HLM assisted the London Borough to develop property solutions that create value through asset rationalisation and investment opportunities.

Design Feasibility studies were undertaken to evaluate investment opportunities and development potential for council assets and sites. Working with the property and assets team, a property strategy was developed to introduce innovative land use and disposal principles, achieving a blend of capital receipt and revenue generation opportunities for operational and non-operational sites. Working with property advisor Savills, HLM led the development appraisal process, engaging with senior Council officials and members. Assessment of procurement options were central to our activities, including offering ‘route to development market’ concepts and opportunities.

Design Approach

HLM intrinsically linked the collection of sites. At the commencement of our appointment as ‘lead designer and strategic development advisor’, we facilitated a ‘Strategic Asset Rationalisation’ workshop in order to ascertain the Critical Success Factors (CSF) in accordance with the streams for this initiative.

In achieving authority endorsement of the CFS’s, HLM clearly demonstrated how through a creative design strategy, London Borough could realise value from these assets. In order to achieve viability, six of the sites were identified as residential-led. HLM provided strategic design options that ascertained residential mix, tenure, unit sizes and standards. Through sketch proposals based on planning policy and general development acumen, HLM led the development appraisals process.

It was important that whilst generating revenue and capital receipt opportunities for the Council, the development also delivered improvements to public service delivery, services and community facilities. Within our residential-led property solutions, we also created new library facilities, day care centres, education and community learning spaces, boutique hotel, A1/A3 use, commercial office space for local charities and foundations supported by the Council (agreed in principle 25 year lease agreement with rental values), a local GP Surgery (supported by NHS England), associated pharmacy and further D1 use classification opportunities.

HLM provided a development strategy within a timescale and framework that clearly illustrated critical milestones such as planning submission stages, risk mitigation principles, and development tendering (market access, development cash flow and related vacant possession instigators, such as existing leases as well as early promotions).

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