MAYOR GIVES THUMBS-UP TO NES­TLE RE­DE­VEL­OP­MENT

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - QASIM PERACHA

THE ma­jor re­de­vel­op­ment of the for­mer Nes­tle fac­tory in Hayes has been given the green light by the Mayor of Lon­don af­ter a se­ries of com­pro­mises were reached with de­vel­op­ers.

The fac­tory, which ran for more than 100 years on the banks of the Grand Union Canal, was closed in 2015 when pro­duc­tion of freeze-dried in­stant cof­fee moved to Der­byshire.

SEGRO Plc bought the 30-acre site for an undis­closed sum in 2015 and part­nered with house builder Bar­ratt to cre­ate a 1,381-home de­vel­op­ment, which will also have around four hectares of of­fice space.

The scheme, which will see his­toric build­ings in the fac­tory re­stored and brought back in to use, was given out­line ap­proval at a Hilling­don Coun­cil meet­ing in De­cem­ber, but re­quired the Sadiq Khan’s ap­proval be­fore it could go ahead.

The Mayor’s plan­ning of­fice had ini­tially con­sid­ered the de­vel­op­ment in June 2017, and said “whilst the scheme is strongly sup­ported in strate­gic plan­ning terms, the ap­pli­ca­tion does not yet fully com­ply with the Lon­don Plan.”

Fol­low­ing nearly a year of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Hilling­don Coun­cil, the de­vel­op­ers and the Greater Lon­don Au­thor­ity (GLA), com­pro­mises were reached, in­clud­ing cash pay­ments of around £5.3 mil­lion. While the orig­i­nal plans con­tained a pledge for 35% af­ford­able hous­ing, the GLA and de­vel­op­ers have now come to an agree­ment to in­crease the num­ber by 74 homes, mak­ing 40% of the new homes af­ford­able. The de­vel­op­ers are likely to gain ad­di­tional grant fund­ing from the GLA to build these homes.

Around £1.5 mil­lion will be paid by de­vel­op­ers as a car­bon off­set con­tri­bu­tion, mit­i­gat­ing for a short­fall against the GLA’s zero car­bon stan­dard for res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments. A fur­ther fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion of £1.3 mil­lion was se­cured for lo­cal air qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing. The de­vel­op­ers will also pay £1 mil­lion to­wards TfL’s ma­jor im­prove­ment scheme at the Bull’s Bridge A316 Round­about. £475,000 in ad­di­tional fund­ing has also been agreed to im­prove bus ca­pac­ity in the vicin­ity of the site.

De­vel­op­ers have do­nated land along Nes­tles Av­enue as well as £538,000 to cre­ate a “multi-modal trans­port spine” along the road, sub­ject to fur­ther de­vel­op­ments be­ing ap­proved. They also pledged £500,000 for “off-site flood/drain­ing mit­i­ga­tion”.

The Can­teen Build­ing, which was orig­i­nally con­sid­ered an area which could serve small mi­nor­ity en­ter­prises, has in­stead been of­fered to Hilling­don Coun­cil. The lo­cally listed build­ing is likely to be used as a GP surgery and nurs­ery.

The de­vel­op­ment will see the re­turn of the orig­i­nal Sandow build­ing, con­structed in 1913 as Hayes’ co­coa works plant. The fac­tory was built by a fa­mous body­builder and strong­man Eu­gen Sandow, who said he owed his in­cred­i­ble strength to the hot co­coa he drank. Over the last 60 years, when the fac­tory was op­er­ated by Nes­tle, the Sandow build­ing was mod­i­fied in var­i­ous ways, but SEGRO and Bar­ratt have promised to re­turn the fac­tory to its orig­i­nal facade.

The site, which has never been pub­licly ac­ces­si­ble, will also in­clude three hectares of pub­lic space and a 1.3 km trail to a re­de­vel­oped canal frontage.

An es­ti­mated 300 lo­cal con­struc­tion jobs will be cre­ated, while a fur­ther 500 per­ma­nent jobs are ex­pected to come to the area thanks to the new of­fice space.

Dur­ing the fac­tory’s 1950 hey­day, more than 2,000 peo­ple worked on the site but by 2014, only 207 worked at the fac­tory, which had pro­duced freezedried cof­fee since the 1930s.The site is lo­cated near the junc­tion to the M4, close to Heathrow Air­port and poised to take advantage of Cross­rail ser­vices which will con­nect Hayes to em­ploy­ment hubs in the City and Ca­nary Wharf by March 2019.

The Mayor’s plan­ning of­fi­cer wrote that he is “con­tent to al­low Hilling­don Coun­cil to de­ter­mine the case it­self ”, and the coun­cil will con­tinue to work with de­vel­op­ers to fi­nalise the de­tails of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

The Nes­tle fac­tory has been part of the fur­ni­ture of Hayes for al­most 100 years and now SEGRO Plc and Bar­ratt have been given per­mis­sion to turn it into homes

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