Castle Hill House

Castle Hill
Maidenhead

BHP acquired the site in joint venture with Ansbacher & Co. and The Mc Gahan Litchfield Partnership. Of particular attraction were the ‘speed to market’ attributes given the site was fully cleared and all necessary planning consents were in place for commencement of the works. This facilitated a development which by virtue of its timing would have no direct competition.

Whilst planning consents were in place, BHP was required to negotiate access rights to a private sewer together with settling party wall awards and an adverse right to light claim. During this process and given its impending expiry, BHP implemented the planning consent with an element of ground works to ensure it remained extant.

Following a competitive procurement process, ROK were retained to construct the building with completion in early 2008. The extended contract period was the result of the very tight site and contractor delays, which were subject to successful LAD deductions. The property was leased to Hanson for their UK Headquarters at what was a record rent in that cycle. Following which it was sold to Standard Life.

STRENGTHS

  • Consented office scheme
  • Cleared site
  • 1:330 car parking against 1:1,000 ratio on new consents
  • Prominent position on ring road within easy walking distance of the railway station

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Ability to redesign internal layouts to remove design flaws and improve the reception & WC provisions
  • Due to existing consent, speed to market was possible
  • No other new build product was scheduled to commence

WEAKNESSES

  • Poor NIA / GIA ratio due to small floor plates
  • Site had buildability issues due to tight access
  • Inherited scheme had design flaws

Threats

  • Inherited consent had not been implemented and was due to expire shortly
  • Rights of light agreements with neighbours had not been put in place
  • Necessity to negotiate use of a private drainage system to connect to the public sewer