As part of the Council’s wider regeneration ambitions for Romford, the Council has indentified the regeneration of Bridge Close. This has been established in Council policy set out by:
- Local Development Framework and Romford Area Action Plan 2008
- Romford Development Framework 2015
- Havering Draft Local Plan 2017
A report on Bridge Close was presented to Cabinet in June 2016. The Cabinet’s decisions can be summarised as :
- a vision for Bridge Close encompassing a comprehensive development, quality of design, an East-West link and improvements to the River Rom. The east-west link in particular will benefit the regeneration of the whole of West Romford;
- agreement to enter into direct negotiations with land owners to purchase sites on Bridge Close and delegating the authority to approve the terms of acquisition of sites by private treaty and any financial arrangements for relocation;
- delegation of authority to take reasonable steps to identify land which cannot be acquired by negotiation and appoint the relevant consultants in order to assess the need for a potential Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO);
- authorising officers to negotiate suitable arrangements with appropriate developers to deliver the Council’s vision.
The Cabinet Report presented to Cabinet in November 2017 considers a number of options for delivering the regeneration of Bridge Close and concludes that the Council should enter into a partnership with an experienced and well-resourced developer. The primary advantages of this approach are to:
- ensure a comprehensive development which delivers infrastructure for the new residents of the new development and for the whole of Romford;
- a level of direct Council control over the quality, timing, and implementation of development (separate from and in addition to its role as planning authority); and
- a greater influence and control over support given to businesses, community groups and residents displaced or seeking relocation.
The report concludes the Council should enter into a Joint Venture with First Base Bridge Close Regeneration LLP, a joint venture between Savills Investment Management and First Base , as in addition to satisfying the Council’s approach, First Base BCR LLP also holds conditional sale agreements to acquire a significant part of the Bridge Close site including the access road.
On this basis, Bridge Close Regeneration LLP, Joint Venture Limited Liability Partnership between the London Borough of Havering and First Base BCR LLP was established in April 2018.