning strategy, successfully addressing a number of key challenges arising in respect of the site’s existing employment designations and a challenging local context of heritage and townscape constraints, involving detailed discussions with London Borough of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Historic England and the Greater London Authority.
Planning permission was granted for a development comprising 184 residential units, 13,334 sqm of employment floorspace, 4,234 sqm of flexible commercial and retail space, along with associated landscaping and public realm improvements. The scheme provides for 51 x 1 bed, 75 x 2 bed and 58 x 3 bed homes. The scheme also secures the provision of 1,620 sqm of affordable workspace which was an important consideration from a viability perspective to off-set the requirement to provide affordable housing.
Construction commenced in Summer 2017 and is due to complete in Autumn 2020. The first phase of the development opens in early 2020 when WeWork occupies 13,285 sqm of the commercial space.
Orchard Wharf, Tower
New public realm connects to a restored and ecologically rich East India Dock Basin
We have been working with the existing PLC landowner since late 2016 under an exclusivity agreement to unlock the development potential of Orchard Wharf. The landowner had been unable to engage successfully with the stakeholders, namely the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the GLA and the Port of London Authority (PLA). The PLA has an objective to protect and reactivate Safeguarded Wharves for waterborne freight related uses and as a result of a breakdown in relations and arguments surrounding usage, the PLA undertook a CPO process; which escalated to the High Court before failing.
Throughout 2017 Regal London undertook exploratory discussions with London Borough of Tower Hamlets, GLA and the PLA to discuss the redevelopment potential of the site with a fresh approach. This process helped to crystallise the objectives of the key stakeholders in terms of reactivatingthe site for a waterborne freight use whilst at the same time gaining recognition for the fact that the site could also be optimised for residential use (private and build to rent).
From early 2018 onwards, a very productive dialogue ensued with the PLA. Discussions focused on the incorporation of an urban logistics and cargo “last mile” handling facility. Regal London was able to successfully demonstrate to the PLA that the principle of such a use can be compatible with a residential use above; “beds over sheds”. This culminated in the preparation of a detailed land use and design feasibility study informed by a specialist team of designers and engineers in October 2018.
Following most recent meetings with the PLA, a position has now been reached whereby there is broad consensus that a mixed-use development including residential can be supported as a departure from the adopted land use designation for the site. The PLA has confirmed this position in writing and dialogue is now on-going to further inform the emerging design of the logistics facility, establish details of potential future operator requirements, and confirm an appropriate freight handling capacity for the wharf. London Borough of Tower Hamlets and GLA officers are also supportive in principle of the proposed co-location of uses at the site.
Building on the positive responses to the work undertaken to date, a full design team is now working towards the submission of a planning application for a development comprising of up to 800 residential units above a 90,000 sq ft urban logistics facility and offices.
Commercial Road, Tower
Planning permission was granted within nine months of project commencement
Regal London utilised its full breadth of design, development and planning expertise to secure a high end hotel/serviced apartment operator, Wilde by Staycity, on a 30 year lease, whilst simultaneously securing planning permission at this strategically located site on the City Fringe.
Using an original office planning permission as a crucial benchmark in terms of the appropriate scale and volume of development, Regal London recognised the opportunity to optimise the building design to reduce floor to ceiling heights to an appropriate level for a serviced apartment/hotel rather than office use. This allowed 14 floors of accommodation to be delivered in the same building envelope as the previous 11 floors of office accommodation.
Planning permission was secured in June 2019, within six months of the application being submitted. This outcome was predicated on good existing working relationships that had been built up with officers at London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the GLA as well as being able to put forward robust, evidence-backed planning arguments which went unchallenged during the determination process.
Against the background of a number of other speculative hotel developments failing during planning, Regal London recognised the importance of demonstrating to the Council that the scheme would be delivered with a high quality operator in place. This allowed the application to be progressed quickly with permission being granted within nine months of project commencement with widespread support from all relevant stakeholders.
The Compton, Westminster
The project demonstrates Regal London’s willingness to innovate
Planning permission for The Compton was secured in 2016 and it is now one of the first cast aluminium clad buildings of its scale in Europe. It is a truly bespoke addition to the London skyline, with a characterful, curved façade never seen before in the city. Regal London worked in partnership with Simon Bowden Architecture to develop the design for the 48-apartment, ten-storey residential scheme, which occupies a prime position on Lodge Road, NW8.
The distinctive nature of the building played a crucial role in maximising the development potential and quantum secured on a relatively constrained site surrounded by existing residential buildings. The development contributes to the context of its surroundings and the local architectural vernacular, whilst pushing the boundaries of design within St John’s Wood and the capital’s broader residential landscape.
The project demonstrates Regal London’s willingness to innovate in its use of building technology and materials. Every detail was carefully considered and addressed from design through to execution. The concept stage was intricate and involved working up prototypes of the aluminium cladding, running analysis and testing. The final prototype was rigorously tested at a research facility to accurately measure the resilience and strength of the material and structure – to ensure it not only fulfilled but surpassed building standards.
With emphasis on both the aesthetics and the functionality of the structure, over 1,000 designs were developed for the patterns of the aluminium bays, of which 100 were shortlisted for 3D printing. The shortlist was then assessed in terms of texture and outline, to ensure that they would capture the right amount of light on the surface of the building. Twenty different aluminium panel designs were then perfected and manufactured before being pieced together on site.
One St John’s Wood,
Optimising the design without significantly increasing the overall development volume
Regal London is working in collaboration with Central and Cecil Housing Trust (C&C) to bring forward the redevelopment of the site. C&C is a Not-for-Profit Housing Trust and care home provider with 93 years’ experience providing accommodation and support to vulnerable people and the ‘Over 55s.’ C&C owns and manages 2,000 homes across London.
The original site, comprising Dora House, was built in 1969 and included 204 self-contained flats for those aged 55 years and over. The residents were relocated to other C&C accommodation to allow the redevelopment of the site. The sizes of the homes were much smaller than current industry standard and the specific requirements of older people’s housing have changed significantly since Dora House was finished. Consequently, it comprised mostly of studios, narrow corridors, restricted accessibility and an institutional feel. This became no longer consistent with C&C’s values or quality aspirations for their residents.
Originally working without a development partner, C&C secured planning permission in 2017 for redevelopment of the site comprising a thirteen storey sheltered accommodation building (Building 1) fronting Lodge Road, comprising 139 affordable sheltered units and 17 market sheltered units, and a ten storey residential building (Building 2) fronting St John’s Wood Road, comprising 44 private for sale residential units. Regal London undertook a strategic review of the 2017 permission and concluded that the size and scale of the proposed private residential units within Building 2 were no longer viable in current market conditions and did not optimise the housing potential of the site. Squire & Partners were appointed to refresh the design of the residential building at 60 St John’s Wood Road (Building 2).
Following a competitive process to reappraise the scheme in 2018, Regal London was then chosen by C&C as its delivery partner for the project and is responsible for building the new sheltered accommodation for C&C.
The proposed development now comprises the redevelopment of the site to provide two buildings comprising 153 affordable sheltered units and 17 market sheltered units within Building 1 fronting Lodge Road, and 112 market residential units within Building 2 fronting St John’s Wood Road. In total, 282 residential units (Class C3) are now agreed. Through optimising the design without significantly increasing the overall development volume, Regal London has been able to provide additional affordable and private housing.
The revised development proposals were submitted for planning in February 2019 and were approved by Planning Committee in July 2019. Work has started on site and is due to complete in 2022.
Kings Cross Quarter,
The project is an excellent example of how single use urban sites can be redeveloped for a mix of uses
The Kings Cross Quarter development was completed by Regal London in Summer 2018 following acquisition of the site in 2015. The scheme was designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects who have a significant track record of high quality design within London Borough of Islington.
The site was redeveloped as a modern new mixed use development comprising a new replacement facility for Europcar (B1 office floorspace) and 119 residential homes.
Throughout the construction process, Regal London worked closely with Europcar to ensure the timely delivery of its replacement facility on site. This was an integral part of the overall programme to ensure that Europcar’s timescales for moving back to the site post-development could be achieved. The project is an excellent example of how existing single use urban sites can be effectively redeveloped for a mix of uses that maintain employment generation whilst also providing additional housing.