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Landmark Country Park Deal For Harrow, Brokered by Preston Bennett
11th Mar 2013
After complex and protracted negotiations over many years, Preston Bennett, the Stanmore-based property group, have been instrumental in successfully delivering a significant land swap deal that has major benefits to Harrow Council, its residents and luxury developer, Stanmore Dairies Limited/Wood Farm (Stanmore) Limited.
Stanmore Country Park – a large nature reserve to the north of central Stanmore – will be enlarged by 69 acres of green belt land by the addition of Wood Farm, previously owned by Stanmore Dairies.
Stanmore Dairies are part of the Jaysam Group, who are major luxury residential developers and, as part of the deal, they have purchased part of the land off Wood Lane, Stanmore on which they are building10 luxury detached homes which will be exclusively gated and expanding the development of a fully-fledged Country Park for the general public.
There was an existing approved planning application that included both the extension to Stanmore Country Park and the residential development. Harrow Council had retained the existing freehold to the land and Stanmore Dairies held two leases – hence, the swap from which both parties will benefit.
“This long-standing project has at last come to fruition. It unlocks wonderful views of the London skyline,” said Harrow Councillor, Bill Stephenson. “Unlocking this extra green belt land, which will become publicly accessible from December 2013, will provide more open space for the public to enjoy.”
Preston Bennett had a history of knowing the site well, having sold it for a previous owner, the former Commonwealth heavyweight boxing champion, Joe Bygraves, who died earlier this year. Because of their local knowledge and their reputation in all areas of planning, land and development, Preston Bennett were commissioned to broker this landmark deal.
As part of the negotiations Preston Bennett planners worked with architects Kenneth Reid & Partners as well as Land Use Consultants to develop a master plan for the Country Park extension as well as the 3.5 acre residential development. “It was important we produced a plan that had a ‘light touch’ to the access, landscaping, planting and environment, which was instrumental in gaining the approval of all interested parties to the scheme.”
Stanmore Dairies returned the leases to Harrow Council and in return they gained the freehold for the development for £ 3.5 million – a welcome injection of funds for the Council in these challenging economic times. They also pledged a sum for the works on the Country Park extension as well as its future management and maintenance, as part of the Section 106 agreement. “The way we worked in collaboration with Harrow Council’s planning officers has resulted in one of the most significant deals for Harrow, by adding this wonderful new amenity for future generations,” said Richard Henley, Planning, Land & Development Director of Preston Bennett. “It is also gratifying to have facilitated this enabling development of the ten new houses to add to the enhancement of the area.”
It is also anticipated that Preston Bennett will eventually become the selling agent for these ten exclusive homes in this prime location.
Photocaption: Cllr. Bill Stephenson (front right), receiving the leases from Samji Patel, Director of Stanmore Dairies at the Wood Farm site, with Preston Bennett’ s Ronnie Preston & Richard Henley looking on (2nd row R-L)