Wembley Park developer is accelerating development of the 85-acre scheme

Wembley Park - New 2017

Wembley developer Quintain has opened the door for contractors outside its contractor framework, as it pursues an accelerated delivery programme targeting 3,000 homes under construction by the end of the year.

The developer - bought by US investor Lone Star just over a year ago - also announced a big push into build to rent, with 5,000 of Wembley Park’s total 7,000 units now to be put up for rent.

Contractors McAleer & Rushe and O’Keefe are already working on the 85-acre site in addition to Quintain’s four-strong contractor framework of Carillion, Wates, John Sisk & Son and McLaren, Angus Dodd, chief executive of Quintain confirmed.

He said Quintain would use the contractors on the framework “repeatedly, but not necessarily exclusively […] There are always opportunities, there’s a framework contract in place, but the fact that there are a couple of other contractors on site is evidence that it’s not a closed shop.”

“The framework is important to us and those four contractors are important to us. We think they can learn from each other and learn from themselves in doing more than one building on-site,” he added.

Quintain received outline planning permission from Brent Council last May for a 39-acre residential-led masterplan designed by Flanagan Lawrence on its 85-acre Wembley site.

Of the 5,000 build to rent homes now earmarked for the site, 759 will be affordable. The project will also feature a seven-acre park and one million sq ft of commercial space.

It is expected that the new homes will be completed by 2020.

Quintain has so far employed a framework of architects including PRP, JTP, Grid, and Dixon Jones to design individual buildings at the scheme, but Dodd declined to rule out appointing new architects outside of the current framework.

“There are future buildings that we have not appointed architects on yet […] We may go back to our existing roster. We may look for others,” he said.

Meanwhile, explaining the shift to build to rent at Wembley Park, Dodd said: “Our view is the Thatcherite dream of owning your own house is beyond the means of almost everyone. So there’s clearly a migration towards renting over buying in the current market that’s particularly acute in London […] and we believe the demand is there for this volume of homes.”

The new homes will continue to be delivered via traditional methods of construction, but Dodd did not rule out modern of methods of construction being employed at a future date to build the scheme.

“We looked at off-site and modular construction extensively and will continue to look at it, but at this point in time we weren’t confident about the depth of supply and there was no particular advantage in cost. That might change over time and we will continue to revisit it during the course of the construction programme,” he said.

Quintain has already invested £900m in the transformation of the site around Wembley Stadium since its acquisition of Wembley (London) Ltd in 2002.

In November last year the firm secured £800m of new funding for the next five years, a year after the company’s £745m takeover by US investor Lone Star.

The new PRS homes will be managed by Quintain’s build to rent business Tipi, which it launched last spring.

Quintain also announced towards the end of last year that housing association Network Homes had pre-let 59,000 sq ft of space in a 115,000 sq ft office building, which would allow the company to begin delivering the one million sq ft of commercial space in its masterplan.

However, Dodd said any further substantial build out of the commercial space would require further pre-lets.

“Further big committments would be subject to prelets and also to the success that we have in letting the balance of that individual building,” he said.

A contractor is still to be appointed to the build of the 115,000 sq ft office building.