The Crown Estate to sell some of its land to raise funds for massive new development projects
The Crown Estate is set to potentially cause some controversy with its plans to sell off large amounts of the land that it currently owes in order that several thousand new homes can be built on various sites.
With its responsibility for owning property on the Queen’s behalf, The Crown Estate has 360,000 acres of agricultural land and forestry, as well as owning £7billlion of assets which include St James’ and Regent Street in London as well as coastline and seabed within Britain, Windsor Great Park and 14 shopping centres.
The idea behind the new scheme is to sell much of its land near to urban population in order to fund development projects in Central London. Such places owned by the organisation include Luton, Hemel Hempstead and Taunton, which could potentially house large residential areas by 2020.
The Crown Estate, whose profits go to Her Majesty’s Treasury, holds the reputation for being one of the UK’s biggest landowners, and has so far spent hundreds of millions of pounds on developing Regent Street throughout the last 10 years. The organisation has similar plans for St James’ in London and has set aside £500million for development.
Planning consent is likely to be granted for these major developments, before The Crown Estate sells its land on to housing developers, although many fear that there will be considerable objections from the local authorities if the communities disagree with the proposed plans.
However, the Crown Estate’s Director of Investment, Paul Clark, says, “This is another good example of us investing in our core sectors – rural land, prime regional retail, central London and renewable energy – where we enjoy a competitive advantage, critical mass and high levels of expertise.”
In order to manage this massive development project, the Crown Estate has employed Steve Melligan, from UK landowner Church Commissioners, to oversee the schemes owing to his previous role as head of planning and development.
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