U+I development and trading update on Preston Barracks and Kensington Church Street

U+I (LSE:UAI), the specialist regeneration developer and investor, today announces that it has completed the sale of the residential sites at Preston Barracks in Brighton, and provides an update on the planning status of its scheme at Kensington Church Street.

In combination with profits from ‘Other’ projects, defined as those valued under £3 million, including the sale of Assembly Buildings at The Old Vinyl Factory to Weston Homes in December and further development gains at Harwell, this brings total development and trading gains year to date to c.£30 million.

Preston Barracks

The sale of the residential sites at Preston Barracks to Optivo, one of the largest housing providers in the UK and experts in affordable housing, is a key milestone and delivers gains in excess of its £2-3 million target. The regeneration project is the largest mixed-use project in Brighton and involves Brighton and Hove City Council, The University of Brighton, Coast to Capital LEP and now Optivo.

Kensington Church Street

The Mayor of London approved U+I and Brockton Capital’s joint venture residential scheme in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in September 2018, as announced on 25 September.

On 29 November 2018, a holding direction was issued by the Secretary of State (SoS) for Housing, Communities and Local Government, following a request by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to review the Mayor’s decision and consider calling in and taking over the application. A conclusion to this matter was expected in December 2018 but, in the absence of a formal update from the SoS, we prudently expect this to delay the projected start time on site beyond the end of March. Consequently, we do not anticipate including the scheme as a FY19 development and trading gain.

The project remains a key regeneration opportunity within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and both Brockton Capital and U+I will continue to pursue all routes to commence work as soon as practicable.

Matthew Weiner, CEO of U+I, commented: “The sale of the residential sites at Preston Barracks was one of our key targets for FY19 and another milestone. The project will deliver over £280 million of economic benefit for the City of Brighton over the next ten years and is visionary in its design and execution. We believe it is a template for Local Government partnership and is a win for the local community, for jobs, enterprise, affordable housing, and our shareholders.

“The delay at Kensington Church Street is frustrating. However we remain focused on delivering our target £45-50 million development and trading gains for FY19. This is subject to our remaining identified projects and some smaller projects completing before year end, as currently expected.”