Grainger plc, the UK's largest quoted residential property owner and manager, today announces the acquisition of its first build to rent scheme, through its agreement to purchase the residential element, comprising 100 units, of a major regeneration scheme in Barking town center being developed and carried out by Bouygues Development.
Grainger will pay a total consideration of £13.7 million (approx. 15.7 mln), with an initial deposit and the balance of the payment due on practical completion in 2015.
This purchase is in line with Grainger's recently stated strategy that it will seek to take advantage of opportunities in the growing UK private rented sector (PRS), and aim to play a significant role in creating a viable build-to-rent in the UK.
Grainger will retain and let the residential units, as opposed to selling them on to private individuals, and will take responsibility for the asset and property management. The development has been designed by Chetwoods Architects with Assael Architecture advising on the internal layout of the residential units and common parts to ensure the 100 units adhere to the PRS concept.
Separately, Grainger also announces that, as development partner for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and the HCA, it has submitted a major planning application to Rushmoor Borough Council for the 255 hectare former Aldershot Garrison site, known as Wellesley or the Aldershot Urban Extension (AUE).
The outline planning application will pave the way for up to 3,850 new homes, of which 35% will be affordable homes, two new primary schools, around 110 hectares of new green space, sports and community facilities and the refurbishment of six listed buildings, including the Cambridge Military Hospital. The development is due to start in 2014 with the first phase of 228 homes. It is likely that the development will take 15 years to complete.
Grainger and the Council have agreed a six month period to consider the planning application, and a report should be going to the Development Control Committee by the end of June 2013.
Nick Jopling, Executive Director for Property at Grainger commented on the Build to Rent acquisition: "Our acquisition of this build-to-rent block from Bouygues is a significant milestone for the private rented sector, putting into place a new template for the creation of purpose built high quality and professionally managed rental accommodation. This is a sector that desperately needs to grow in order to meet the demands of the UK population and is supported at the highest levels of Government, and we believe that this style of residential development has huge potential to grow in the coming years."
John Beresford, lead Development Director for the AUE scheme at Grainger, said: "We are pleased to submit this major planning application which, if approved, will help revitalize and improve Aldershot as a whole. By working closely with the community, the Council, the MoD, HCA and other stakeholders, we believe our proposal will bring long-term economic benefits to the wider Aldershot community, while providing much-needed, good quality new homes, new schools and fantastic green open spaces and amenities."
Source: FTI Consulting