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Godwin submits plans for Dorset mixed-use development (GB)

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Godwin Developments has submitted a planning application for Woodbury Park, a brand-new commercial development located at a prominent 4.85-acre site in Bere Regis, Dorset. Proposals include four purpose-built drive thru and drive to roadside retail units, with renowned restaurant brands PopeyesStarbucks and McDonald’s already lined up to take space, which has been designed to their specifications.

 

The scheme will also feature a 12,000ft² block of up to eight units, with associated parking and turning facilities. The units will be two storeys high, with the flexibility to combine into larger floorplates, if required by potential tenants. The block will be built speculatively and will target BREEAM Very Good, including features such as air source heat pumps, low energy lighting and highly efficient building fabric, to name a few.

 

Situated off the Townsend Roundabout at the northern entry point of Bere Regis, the site benefits from a high passing traffic flow of over 27,000 daily vehicles. It occupies a key location at the intersection of the A31 and A35 alongside the main arterial route connecting Poole and Bournemouth to Dorchester.

 

The Woodbury Park scheme will further Godwin’s commitment to local regeneration and job creation by enabling up to 250 new employment opportunities. Roles are anticipated to be primarily in retail, distribution and logistics, as well as services, manufacturing, technology and the creative industries. Local people will also benefit from the inclusion of several EV charging points, the first in the area.

 

Claudine Tracey, Development Manager at Godwin Developments, said: “The site’s high traffic flow, lack of similar offering close by, and proximity to existing Shell garage and trade park make Woodbury Park a sought-after location for a range of occupiers – including coffee and quick service restaurant brands. We are also delighted to be delivering the UK’s first Popeyes drive thru as the company expands its footprint in this country. In addition, our development will deliver a variety of local employment opportunities for Bere Regis through the provision of flexible industrial and logistics space suitable for new and existing businesses. The scheme at Bere Regis showcases Godwin’s unique capability to successfully combine industrial and roadside retail to maximise a site’s potential through complementary uses.”

 

Stuart Pratt, Director at Godwin Developments, commented: “The recent boom in takeaway food consumption and hyper-local convenience shopping is bringing ever more exciting brands to the roadside retail sector. At the same time, demand for industrial and logistics space is continuing to grow with units of varied sizes – including trade parks – experiencing a substantial lack of supply. For these reasons interest from investors into both sectors has been very strong in the past year; and we expect the trend to continue throughout 2022 on the back of strong consumer fundamentals.”

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W.RE secures Parsons Green office development (GB)

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W.RE, acting in partnership with Taurus Investment Holdings, has acquired 22,240ft² Alexander House at 14-16 Peterborough Road, Parsons Green. The complex was purchased from Martins Properties with Puma Property Finance (PPF) providing €36m (£30m) funding. The new building will have a strong focus on sustainability, with a specific independent energy strategy that is expected to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 50% from the baseline scheme. The site will be delivered in line with W.RE’s approach to delivering sustainability through design, delivering buildings that are built to last and are equipped for future demands, whilst targeting BREEAM “Excellent” and an EPC of A, and will be developed with a net-zero carbon construction target.

 

The scheme will offer approximately 45,000ft² NIA of floor space, an abundance of natural light, air source heat pumps, PV panels, and two roof terraces on the third and fourth floors. The current property includes a partially let class E office building, garages facing onto Peterborough Mews, and a small residential mews house at 17 Peterborough Mews, comprising a freehold site of 0.33 acres. Planning permission for the scheme was granted in September 2021 for the redevelopment of a five-storey plus basement Class E-commercial building. The partnership intends to commence construction in early 2023 with completion scheduled for early 2025.

 

Andrew Haines, COO of W.RE said: “We are delighted to have completed the purchase of Alexander House. The existing property is in a fantastic location just off the green in Parsons Green. This area of South West London is popular with professionals and families due to good transport links, but it is lacking high-quality office space. We will deliver a sustainable, best-in-class building that will take advantage of the increasing requirement from tenants for workspace in attractive locations outside of historic core central London. It was a pleasure to work with both Taurus and Puma in closing this deal during a challenging time in the market.”

 

Nick Jacobs, Executive Managing Director, Taurus UK, commented: “As the return to the office continues, there is significant demand for Grade-A office space, especially in Fulham and South West London, where there is great quality of life. Parsons Green is within walking distance to local transit and local amenities, and will be outfitted with the latest sustainable building technology that ensure resilience through peak energy demand and meets the rigorous and aggressive climate targets for a safe and healthy future. We believe that such investment is essential for the medium & long-term preservation of value. We also believe that it is our duty to invest with ESG factors as a key part of our strategies.”

 

Kevin Davidson, Managing Director, Puma Property Finance, commented: “We’re delighted to support this development and to be working alongside a leading office and commercial developer in W.RE, who have a deep understanding of the London office market. With growing evidence of a flight to quality in the office market, we see real potential in well-located speculative office developments that are being built with sustainability at their core, especially given that 80% of London office space will need to upgrade to meet EPC requirements by 2030. It is crucial to the health of our future society that we support the development of sustainable infrastructure now, and this should be an exciting project with those principles at its heart.”

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Race against time to rescue ‘girl trapped inside’ house reduced to rubble in massive gas explosion

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Emergency services are searching for a four-year-old girl believed to be trapped after a terraced house collapsed following a huge gas explosion and fire in south London this morning.

Neighbours said it sounded ‘like a bomb had gone off’ on Galpin’s Road in Thornton Heath, near Croydon, just after 7am this morning, as 40 firefighters and six fire engines quickly rushed to the scene.

Three people have been hospitalised with potentially life-threatening injuries and the fire brigade confirmed their urban search and rescue crews are searching for one more missing person.

Merton Council has declared a major incident and confirmed it was a gas explosion.

Utility repair and maintenance works were being carried out on the road by Southern Gas Networks, who have been contacted by Mail Online for a comment.

Two neighbours, Kutoya Kukanda, 50, and Delroy Simms, 62, who have been called have been called ‘heroes’ for rescuing three children from the rubble at around 7am, said they feared a young girl was still trapped inside.

Mr Simms, dressed in his pyjamas by the cordon, said the explosion was like an earthquake and knew what it was because ‘that gas was smelling all week, really strong’.

He said that Mr Kukanda passed children out to him as bricks were still falling from the structure.

Videos and pictures shows the house completely reduced to rubble, planks of wood strewn about, and neighbours standing shocked outside in their dressing gowns.

Surrounding properties and vehicles are seriously damaged with tiles and bricks from the destroyed housing laying on top of them.

Around 40 properties have been evacuated as a precaution and a 50-metre cordon is in place. 

One man was treated for burn injuries at the scene and witnesses said other people including a child were stretchered away, Thornton Heath Chronicle reported.

A young girl was also seen stood outside with a blanket being treated for burns, as three people are currently in hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said four people have been rescued and are asking people to avoid the area.

The fire brigade are searching for one missing person after a house collapsed following a huge explosion this morning in Croydon, south London

The fire brigade are searching for one missing person after a house collapsed following a huge explosion this morning in Croydon, south London

The blast tore a huge hole in the wall of a neighbouring home, causing serious damage to what appears to be a child's bedroom

The blast tore a huge hole in the wall of a neighbouring home, causing serious damage to what appears to be a child’s bedroom

Following a fire and explosion, approximately 40 firefighters rushed to the scene of a house collapse in Thornton Heath

Following a fire and explosion, approximately 40 firefighters rushed to the scene of a house collapse in Thornton Heath

Residents thought a 'bomb had gone off' when the blast happened around 7am this morning

Residents thought a ‘bomb had gone off’ when the blast happened around 7am this morning

Neighbours on the road believe a girl aged around four or five is still trapped inside (pictured: Urban Search and Rescue team at the scene in Galpin's Road)

Neighbours on the road believe a girl aged around four or five is still trapped inside (pictured: Urban Search and Rescue team at the scene in Galpin’s Road)

Deputy Assistant Commissioner of London Fire Brigade confirmed one person was missing and being searched for

Deputy Assistant Commissioner of London Fire Brigade confirmed one person was missing and being searched for

Emergency services remain at the scene of the completely destroyed house in Croydon, so far London Fire Brigade say four people have been rescued

Emergency services remain at the scene of the completely destroyed house in Croydon, so far London Fire Brigade say four people have been rescued

The house was destroyed in the huge explosion which is believed to have been caused by a gas leak

The house was destroyed in the huge explosion which is believed to have been caused by a gas leak

The house explosion took place in Thornton Heath, Croydon around 7am this morning

The house explosion took place in Thornton Heath, Croydon around 7am this morning

Emergency services at the scene in Galpin's Road in Thornton Heath, south London, with the collapsed house in the background

Emergency services at the scene in Galpin’s Road in Thornton Heath, south London, with the collapsed house in the background

On the road where properties sell for around £430,000, the explosion launched a mass of rubble which seriously damaged houses either side of the blast and across the road.

Neighbours said they had reported a strong gas smell two weeks ago and others said they had been feeling dizzy and sick over the last two days.

One person said they were still able to smell gas after the blast which shattered windows and severely damaged neighbouring properties as other houses in the area were also evacuated.

Residents on the street told The Sun gasworks had been taking place for ‘four weeks’ there is no suggestion the works have any link to the blast at this stage.

A mother was crying in the street for her son as his bedroom was opposite the completely destroyed house, said one local.

The 25-year-old woman told MyLondon: ‘His mum was out on the street crying ‘My boy, my boy’.

‘They took him to hospital and we’ve heard since that he’s ok.’

She added that a ‘little girl’ and her dad escaped the destroyed house, and that the mum was rescued afterwards.

One resident, who lives on nearby Carisbrooke Road, said: ‘I heard the explosion at 7am, it was just the biggest bang you’ll ever hear.

‘So I went down the road to see what happened this morning and the whole house is gone, people living nearby said all their windows shook.

‘There was police, fire engines, a helicopter going around overhead. There’s not actually a fire from what I saw but you can still really smell gas, even two roads away where I am. They’re evacuating people from the houses nearby as they’re worried about another explosion.

‘There was a little girl of about 10 or 11 stood outside with a blanket bless her, god knows how she got out of that but she’s being treated for burns.

‘They were saying her older brother was still inside but he later got taken out OK I think.’

Dominic Francis, 41, and his partner heard a loud bang this morning, he said: ‘It is the third or fourth house explosion in the UK recently.

‘Something is wrong, I am worried it will happen to us.’

One Facebook user said: ‘I heard it whilst getting ready for work and thought it sounded like an explosion but was hoping I was wrong and that it was at a building site or something.’

Another added: ‘That was one loud bang thought a bomb had gone off’.

The house, pictured several years before the blast, was completely destroyed with neighbouring properties also badly damaged sparking the evacuation of 40 people

The house, pictured several years before the blast, was completely destroyed with neighbouring properties also badly damaged sparking the evacuation of 40 people

London Fire Brigade say four people have been rescued from the scene (pictured)

London Fire Brigade say four people have been rescued from the scene (pictured)

Around forty firefighters attended the scene and the surrounding area was evacuated after the explosion

Around forty firefighters attended the scene and the surrounding area was evacuated after the explosion

Nearby properties on Galpin's Road (pictured) have been damaged and four people have been rescued

Nearby properties on Galpin’s Road (pictured) have been damaged and four people have been rescued 

Police have evacuated and cordoned off the surrounding area following the explosion

Police have evacuated and cordoned off the surrounding area following the explosion

At this time, the cause of the fire and explosion is unknown, but a nearby resident said they could smell gas

At this time, the cause of the fire and explosion is unknown, but a nearby resident said they could smell gas

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: ‘We have treated four patients at an incident in Galpins Road, Thornton heath. One was discharged on scene and three others were taken to hospital.

‘We remain on scene with our emergency service colleagues.’ 

Merton council said in a statement: ‘We are working with London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police following a major incident at Galpins Road in Pollards Hill.

‘Emergency services are on site following a gas explosion at a residential property, at least one property has been destroyed. We are urging people to avoid the area.

‘Firefighters are currently carrying out systematic searches and working to make the scene safe.

‘An evacuation centre has been established at the New Horizons Centre.’

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said in a statement: ‘Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters have been called to a fire and explosion on Galpin’s Road in Thornton Heath.

‘A terraced house has collapsed following an explosion.

‘The Brigade’s 999 Control Officers have taken 13 calls to the incident.

‘The Brigade was called at 0708. Fire crews from Norbury, Mitcham, West Norwood, Woodside and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.

‘The cause of the fire and explosion is not known at this time.’

The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers are at the scene. A statement on Twitter said: ‘Officers are at the scene in Galpin’s Road as part of the emergency services response to this incident. Please follow @LondonFire for updates.’

London Ambulance Service said it is also responding to the incident.

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Home REIT acquires €101m UK resi portfolio

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Home REIT plc has acquired 199 additional properties located across England for an aggregate purchase price of €101m (£85.1m). The properties have added a further 869 beds for those in need to the portfolio, bringing the portfolio total to 10,421 and further enhancing the company’s geographic diversification. The acquisitions adhered to the company’s strict investment criteria, providing much-needed accommodation for vulnerable homeless people across England. They are let on an average lease length of 25 years at low and sustainable rents, on new, unbroken, long-term, full repairing and insuring leases to specialist registered homeless charities and community interest companies (CICs), providing them with the sought-after long-term security of tenure. The leases are subject to annual upward-only rent reviews, index-linked to the Consumer Prices Index, with an annual collar and cap of 1% and 4% respectively. Each of the properties is immediately income producing and, following these transactions, the blended net initial yield of the company’s portfolio is ahead of expectations.

 

Charlotte Fletcher, Partner at Alvarium Home REIT Advisors Limited, said: “This latest tranche of acquisitions represents a significant expansion of our portfolio and allows us to scale up our support for homeless people across the UK. The expeditious deployment of the proceeds of our significantly oversubscribed Subsequent Placing in May demonstrates the Company’s impressive capacity to source attractive investment opportunities and the strength of our relationships with local stakeholders. We are excited to welcome Alex to the management team and are confident that his appointment will further bolster our ability to deliver strong returns to investors whilst also fulfilling a pressing social need.”

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