LCR’s Olympic housing ball starts rolling

London & Continental Railways and East Thames Group have lodged plans that are significant for the east London Olympic zone and its regenerative aspirations for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the partners will shortly seek a development partner for Chobham Farm, a 1,000-home “family neighbourhood” close to the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. That could be crucial as any partner will be aware that there will be opportunities to tie up on further strategic sites with LCR in the area and elsewhere around the country.
As I have written before – and go on to explain below- LCR could be sold as a propco with a large portfolio of transport hub sites across the UK within the next three years. What price Lend Lease taking an interest in this opportunity given its stated aspirations to build its position as a major UK housebuilder?
The site is also key as it is seen as gateway integrating Stratford old town centre and the 6,800 home Olympic Park. Any way here are the details:
The proposals have been lodged with the Olympic Delivery Authority and are separate to the five consented neighbourhoods including 6,800 homes that the London Legacy Development Corporation is bringing forward at the Olympic Park over the next 20 years.

The Pollard Thomas Edwards-designed plans, lodged in an area located to the west of Leyton Road and to the east of the Olympic Village and Westfield Stratford City, comprise 1,000 homes, many of which are for families, together with parks and squares.

CoStar News revealed in September of last year that LCR was in discussions with Newham council and East Thames Housing to form a joint venture to pool together 15 acres of jointly owned land adjacent to Westfield’s Stratford City at Chobham Farm North for a major residential mixed-use scheme.

LRC owns the freehold to around 9.4 acres that the Olympic Delivery Authority currently holds on a short-term lease which ends in 2013.

The jv partners appointed architect PTEA Architects and Knight Frank to help draw up plans for a scheme that proposed up to 1,200 principally family homes as well as shops and a new park.

The duo will seek a development partner as and when consent is granted.

LCR also has a similar arrangement with the Olympic Delivery Authority on two other significant development opportunities in the area – the 4.6-acre Chobham South site, which is earmarked in the Stratford Metropolitan Masterplan for 1,200 homes and the two acre Angel Lane site which has outline consent for 270 homes. Australian shopping centre giant Westfield has a development option on these sites which it is still to decide on taking up.

CoStar also revealed that the government was considering adding a raft of UK transport hub sites to London & Continental Railways’ multi-billion-pound real estate portfolio as it builds a major property company for potential sale in the next three years.

LCR is 100% owned by the Department of Transport.

Following a two-stage public consultation a number of changes have been made to the Chobham Farm scheme ahead of submission, including:

• An increase in the proportion of family homes and the number of homes with their own roof terrace overlooking the park.

• New public streets linking the park and the bridges to the East Village to create alternative routes and make connections to Leyton Road.

• Better views of the new parks from Leyton Road, improving the appearance of the new street corners and addressing safety concerns.

• The addition of innovative and flexible business units at the northern end of the Masterplan, as well as potential space for creative industries.

Newham’s Stratford Metropolitan Masterplan proposes that Chobham Farm will integrate existing residents of Stratford New Town and the future communities within the new Olympic neighbourhoods.

Geoff Pearce, East Thames director of development and asset management, said:

“We are delighted with the final plans for Chobham Farm and are looking forward to building new homes, parks and facilities. The homes will be built to a high standard, offering families a great lifestyle.

“The area has already been transformed by the adjacent East Village and Olympic Park, and this development will further enhance this neighbourhood.”

David Joy, chief executive at London & Continental Railways, said: “We were pleased with the feedback we received at the public exhibitions and have taken this on board when finalising the plans. The final scheme will create a vibrant family neighbourhood that meets the targets we set ourselves at the start of the project. We look forward to continuing our work with the local people to make sure that Chobham Farm becomes a thriving community.”


About Paul Norman's Olympics blog

News Editor of CoStar News, a commercial property news service. Regular blogger on the London 2012 Olympics and what it means for property and the the regeneration of East London
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