This is the tenth case study in One Public Estate's 'Unlocking the value in public sector assets', published in 2017.
To bring together four landowning public sector organisations, and work with other stakeholders to rationalise services and resources, unlock development land, reduce running costs, create jobs, homes, and revenue streams, and make Northwick Park a landmark destination.
The four partners, the London Borough of Brent, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, the University of Westminster and Network Homes Ltd all own land adjacent to each other. They are very different organisations, with different aims, governance structures and priorities. However, common themes unite them: residential accommodation requirements, reduction of running costs, increased efficiencies, opportunities for shared teaching accommodation, ground maintenance and facilities management, maximising land values, improving infrastructure, dealing with parking, provision of leisure facilities, etc.
The site has evolved in a largely piecemeal way over the years, with little interaction between the organisations. The site has enormous potential, but is essentially landlocked, with limited road access and a series of uncoordinated unattractive footpaths, and the park is isolated.
The vision of the four partners is to create a ground breaking development that complements the park and outer London setting, providing new homes in a currently land locked setting.
The project will bring in other stakeholders, such as Transport for London, Network Rail, London Borough of Harrow, Greater London Authority, with the aim of not being constrained by physical boundaries of the site.
The vision is to:
- bring about the anticipated delivery of over 500 new homes
- celebrate the park and integrate it with its surroundings
- develop new homes of the highest quality
- bring in increased revenue
- create employment and skills opportunities
- replace inadequate infrastructure
- maximise land values
- drive down operating costs
- make Northwick Park a destination of choice.
The Partnership is in its infancy and has concentrated on firming up its governance and project management arrangements. Individual and common outcomes have been agreed, property assets are being mapped out, and briefs for the main consultants are being drafted.
Ultimate potential outcomes of the project include:
- creation of over 500 new mixed tenure, high quality homes
- generation of capital or revenue receipts
- better service delivery
- integrated services and facilities, such as parking, and joint use of teaching facilities
- new vehicular, public transport and pedestrian routes on the site
- joint sports and social facilities
- introduction of revenue generating commercial enterprises
- creation of a new energy centre serving the development, and selling surplus energy back to the grid
- step free access and enhanced entrance to two tube stations
- revenue savings
- social benefits
- stimulating economic growth by place making and an integrated master plan design
- catalyst for private sector investment in the area.
The next steps
There is still much work to do:
- a communications strategy is to be developed to ensure clear messages are being delivered and the vision is shared
- scoping documents are to be prepared and consultants selected to develop the feasibility work and establish a business case and develop proposals for service redesign.
It is anticipated that this work will be used to inform transformational improvements to other hospital sites within the borough.