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Unlocking Opportunities: Mixed-use Developments

Historically, mixed-use was the standard for urban development, with residents seamlessly blending living and working spaces by opening shops on the ground floor of their homes. To accommodate industrial production, the shift towards large-scale workspaces led to a division between home and work, causing a ripple effect that extended into commercial areas.

Mixed-use developments are not a novel idea but are seen as a promising prospect amidst the housing crisis. With a heightened focus on sustainability and urban regeneration initiatives, they are increasingly gaining popularity in the UK. These developments present a distinct opportunity for developers and investors looking to diversify their portfolios, maintain long-term stability and scalability, all while securing attractive returns.

The recent announcement of Asda's partnership with Barratt to develop its first mixed-use scheme on its Park Royal superstore site in west London signifies a strategic move for the retail giant.

The collaboration with Barratt aims to transform the site into a vibrant 'town centre' featuring a new 60,000 sq ft store at the heart of the Park Royal development, a key regeneration area. The ambitious project includes the construction of 1,500 new homes, with 500 designated as affordable housing, pending planning approval.

The homes within the development will offer premium dual aspect living spaces, prioritising sustainability, and promoting biodiversity and ecological benefits. Residents will be encouraged to utilise public transportation in the car-free residential area, while the Asda car park will feature new EV charging stations to support eco-friendly mobility.

Aside from the financial benefits for Asda, this initiative also presents a potential solution to London's pressing housing crisis. The city is grappling with a severe shortage of homes, leading to steep rental price growth. By integrating residential properties into their development plans, Asda and Barratt are not only revitalising the area but also contributing to addressing the housing shortage in the capital.

Asda is looking at other ways to cash in on its land outside of the capital pledging to spend £70m cutting prices and diversifying their portfolio with retirement and student living in other regions.

This partnership marks a significant milestone for Asda as they follow in the footsteps of industry rivals like Tesco and Sainsbury's. Sainsbury's sale of its Fulham Wharf site to Barratt for residential conversion in 2021 and Tesco's ongoing collaboration with developers since 2015 highlight the growing trend of major retailers venturing into property development. By seizing these investment opportunities and engaging in residential projects, Asda and its competitors are not only diversifying their portfolios but also making a tangible impact on local communities through sustainable development.

The recent government consultation, conducted under The Levelling up and Regeneration Act 2023, focuses on gathering information regarding contractual control agreements aimed at securing land or property for various developments, including residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects. The proposed regulations have a broad scope, encompassing a wide range of contracts related to land development, thereby impacting the landscape of future development agreements.

Looking to safeguard your mixed-use development project? Legal & Contingency provides a diverse selection of commercial and residential legal indemnity policies tailored to suit your specific needs. Whether this be restrictive covenants, mineral rights, or one of your new products focused on the relevant exposures to EV charging hub operators.  

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