Updated plans for the scheme have also been submitted to Westminster council

St John's Wood riding school

Lendlease and Sir Robert McApline have emerged as the frontrunners for the £1.5bn redevelopment of a former army barracks in St John’s Wood in north London.

It is the latest major job in the capital the two are vying for after Lendlease was tipped last month to beat McApline to build Google’s new £650m UK headquarters in King’s Cross. The duo are understood to have edged ahead of rival Multiplex in the contest for the high-profile St John’s Wood scheme.

The barracks site is the former headquarters of the Royal Horse Artillery - the troop whose responsibilities include firing royal salutes in central London - which moved to a new home in Woolwich in 2012, ending more than 200 years of military connections with the area.

The site was sold to Malaysian businessman Ananda Krinshnan’s Usaha Tegas Group for £250m, which won planning approval in April 2015 from Westminster council to turn the barracks into luxury housing designed by architects Squire & Partners.

The site’s grade II listed riding school will be turned into a spa, swimming pool and gym designed by Wilkinson Eyre.

Towards the end of December amended plans were submitted to the council to increase the number of new apartments and houses by eight to 171, while the number of villas has been reduced. The development, which has an estimated development value of £1.5bn according to Barbour ABI, will also include retail along with 59 affordable homes and a further 41 off-site.

A contractor is expected to be be chosen by the end of this month.

The project team on the St John’s Wood scheme, whose neighbours include Lord’s cricket ground, includes project manager Arcadis, engineer WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and development manager Craigewan.

St John's Wood