Adequate funding, a collaborative relationship with the relevant borough, and transport infrastructure are three of seven factors which led to the successful progress of significant developments in London, according to a new report by WSP and London First.
The West London, Delivering the Opportunities report identifies several success stories among London’s opportunity areas and large developments where delivery has been achieved, detailing the key factors which enabled progress and which, it claims, should be considered in west London to accelerate the delivery of proposed homes, employment space and social infrastructure.
Three major case studies were analysed as part of the report – White City, Kings Cross Central and Wembley Park – and seven common themes that led to successful delivery of these developments were identified:
- Transport: The sites had existing infrastructure to provide good transport connectivity, with further upgrades in the pipeline.
- Land: Land ownership and title issues were resolvable.
- Funding: Cash flow could be managed to fund future development by sequencing revenue opportunities.
- Patient capital: Investor shared the developers’ long-term vision, supportive of building at pace.
- Collaborative relationship with borough: Working with local leaders to build a place that enhances opportunity for local people and fits with local economic development plans.
- Cultural assets: Creating value through a strong brand or local architectural and cultural heritage.
- Infrastructure: The ability to invest in waste, digital and energy infrastructure.
The report shows that west London has significant opportunities to deliver projects which will provide communities across the seven boroughs with connected and sustainable places, and also highlights the importance of the West London Orbital as the key scheme in West London, with the proposed rail service aiming to enhance public transport connectivity, facilitating 29,000 additional homes and 23,000 jobs.
Ian Liddell, managing director, planning and advisory at WSP, said: “West London’s potential to deliver thriving, connected and sustainable places for communities across the boroughs of the WLA is clear, but challenges exist in accelerating the delivery of such developments. There is an ambitious pipeline of projects which will support west London’s future growth, and our identified success factors could support the delivery of significant developments which will provide housing, jobs and social infrastructure, including the potentially transformative West London Orbital.”
Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive at London First, said: “This report shows how business and local authorities can work together to unlock delivery of much-needed housing in the capital. Good transport connectivity is critical to success and the West London Orbital is a fantastic example of a truly transformative regeneration scheme.
“London’s transport infrastructure is dependent on stable, reliable funding and the government can help unleash development in west London by committing to the independent National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendation to invest at least 1.2% of GDP on infrastructure and to ending the uncertainty over HS2 and Old Oak Common once and for all.”
Andrew Dakers, chief executive at West London Business, said: “WSP’s and London First’s study is a timely call to action for public and private sector leaders to continue to raise our game, focussing on critical success factors from attracting patient capital to ensuring land ownership issues are resolvable. This will ultimately ensure west London’s wealth of opportunity is realised in a timely manner and the benefits maximised for all.”