Developer plans to deliver 25,000 homes on 24 former gaswork sites after striking deal with National Grid

The Green Quarter is being created from a former gasworks site in Ealing

The Green Quarter is being created from a former gasworks site in Ealing

Berkeley Group has acquired National Grid’s 50% interest in a joint vehicle to regenerate former gasworks in London and the south east for £412.5m. 

The developer now owns the whole of St William Homes, which is expected to deliver around 25,000 new homes on gaswork sites no longer needed by the National Grid. 

The JV was created after Berkeley’s bought the National Grid’s 86-acre former gasworks at Southall’s Green Quarter, where 550 of 3,750 homes planned for the mixed-use development have been built.

Rob Perrins, Berkeley’s chief executive, said: “This is a fantastic transaction for Berkeley and National Grid. The vision of our innovative partnership was to take National Grid’s redundant gasholder sites and stitch them back into their local communities; transforming them into well-connected, nature rich, beautiful places with low carbon homes and new amenities.”

There are now 24 sites that are owned or contracted to St William, which was created in 2014 to transform the former gasworks into mixed-use residential developments. The JV has already delivered 1,100 homes on three small sites. This transaction will retain 28,000 UK jobs directly and indirectly through Berkeley’s supply chain.

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Perrins added: “The acquisition continues Berkeley’s philosophy of investing at the right time in the cycle for the long-term, securing unrivalled land holdings in London and the south east.”

With National Grid’s half of the interest in St William, Berkeley is gaining full control of:

• 19 sites already in its land holdings (12,600 homes),

• Two sites already in its near-term pipeline (2,600 homes), and

• Three new long-term sites that will be included in the near-term pipeline (about 5,000 homes).

Around £500m of outstanding land payments need to be made to the National Grid for these sites, payable over the next ten years. The £412.5m consideration for National Grid’s interest in St William and the concurrent refinancing of its bank facility has been funded from Berkeley’s existing cash reserves. St William’s net debt at the end of February 2022 was about £170m.

Berkeley grows its land holdings through both direct acquisitions and land-led partnerships and joint ventures.