Land Securities' £350 million Kingsgate redevelopment gets go ahead (UK)

Land Securities has today announced that it will start redeveloping the former Kingsgate House on Victoria Street, SW1 next month, as part of its transformation of Victoria.

The commitment comes as a result of a Government change to planning laws in relation to Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations. This has removed the risk of a potential CIL being applied on the whole development as opposed to just the minor amendment. On large scale projects such as Kingsgate, the potential bill could have been millions of pounds.

The announcement comes aftter the Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited the site. Robert Noel, Chief Executive of Land Securities said: "It is heartening to know that the Government has listened to the industry and acted to remove some of the uncertainty in the planning process.

"It enables us to progress with developing the former Kingsgate House site and continue to transform Victoria into a distinct and vibrant West End hub where people choose to live, work and visit. Our experience with our current developments demonstrates that Victoria is proving attractive to potential occupiers. This project will further add to its appeal."

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Already the changes we are making to the planning system are having an impact, with Land Securities giving the go-ahead to a major multi-million pound investment, supporting thousands of jobs in our construction industry. No one should be in any doubt about our determination to make sure Britain, and the British people, rise in the 21st century."

The scheme, designed by Lynch Architects, comprises two new buildings: The Zig Zag Building, a 190,000 ft² (approx. 17,651 m²) office building over 14 floors with a staggered façade; and Kings Gate, a 12 storey residential building comprising 100 apartments. Both buildings will provide a new and enhanced retail offer with 45,000 ft² (approx. 4,180 m²) of space, together with considerable improvements to the public realm benefiting the wider Victoria area.

The buildings are planned to complete in summer 2015 having supported an estimated 2,500 jobs throughout the construction phase.

In addition, the development provides for an affordable housing contribution of £11.6 mln (approx. €14.2 mln) which will be directed towards the provision of much needed affordable development in the Westminster area.

In 2010, Land Securities was the first major commercial property developer to restart large scale development after the downturn, when it started a £655m West End development programme. Since then it has advanced a development pipeline of over 2.5 million ft² (approx. 232,250 m²). Major retail schemes in Leeds and Glasgow are both due to complete next year, and in London it has over 1.6 million ft² (approx. 148,640 m²) of office space being delivered together with over 250,000 ft² (approx. 23,225 m²) of residential development.

The construction contracts alone on these schemes are worth over £1 billion (approx. €1.2 billion) and estimated to be sustaining over 14,000 jobs through the construction period.

Source: Land Securities

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