St George bags vacant former Sun and Times print works

News International has sold its former Wapping headquarters to Berkeley Homes division St George Plc for a sum “in the region of £150m”.

The developer said it planned to use the site, which has been vacant for the past two years, to create a mixed-use residential-led development with homes, offices, shops and public open spaces.

Planning permission for the 15 acre “Wapping Village” site has yet to be obtained.

Managing director Ross Faragher said St George would work with Tower Hamlets council and local communities to create a new quarter that would revitalise the area.

“This is our first significant acquisition in Tower Hamlets for many years and St George is delighted to be investing in the borough again,” he said.

News International chief executive Tom Mockridge said the sale marked the end of an era for the company, but that its move to nearby Thomas More Square in 2010 had been as important as its move away from Fleet Street in the 1980s.

The company’s decision to sell the site was the result of a strategic property review undertaken in the summer of 2011, which concluded that the site was no longer a necessary part of the company’s asset base.