Company secures funding for Taplow scheme and completes Weybridge
deal BY MARK WILDING Exton Estates has secured funding for two
south-east office developments that total 200,000 sq ft, as institutions continue to show appetite for development in the region. Scottish Widows Investment Partnership has funded the £6m purchase of an 11 acre site
Exton believes the site could accommodate around 50 houses and 100,000 sq ft of offices, and pre-application discussions with the local authority are already in progress. If permission for residential development is granted, 3 acres of the site will be marketed to housebuilders and the remaining 8 acres marketed to occupiers as a prelet opportunity.
Rockspring and Exton Estates have also completed the £4.25m purchase of the Brooklands site in Weybridge from Mercedes-Benz, as tipped by Property Week (news, 08.10.10).
The speculative 100,000 sq ft office scheme will be developed for Rockspring's UK Value Fund. Planning permission has already been granted for a single 130,000 sq ft office building. Rockspring and Exton Estates will submit a revised planning application for two office buildings. With planning consent, the aim is to complete the development by the end of 2012.
Richard Bains, Rockspring UK Value Fund manager, said: "The acquisition of development projects on behalf of our UK Value Fund refl ects our strategy of taking on occupational risk where the fundamentals of supply and demand support speculative development. "Working closely with our experienced development partners, we believe we can deliver high-quality office schemes at a time and in markets where we expect to see limited comparable supply."
Dowley Turner Real Estate acted for Scottish Widows; Bray Fox Smith acted for Exton Estates in Taplow; Strutt & Parker and DWD2 advised Rockspring on the Weybridge purchase; Colliers International acted for Mercedes-Benz.
At Taplow, between Slough and Maidenhead, Exton and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP), have been given planning consent for a
90,000 sq ft office scheme at Huntercombe Park. The office element is one of two phases at the 11 acre Wyeth Laboratories' former headquarters, which the pair bought in January for £6m. Taylor Wimpey has paid £5.2m
for 3 acres of residential land. Gerald Eve and Dowley Turner Real Estate advised LaSalle and Exton; Jones Lang LaSalle advised GSK; Strutt & Parker and BrayFoxSmith advised Exton and SWIP; Lambert Smith Hampton and BrayFoxSmith are the agents for Huntercombe Park.