Over a period of five years we were retained by Hargreaves Group on Solent Retail Park, Havant.
Our work on the scheme began in 2004, when we advised Hargreaves Group on the asset management of an existing industrial estate. We identified that it had potential for an 18,000 sq ft retail development site.
We were then asked to assist with planning, site assembly and letting/development advice on the site, to create Solent Retail Park.
£1m acquisition of neighbouring facility
Over the next two years, we worked with Hargreaves to acquire the neighbouring factory site of just under two acres. The £1 million purchase was agreed, and included various residential premises which were sandwiched between the two sites.
Throughout, the local authority retained the freehold interest in a portion of land at the back of the site, generating an annual income of £17,000.
Local planning enquiry to agree creation of new retail park in Havant
We represented the client at a local planning enquiry, aligning its proposals for a new retail scheme with local government guidance for retail warehouse development (PPG6 now known as PPS4). This guidance stipulated that such development should not be out of town, but as close to a town centre location as possible.
We also negotiated with the local authority to acquire its portion of land at the back of the site, transferring its freehold interest to a brand new unit adjacent to the scheme. This was subsequently let to Pizza Hut, increasing the authority’s annual income from £17,000 to £85,000.
High profile retailers secured for new scheme
Our Retail Agency team subsequently secured lettings with seven high profile retail outlets - Next, Laura Ashley, Peacocks, Sports Direct, Pets at Home, HobbyCraft and Halfords. Headline rents of £25 per sq ft were agreed, with various incentives offered including enhanced specification and capital contributions to fit-outs.
Our national and regional market knowledge as well as retail warehousing experience played equally important roles in this long term project. As a result, client was able to look beyond continued use of the former site and reinforce Havant as an important town centre location, while substantially improving revenue for the local authority.