Hammerson says it will work with new City Hall team on revised proposals
Developer Hammerson has said it will spend a year redesigning its controversial Bishopsgate Goodsyard scheme in east London in an attempt to win the backing of a sceptical new City Hall team.
In half-year results posted this morning, Hammerson said it would work with its joint venture partner Ballymore and the London mayor Sadiq Khan’s new administration to redesign “elements” of the 1,356-home scheme “over the next 12 months”. The earliest start on site would be next year.
The PLP-designed project’s days had looked numbered with Khan’s decision to appoint a vocal critic of the scheme, former Hackney mayor Jules Pipe, as his deputy mayor for planning.
Previous London mayor Boris Johnson called the scheme in last September, but passed the decision on to his successor before he left his post in May.
The backers of the scheme were told at the end of last year that the two councils on whose land the development is supposed to be built - Tower Hamlets and Hackney - would have refused it planning were the decision still their’s to make.
Hammerson also said it was working on a revised outline planning application for its redevelopment of Croydon’s Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres with Australian mega-mall developer Westfield. The new application is expected to be submitted later this summer.
Scheme revisions include areas outside the scope of the existing 2013 outline planning permission, including a new Marks & Spencer anchor store and a redesign of the northern end of the scheme. The development will include over 300 shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as leisure facilities, public realm and residential homes. Hammerson said the earliest start on site would be next year.
Meanwhile, Barnet council approved the use of compulsory purchase powers to acquire the remaining land needed to allow Hammerson and its partner Standard Life Investments to develop its 90,000m2 extension to Brent Cross shopping centre in north London, as part of a wider £4bn regeneration scheme.
Subject to the confirmation of the powers and agreements with tenants by early next year, the firm expects to start on site construction towards the end of 2017 with completion in 2021.
In its half-year results to June 2016, Hammerson reported pre-tax profit of £167m, down a half from £329m the previous year. The firm attributed this to financing costs as well as one-off losses realised on the sale of properties
The firm’s rental income was up 7% to £126m for the period, from £118m last year and Hammerson said demand had remained strong despite the political and economic uncertainty created by the EU Referendum result.
Hammerson chief executive David Atkins, who signed up to Building’s Remain campaign, said: “Looking forward, we have confidence in the resilience of our business model, which will underpin our ability to deliver robust income returns during and beyond this period of political and economic uncertainty in the UK.
“Our assets in Europe continue to perform strongly and in the UK, notwithstanding the market uncertainty, we have been reassured by the level of leasing and investment activity post the EU Referendum, both in our portfolio and across the wider property market, highlighting continued appetite for high-quality retail property.”