GS8, the design-led residential and commercial property developer, is pleased to announce it has secured planning consent to deliver a 146 unit, mixed-use development in Watford, Hertfordshire. The development is the first phase to be awarded planning in Watford Borough Council’s Watford Junction regeneration masterplan.
The 4,338 sqm site, in a prime position c, is within easy reach of a number of retailers, including Sainsburys, and local employers, including KPMG. Harry Potter Studio Tour and The Grove are within a 10 minute drive and Watford Junction station, which is set to undergo a major redevelopment, is a five-minute walk from the scheme, where regular trains to London Euston take just 20 minutes.
Comprising four buildings, ranging from three to 11 storeys, the development will feature a mixture of high-quality bricks of varying colour and will include a number of green roofs. In line with GS8’s sustainable building ethos, the properties will contain a number of integrated features which enable residents to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on bills.
The one, two and three-bedroom properties will be available for private sale (78%, of which the majority will be available via Help to Buy), 22% affordable, (of which 69% affordable rent, 19% social rent and 12% shared ownership). All dwellings benefit from private outside space as well as communal landscaped gardens and play areas that have been influenced by the lines in the railway tracks.
The site will include c. 330 sqm of commercial space, 19 car parking spaces including seven car club bays, cycle parking, and a children’s play area, with improved public realm access and landscaping. In addition, the Grade-II listed Old Station House, formerly the royal waiting room for rail travel for Queen Adelaide, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, which will be converted into an artisan tap room and community exhibition space, bringing the last remaining brewery, Pope’s Yard, back to Watford.
As part of the wider regeneration of the area, GS8 is working with local charities and supporting community projects through their Regener8tion campaign, which aims to tackle homelessness in the areas they are developing. This work involves partnering with New Hope Watford to help reduce homelessness in the area, working alongside the West Watford Community Centre to redesign and refurbish their centre and supporting the Imagine Watford Festival 2018 as lead sponsor.
Ben Spencer, Director at GS8, commented:
“We are delighted to be delivering the first phase of the much-anticipated Watford Junction Masterplan – and our first of two major regeneration schemes in the town. Over the past two years we have acquired a number of sites to enable this scheme to come forward, undergoing a significant design process with the council and residents to ensure that we deliver a scheme in line with the aspirations and hopes of the local community.”
“The supply and demand fundamentals which persist in Watford clearly demonstrate the need for new affordable housing, which is why 25% of our development will be available for affordable and social rent with a small element of shared ownership. Alongside our diversified residential offer, we are looking forward to regenerating this currently underutilised site by supporting the local community and providing a range of new facilities.”
Peter Jeffree, Chair of Watford Borough Council’s Development Management Committee, said:
“This announcement marks the beginning of our Watford Junction Masterplan and we are pleased with the new proposal from GS8, which will greatly enhance a somewhat run-down part of the local area and set the tone for future regeneration work.”
GS8 intends to start on site by the end of 2018, with phase one expected to complete towards the end of 2020.