The client's primary objective when I acted for the Ogden Group in relation to the redevelopment of this site in the Millennium Quarter of the Isle of Dogs was to optimise the development value and provide flexibility in its disposal and development options for this purpose. My client was a sophisticated and experienced developer whose expectations as to client service and quality of advice were appropriately demanding.
I was instructed at a point when the owners of surrounding sites had already secured resolutions for the grant of planning permissions for approximately 7 million square feet of offices. My client's site had been identified to provide the necessary public open space for those developments and the LPA had indicated that if necessary the LPA would use its CPO powers to acquire the land to enable the open space to be delivered.
Whilst appearing to have a timing advantage over my client's site. the owners of the other development sites had failed to submit environmental statements and I advised that we should use that to claw back that advantage. By seeking a screening direction under the EIA regulations my client achieved a substantial pause in the grant of those other permissions (whilst the necessary EIA processes were undertaken) which enabled my client's application to be prepared, submitted and determined on a basis which achieved a satisfactory permission for my client on the basis of an intensive mixed office and residential development.
Subsequently, a further planning permission was obtained (at a time when the London commercial market was depressed) whereby the office part of the proposed development could be 'flipped over' at the developer's option so as to make it a completely residential scheme without prejudicing the favourable affordable housing quota which applied to the initial residential phase.
Paul's contribution to the planning strategy for our Indescon Court site and in the negotiations with the Council and other parties, was crucial to our unlocking the site's optimum commercial value and its eventual disposal for substantial residential development.
Tim J Garnett, FRICS, Managing Director, Ogden Properties Limited