Bridge Park redevelopment

Bridge Park redevelopment

Brent Council is working with the owners of the Unisys site situated adjacent to the Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre in Stonebridge on exciting proposals to regenerate the site for new homes, businesses and a brand new leisure centre with improved facilities.

Background

In June 2013, Brent Council looked at options for developing the Unisys and Bridge Park sites for residential and commercial development to fund a new sports centre. In February 2014, council consulted with the public on four options for the layout of the new facility. Option three was chosen and includes:

  • four court sports hall
  • 65 station gym
  • Smaller separate gym
  • Children’s soft play area and party room
  • Sauna and steam rooms
  • Studios
  • Spin studio
  • Small meeting room
  • 50 car parking spaces
  • Four lane swimming pool with moveable floor

In June 2017, the Council entered into a Conditional Land Sale Agreement (CLSA) with the purchaser.

What’s next?

  • Progress plans for the new leisure centre and re-development proposals
  • Further consultation events with the public
  • Purchase additional land

Information about public consultation dates will be publicised widely.

Contact

For further information about the project contact

  • Project Manager- Tanveer Ghani
  • Email- Tanveer.ghani@brent.gov.uk

FAQs

When will the current Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre (BPCLC) close?

The Council’s plan is to keep the current Bridge Park Leisure Centre open until the CLSA is completed. We expect BPCLC to be kept open until the Summer of 2019 and further communications will be provided in due course.

Will BPCLC close once the CLSA is completed?

Yes, the current facility will have to close for redevelopment to start.

When is the redevelopment expected to begin and how long will it last?

It is too early to say at this stage although we don’t expect anything to happen on the site until 2019 at the earliest. The immediate target is satisfy the terms and conditions for completing the CLSA. At key milestones of the project, the Council will continue to publish updates online and through local press.

What will the new leisure centre, hotel and housing look like?

Architects will consult with members of the public on design proposals for the new leisure centre and further details about consultation events will be available shortly.

How will Brent maximise/prioritise social housing rather than affordable?

Brent’s Development Management Policies DPD adopted in November 2016 details its policies on housing, town centres, open space, employment, community facilities, the built environment and transport. The document at page 50 sets out the Council’s policies for affordable housing highlighting that the starting point is to try and secure 50% affordable homes. Where a reduction in affordable housing obligation is sought on economic viability grounds, developers are asked to provide a development appraisal to demonstrate that schemes are maximising affordable housing output.

Please refer to the following link for further information: https://www.brent.gov.uk/services-for-residents/planning- and-building-control/planning-policy/local-plan/development-management- policies/

Why are the Council working with an organisation that has been hoarding Unisys site for over 25 years and now working at the expense of the community?

As detailed in the 17 June 2013 Executive Report on Bridge Park the Unisys office buildings had been vacant for over ten years. While the landlord had secured planning consent for a hotel complex in both Unisys office buildings they had not built out the consent. Proposing instead to refurbish one of the blocks for a much smaller hotel and convert the other office block to accommodate new residential development.

Due to backlog repairs and the need for significant future investment in the existing community and sporting provision at Bridge Park. The Council had previously spent some time examining whether it could afford to re-provide a sports centre by developing only the Bridge Park site. Concluding it was clear that the development of the Council’s site alone will not fund a new sport centre. The 2013 report stated the Council’s site alone achieved a land value of c. £4m against the cost of building a new sports centre of approximately £9m.

Officers therefore considered if a development between the adjoining landowner and the Council would secure a significant land value to afford a replacement facility. The analysis concluded that if some Community Infrastructure Levy is also added to the scheme then it is possible to meet the full cost of building a new sports facility. The other benefit of a joint approach is that the comprehensive nature of the development helps overcome potential flood issues on the site and also increases overall values as the outlook between the two sites is enhanced and the open space within the scheme can be planned comprehensively.

A link to the 2013 report is here: http://democracy.brent.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?AIId=9146

Why can the Council not compulsory purchase the Unisys site rather than Car Breakers Yard?

Brent would not be successful with CPO whilst the landowner was actively seeking to progress the development which they have for the past four years.

The 2013 Executive Report further explains the basis and justification for acquiring the Car Breakers site. Explaining the quality of site is extremely poor, both in terms of its physical and aesthetic qualities. As such the appearance of the site epitomises the urban decay that currently blights the Bridge Park area and contributes to the poor physical environment that exists.

The presence of the Car Breakers site in close proximity would significantly harm the desirability and value of the residential accommodation proposed, bringing into question the viability of the scheme which is required to kick- start the regeneration of the combined Bridge Park and Unisys sites. Incorporating the car breakers site into the wider redevelopment offers both a more rational design and ensure that a viable scheme can be produced that enable a new replacement sports centre to be developed.

There are significant issues with land contamination within the car-breakers sites which can be addressed through the redevelopment. A link to the 2013 decision and report is here: http://democracy.brent.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?AIId=9146.

The Council is disposing the site under value given the proposed density of development.

The accordance with its statutory duties the Council is under duty to ensure that Council does not dispose of land for a consideration less than the best that can be reasonably obtained.

The base price in the Conditional Land Sale Agreement (CLSA) is supported by an independent report by a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), full registered Member competent in valuation.

In accordance with RICS guidance the development land value has been assessed using both: the comparison method which looks at the sale price of land comparable to the development; and, an assessment of value of the scheme as a completed development with deductions for costs (including developers profit’s) to arrive at an underlying land value known as the residual valuation method.

The CLSA makes provision for revaluation using market prices current at the time at pre-planning submission and post-planning approval stages. Thus ensuring the Council receives best value for its land optimising the capital receipt. The CLSA is subject to three conditions: planning consent; financial viability; and vacant possession.

In respect of the application to the land registry why is the Council fighting the community with public funding rather than supporting the community with public funding?

Without legal prejudice, Brent is defending its position as the land registered title owner and remains committed to the redevelopment proposals that bring significant benefits. It is unfortunate that the making of an application for a restriction has required the Council to expend public money to defend it.

Accessibility and affordability are critical factors.

Pricing policies will be set by the Council and reflect those of other Brent Council leisure facilities.

Given the proposed demolition of Technology House to accommodate the new leisure centre tenants do not wish to be pushed out by the redevelopment as they have a strong local presence and have been there for over 20 years.

The Council will require vacant possession of the Technology House site to enable delivery of a new leisure centre. The Council encourages all tenants to engage with the Council to discuss possible options.

There needs to be a role for the community to be involved in the redevelopment of Bridge Park and a community organisation presence to manage the community/enterprise space(s).

The CLSA is a time-limited contract between the Council and the developer. The CLSA includes a range of terms and conditions that need to be met in order to complete the sale of Council land to the developer. Please refer to the reports highlighted in the ‘Things to Read’ section for further information about the CLSA.

What is the Conditional Land Sale Agreement (CLSA)?

The CLSA is a time-limited contract between the Council and the developer. The CLSA includes a range of terms and conditions that need to be met in order to complete the sale of Council land to the developer. Please refer to the reports highlighted in the ‘Things to Read’ section for further information about the CLSA.