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Kensal Gasworks, Development Value Brief & Kensal Crossrail Uplift & Capture Study


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The Challenge

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has long sought to promote regeneration and high density residential provision in the north of the Borough and this has for many years been tied to potential delivery of a new ‘Portobello Road’ Crossrail station. The site which surrounds the location of the potential station is in a variety of low density/ value uses including a redundant gasworks.

The client had two different challenges in 2014 and 2015:

  • 2014; the initial plan for HS2 involved relocating a major railway depot to take up a large element of the site, thus reducing housing numbers and threatening the potential to deliver a Crossrail Station. 
  • 2015; to prove to TfL/ Network Rail that a robust funding mechanism could be put in place to fund the Crossrail station through receipts from the development which was to be enabled.


The Solution

The 2014 commission was required in order that the client could petition against the location of the railway depot in the HS2 Bill passing through the UK parliament. Cushman & Wakefield delivered a comprehensive report which outlined the opportunity cost of locating the depot on this site in terms of:
  • Gross Value Added from lost commercial space and economic activity;
  • Gross Development Value and floorspace based on different land takes and densities;
  • Land Value given the lost potential development.

In the 2015 commission, Cushman & Wakefield reviewed the potential densities achievable on the site under different transport scenarios (i.e. with and without Crossrail). We then modelled these different scheme densities and varied the assumed costing of key infrastructure items (critically the potential Crossrail station) and the potential property value uplift as a consequence of Crossrail. The report considered the policy mechanisms available (both existing and emerging) to enable the uplift to be captured and funding the Crossrail Station.


The Results

Both of these commissions required a bespoke and detailed Excel based financial appraisal model which could be shared with the client.

Our 2014 advice shown the significant opportunity cost of locating a depot on this site and our evidence was used with the client’s petition to the HS2 bill. The enable the client to successfully lobby for the depot to be placed elsewhere.

Cushman & Wakefield’s 2015 advice provided the evidence base which persuaded TfL/ Network Rail to undertake detailed feasibility work on the cost of providing a Crossrail Station as we illustrated a number of ways in which development on the site could fully fund the costs of the Crossrail Station.

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