Barratt/National Grid work position on NAMA mixed-use prize

By Paul Norman - Monday, August 08, 2011 15:00

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Barratt and National Grid are working up a development brief for a major mixed-use scheme on 57 acres of principally NAMA-controlled land in Taplow in South Buckinghamshire.

CoStar News has learned that Barratt recently exchanged with receiver BDO to buy the majority of the land – the 48-acre St Regis Paper Mill site element - where there have been long-term plans for a 350,000 sq ft “destination” scheme including offices, a luxury hotel, riverside housing, large man-made lagoons and a tennis club.

Part of the site is home to the now derelict Skindles hotel (pictured) – a venue for rock bands such as the Rolling Stones and Thin Lizzy in the sixties and seventies.

BDO told CoStar News it was appointed receiver at the site by Irish Nationwide bank in 2009 as it sought to recover around £40m lent on the development. The site was subsequently transferred to Ireland’s so-called bad bank NAMA.

Completion of the sale to Barratt is subject to the housebuilder securing planning for a new scheme. Details of the price agreed are confidential, but developer Towntalk bought the site near Maidenhead Bridge for £30.25m from packaging company DC Smith in 2006. Barratt has appointed PRP Architects to work on designs.

National Grid has now entered negotiations to incorporate its circa 10 acres of adjoining land on Mill Lane within a comprehensive development brief. It owns two parcels of land and is proposing to decommission its gas holder to release land for a major office or housing development.

In recent months South Bucks District Council, Barratt Homes, National Grid and Taplow Investments, which own adjoining moorings fronting the River Thames, have begun working on a comprehensive development brief.

Barratt is understood to be looking to increase the number of houses to closer to 300.

A development brief is likely to be published at the beginning of next year.

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