Trusted experts save historic site
THE RETAIL TRUST’S estate in Mill Hill has undergone great changes in the past few years. The charity provides support, rented accommodation and care facilities for retired retail employees. “When I joined Retail Trust, some seven years ago, my prime objective was to develop a property portfolio that would provide the resources for future beneficiaries of our charity,” says Linda Davis, managing director of the Trust.
Four years ago, the planning application went in to Barnet Council. The RT knew it had to overcome several fears about the future of the site. Part of the estate is grade II listed and all of it is within the Mill Hill Conservation Area.
What the RT wanted was to save the estate. It did this by asking for an extension to its headquarters building, the grade II listed Marshall Hall, the building of 16 extra care flats and a new community centre and the refurbishment of 54 cottages.
The Trust put Bedford House up for sale, for offers in the region of £8 million. This care home, which closed in 2004, is one 2.1-acre site and includes a 72-bed nursing home and a collection of 12 one-bedroom apartments.
It also put the Chalet Estate up for sale — a 13.5-acre site with 71 bungalows and 15 apartments, built between 1929 and 1938.
Property specialist Preston Bennett, based in Stanmore, Middx, handled the professional work for the Retail Trust, applying for planning and sell- ing both Marshall Hall and the Chalet estate.
The site was bought unconditionally by Countryside Properties and the subsequent refurbishment is now well under way. The new development, now called “Re”, provides homes for over-55s. The bungalows are currently selling through Preston Bennett New Homes, at prices from £355,000.
Linda Davis and Preston Bennett’s Ronald Preston, at the Retail Trust HQ