Pension fund Legal & General announced in May that is had bought the
Homebase and B&Q sites – and that it plans to combine them as a single huge building project.
Costing about half a billion pounds to build, this will deliver about a thousand flats (as well as 85,000 square feet of commercial space, which is a relatively small amount of the overall site – on the basis of recent experience of developments near stations we can probably assume this will involve at least one gym and at least one coffee shop).
The projects were controversial: Homebase in particular saw repeated planning applications rejected, before the decision was finally taken over by Mayor Sadiq Khanwho approved the controversial scheme.
The final planning consents include 35% “affordable housing”, and funding towards a new entrance to the adjacent railway station.
The B&Q part of the site was slightly less controversial, but still saw criticism for its sheer size.
There’s an unusual twist to this development: unlike most developments where the flats have been sold off as quickly as possible, this will be Legal and General’s largest ever “Built To Rent
” scheme – i.e. they will hang on to all the flats as an investment, and rent them out in the long term. This fits quite well with the aims of a pension fund, which wants safe and stable (rental) income in the long term, rather than a quick buck from selling the properties; it’s also why pension funds typically own a lot of shopping centres and student accommodation.
The Wandsworth Society
attended a meeting with Legal and General, where it was reported that B&Q will close in mid-October,
with Homebase to follow in June 2020.
Many of us have spent many a weekend in these stores. Lucky for us, the Wandsworth Society has compiled a list of DIY stores for us once the two shops have closed. Please try to remember to shop local and independent if you can!
To learn more about this and to view the list of alternative DIY stores, visit: https://cjag.org/2019/09/24/clapham-jun ... iy-stores/