Monday, November 10, 2014
National Grid Plans 14,000 London Homes
National Grid (LSE: NG.L - news) has announced a joint venture to build 14,000 new homes in "key areas of need" in London and south east England, creating thousands of jobs.
The 50/50 partnership with builders Berkeley Group is to be named St William Homes.
National Grid, which operates the power network across England and Wales, said the deal brought together its "significant portfolio of brownfield land" and Berkeley’s "expertise to design, build and market new developments."
The company said it currently has over 20 sites in London and the South East (HKSE: 0726.HK - news) with the potential to provide over 14,000 homes over the next 10-15 years.
In its first phase, St William aimed to develop more than 7,000 new homes, including over 2,000 affordable homes, with the potential to create 5,500 jobs, two new schools and 22 acres of public open space.
It said 84 acres of former industrial land would be transformed under the plans, contributing over £150m to local infrastructure and amenities.
St William aims to commence development activity on its first site in 2016, with the first homes being delivered in 2017.
The £700m investment would be funded through shareholder equity and bank funding.
Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid, said: "By bringing together Berkeley’s development expertise with National Grid Property sites, we hope to transform redundant land that was once at the heart of the industrial revolution to meet the housing and commercial needs of the 21st Century."
National Grid confirmed the development on the back of its latest results which showed a first-half adjusted pre-tax profit of £1.1bn - a rise of 16% on the same period last year.
The company warned last month that a series of power plant fires, coupled with temporary safety check closures, meant the risk to electricity supplies this winter was at a seven-year high.
It said the capacity margin - the gap between total electricity generating capacity and peak demand - could fall to 2.8% if bad weather set in but it was confident its forward planning would prevent any chance of blackouts.