Our work - 31/12/2018

Meridian Water: advising on 180 acre development in North London

Enfield Council has designated a 180 acre site for residential led mixed use development.

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Enfield Council has designated a 180 acre site for residential led mixed use development. The site is currently in obsolete industrial use.

The masterplan is for a scheme to include 10,000 new homes and employment space to generate 6,000 jobs. We were appointed in February 2018 to advise on a range of development, agency and procurement services. 

We are leading on the procurement of a development partner to deliver the first phase of the masterplan, known as Meridian One through the new GLA development framework (LDP2). This phase has planning permission for 725 units a new rail station and community, leisure and retail uses. 

Services provided

  • Financial modelling
  • Delivery option analysis
  • Residential market advice
  • Valuation advice
  • HIF funding business case support
  • Market testing
  • Employment strategy
  • OJEU procurement of development partners
  • Land acquisition
  • Meanwhile use options including marketing and commercial lettings

Description of work 

Financial modelling: We constructed a 25 year cash flow based financial model with cost and value inputs that allow the Council to view expected performance against metrics including peak debt, capital requirements, internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV) analysis. This model has been audited and verified by independent consultants.

Delivery option analysis: We have evaluated options ranging from outright sale, direct development, master developer and joint venture. Our work includes both quantitative and qualitative assessment.
  
Market testing: We are undertaking testing of investor and developer appetite for alternative delivery options to enable a robust assessment of the opportunity, including the challenges and risks, for each delivery option.

Employment strategy: The objective is to create 6,000 jobs due to the range of business sectors attracted to the scheme. We continue to work with employment consultants to assess the growth sectors and formulate a short, medium and long term strategy to attract as many sectors as possible.    

Procurement of development partners: We manage the procurement of the developer for Meridian One including marketing, preparation of procurement documents including liaising with solicitors and technical team to ensure the proposition is robust through launch, evaluation and recommendation. 
  
Land transactions: We are acting in the negotiation to acquire land interests and to implement the meanwhile use marketing and letting strategies. 

Valuation: We provide valuation and options analysis advice including satisfying the client’s best consideration requirements under Section 123.  We also carry out viability testing and feasibility scenarios to inform masterplan development, purchase reports and offer prices for acquisitions. 

We are also providing a myriad of other strategic and development consultancy services to support the overall delivery of the masterplan. 

Challenges overcome

  • Devising a financial model with sufficient flexibility to model the impact of changes over a 25 year development programme – our financial modelling team have succeeded in this exercise by working with the property and construction advisors to model a scheme based on robust assumptions. This has been developed further to allow variable/sensitivity modelling of agreed metrics.
  • Meridian One was the site of a former gasworks which is being remediated by the Council. A major challenge we faced was to create a succinct marketing proposition that would overcome adverse perception. We achieved this by providing clear documents in the data room in a form suitable for remediation consultants to assess. Based on the number of bidders this has been shown to be successful   
  • The Council had previously undertaken two procurement exercises to identify a Master Developer and both of these were aborted.  During the procurement led by us, market perception was important to attract and retain bidder confidence. The scale of the response showed that we achieved this by clear communication, transparency (explaining why previous campaigns aborted) and adherence to timescales.