Major housing boost for London as MoD frees up brownfield land
Publisher: Jon Land
Published: 19/09/2006 - 11:24:23 AM
More than 100 hectares of precious brownfield land is to be freed up for redevelopment as part of a project to upgrade and consolidate Ministry of Defence facilities in Greater London, it was announced today.
The flagship 'Project MoD Estates London' (MoDEL) will combine operations from a number of Defence sites in the capital at RAF Northolt.
As well as providing new first-rate facilities and reducing running costs, the project will also free up land within the M25 on which thousands of new homes could be built.
Defence Estates, the MoD's property management Agency responsible for Project MoDEL, has been working in collaboration with English Partnerships, the government's national regeneration agency, on pioneering work with Local Authorities, the Greater London Authority, other Government Departments and Strategic Governmental Bodies to ensure that every effort is made to maximise the potential of the surplus sites.
Speaking at the contract award ceremony, Derek Twigg said: "The MoD is making a £180 million capital investment at RAF Northolt to provide world class facilities for our Service personnel.
"I am delighted that we are able to not just improve the quality of life for our personnel but to release over 100 hectares of predominantly brownfield land can be used to provide thousands of new homes for London."
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, said: "As London faces increasing pressure to build thousands of new homes the release of so much brownfield land on which they can be built is excellent news.
"Our population is expected to grow by 800,000 over the next decade and building on our precious open spaces to meet this demand is not an option.
"So wherever we can recycle existing brownfield sites to accommodate more housing is good for Londoners and for the sustainable development of our city."
Bill Oliver and David Bowler of VSM Estates, the company which has been awarded the larger of the two Project MoDEL contracts, said: "We are committed to providing high quality facilities at RAF Northolt, which offer best value for money, whilst delivering planning consents for the sites to be released which are robust and sustainable and which generate value over the long term.
"We will be investing significantly in infrastructure within and around the key sites to deliver plots of land primed for immediate development."