Council talks with HK's PCPD for £6bn Meridian Water end in favour of phased development

By Paul Norman - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 15:27

Enfield council and Pacific Century Premium Developments (PCPD), a major developer of mixed use real estate across Asia, have terminated talks for the £6bn Meridian Water development which the council will now bring back to market in phases seeking multiple partners.

CoStar News revealed in October of last year that the giant regeneration scheme would need a new development partner – seven years after the 10,000 home project was first touted – after Barratt withdrew.

PCPD had initially been shortlisted in partnership with Willmott Dixon. Berkeley Homes was also shortlisted. Enfield Cabinet agreed in response that it would approach the reserve bidder Pacific Century Premium Development to open discussions on Meridian Water.

In March CoStar News revealed that the council was “minded” to terminate talks after it wrote to PCPD saying it would go to Cabinet on 22 March recommending talks were terminated with any final decision unlikely before after the May local elections.

It is understood that Enfield told the Hong Kong developer that it is not convinced that PCPD could deliver the 12,750 homes it believes the scheme warrants over 25 years due to a lack of historical data. In particular Enfield is concerned about its financial exposure given issues likely with CIL and third party landowners. It believes the site can accommodate around 10,000 homes.

CoStar News understands PCPD requested it present to Cabinet plans that would involve it creating a major lifestyle destination and IT hub and park. It presented in June.

In a statement today Council Leader Nesil Caliskan said Enfield was accelerating delivery of the Council’s flagship Meridian Water regeneration in a statement: “Enfield Council has been informed today that PCPD are withdrawing from negotiations with the Council to become master-developer for Meridian Water. This follows the Council previously confirming to PCPD that significant concerns remained over their proposed commercial and financial terms, specifically following PCPD presenting to the Council’s new Cabinet on 26 June.

“Although the discussions with PCPD were held in a great spirit of cooperation, we have been preparing for all eventualities and a series of reports are being presented to Enfield Council’s Cabinet on 25 July which set out a clear strategy for accelerating delivery at Meridian Water. Our approach will also ensure that local people are the principle beneficiaries of the new homes and jobs that will be created.

“Subject to Cabinet approval, we no longer intend to work with a single master-developer for the entire regeneration area and instead will now quickly procure development partners for the first three development sites. These will deliver over 900 new homes, including around the new train station which opens next Spring, and the first major employment site which will create nearly 1,000 new jobs.

“Meanwhile we are also progressing our detailed business case for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, which will see £120m of Government funding to connect all parts of Meridian Water to the new train station and improve the frequency of train services as well.

“Meridian Water has always been a huge opportunity to deliver a significant number of much needed homes. I am determined to seize the opportunity to deliver homes and premises to benefit Enfield’s residents and businesses first and foremost. We will speed up delivery. I look forward to making a further announcement following the forthcoming Cabinet meeting.”

In January of last year Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited the site as construction enabling works began on the first 725 homes around the new railway station. The £6bn scheme proposes 10,000 homes and 6,700 new jobs in north London, led and controlled by Enfield Council.

A Development Agreement was due to be completed between Enfield Council and Barratt London, the selected Development Partner, in Spring ahead of Barratt beginning work on phase one in early 2018. SEGRO is on board to develop an urban logistics park alongside Barratt.

However relations between Barratt and the council subsequently deteriorated and the partnership was abandoned.

At an emergency council meeting to discuss the project and how it will be retendered councillors recommended that the Reserve Bidder, PCPD was approached to open negotiations with a view (subject to agreeing terms) to PCPD being appointed as Master Developer.

The council has said it is ahead of schedule in acquiring land in Meridian Water, now owning 87 acres (35 hectares) equivalent to 75% of developable land. There is planning consent for the first phase of development that includes 725 homes, a new railway station and associated retail, leisure and community space. Extensive remediation work is underway on the first phase, where preparatory works for development are on schedule

Meridian Water is a dedicated Opportunity Area and a Housing Zone, supported by the Greater London Authority. An additional 10,000 jobs will also be created during construction.

It covers a 210 acre site located in the south of the London Borough of Enfield between Edmonton, Tottenham and Walthamstow.

Home to Ikea and Tesco, it is next door to the parklands and sports facilities of the Lee Valley Regional Park.

The development will have its own new railway station, already funded and being delivered by Network Rail, planned to open in 2019.

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