Oxford’s Jericho Wharf boatyard ‘piazza’ plans approved
Plans to develop a derelict Oxford boatyard into a "Venetian-style piazza" have been provisionally approved.Read More
Work on the £20 million redevelopment of Oxford’s Jericho Wharf will start this Spring following the decision by Oxford City Council to grant the scheme planning permission.Read More
February 11 2014
Work on the £20 million redevelopment of Oxford’s Jericho Wharf will start this Spring following the decision by Oxford City Council to grant the scheme planning permission.
The ambitious project will see the creation of extensive community facilities, a community boatyard, private and affordable housing all centred around a new public square leading down to the canal in front of St Barnabas Church.
The council’s planning committee voted 6-1 in favour of the scheme on the recommendation of planning officers, but with some 45 conditions and a Section 106 agreement
Previous proposals to develop the historic site have been rejected but today’s decision brings to end decades of uncertainty.
“This is an important milestone in Jericho’s history which will see the community reconnected with its canal heritage and a new water-side culture evolve, “said Johnny Sandelson, CEO of the developer SIAHAF.
SIAHAF has been developing the plans for Jericho for over 12 months with award-winning architects Howarth Tompkins. Five previous applications to develop the site had been rejected by the planners.
The centre-piece of the scheme is a substantial community centre providing meeting facilities, a nursery school, café and office space. These facilities will sit above a purpose-made community boatyard with 3 docks and workshops.
On the opposite side of the new public square, there are plans for a restaurant and 23 private and affordable waterfront houses. The community will also benefit from a new bridge linking the area with the railway station and west Oxford.
A formal planning application to redevelop the historic Jericho Wharf area has been submitted to Oxford City Council following extensive consultation with the local community.The derelict site is to be transformed to create a piazza flanked by a community centre, new housing and a boatyard for local canal boat owners.Read More
A formal planning application to redevelop the historic Jericho Wharf area has been submitted to Oxford City Council following extensive consultation with the local community.
The derelict site is to be transformed to create a piazza flanked by a community centre, new housing and a boatyard for local canal boat owners.
Plans for the area went on show in February when the site owner SIAHAF and the multi award-winning architects Haworth Tompkins held a public exhibition in St Barnabas Church.
Following feedback from the local community and other interested parties, the designs have undergone minor alterations including a reduction in height of the private houses and changes to their brickwork facades, the provision of bicycle parking and re-siting of the proposed bridge away from the winding hole.
Johnny Sandelson, chief executive of SIAHAF, said: “We have taken a giant step closer to the creation of a new, better future for the Jericho Wharf. The plans are the result of extensive consultation and reflect the wishes of the majority of local stakeholders.”
He added that work on the site would commence around six months after planning consent.
Steve Tompkins of Haworth Tompkins architects, said:
“The old Castlemill boatyard is a beautiful site, dense with association and memory for so many people in Oxford. It has lain unused for too long, but we hope our work over the last few years with the local community and more recently with SIHAF will be the beginning of a new chapter and help to establish a genuinely viable new centre for Jericho.
“As well as providing much needed community facilities and housing, the proposals are designed to create a rich setting for the church, reinforce the character of neighbourhood’s canal-side location and make natural connections with the surrounding streets. We have listened and tried to respond to all the constructive and intelligent feedback throughout the design process and we are now looking forward to developing the scheme to the next level of detail, in collaboration with all those who have contributed to the scheme so far.”
Oxford’s historic Jericho Wharf area is to be redeveloped to create a Venetian-style piazza flanked by a community centre, new housing and a boatyard for local canal boat owners.Read More
Oxford’s historic Jericho Wharf area is to be redeveloped to create a Venetian-style piazza flanked by a community centre, new housing and a boatyard for local canal boat owners.
Plans for the area go on show on Friday February 7th and Saturday February 8th when the new site owners SIAHAF, architects Haworth Tompkins and the Jericho Wharf Trust hold an exhibition in St Barnabas Church.
The site has stood derelict for many years and has had two planning applications from previous developers rejected by Oxford City Council.
The new plans, however, reflect the planning policies of the council and the comments of the local community following extensive consultation with the architects and new owners.
Once feedback is received from the public exhibition, the plans will be finalised and submitted to Oxford City Council for approval.
Johnny Sandelson, chief executive of SIAHAF, said: “This is an extremely sensitive and historic site which deserves careful development to unlock its full potential. By collaborating with the community and listening to their aspirations, I believe we now have an inspiring plan for the future of Jericho Wharf.”
The centre-piece for the redevelopment will be a large open public square outside St Barnabas Church running down to the waterfront. A new community building overlooking the square will be constructed to provide a range of amenities for local residents and the boating community.
On the frontage with the canal, the building will have a community boatyard comprising two dry docks and a wet dock, along with workshops, which will be made available to local boaters to maintain their own vessels. The rest of the building will be a community centre which on the ground floor will have a café and pre-school, and on the upper floors a large sports hall, with other rooms for classes of various kinds and for community events and meetings. There will also be office spaces for local businesses.
The building will be largely constructed in wood to bring an authentic dockside feel to the area.
A new restaurant is planned for the opposite side of the square along with eight affordable flats on the upper floors.
Finally, a row of contemporary townhouses bordering the canal is being proposed.
The entire site will be linked to the opposite bank of the canal by a new swing bridge which will allow pedestrians swift access to the west bank and onwards to the train station.
Steve Tompkins, of the architects Haworth Tompkins, said: “The new square will be big enough for a market or outdoor concerts and will provide much improved access to the canal. We have taken inspiration from buildings in the area, as well as traditional canal-side and boatyard architecture. We’ve even looked to Venice and the Netherlands to help inform the design of the square and how it could relate to the canal.”
The plans can be viewed at St Barnabas Church on Friday February 7th from 10am to 5pm and on Saturday February 8th at The Jericho Community Centre from 9am to 12.20pm.
Siahaf has completed a series of transactions to acquire the majority of the retail property of Queensway including the iconic Whiteleys shopping centre.Read More
London, Monday, September 20 2013 – Siahaf has completed a series of transactions to acquire the majority of the retail property of Queensway including the iconic Whiteleys shopping centre. The move has created an 8 acre private estate which, when redeveloped, will rival the popular centres of Marylebone High Street and Covent Garden.
The deal involved the purchase of some 500 separate titles and was carried out in complete secrecy over nine months under the direction of Shiahaf partners Johnny Sandelson and Shuif Hussain.
The centrepiece of the acquisition is Whiteleys which dates back to 1911 when it became London’s first department store and helped raise the reputation of Queensway as one of the great shopping thoroughfares of London.
In addition to Whiteleys, Siahaf masterminded the accumulation of the majority of the street which links Westbourne Grove with Bayswater Road and Hyde Park. Included in the acquisition are the Queensway Ice rink and surrounding buildings and Queensway Parade.
Johnny Sandelson said: “Queensway has been in decline since the 1960s but under our plan, we will return it to its Edwardian heyday with top quality retail and residential making it one of the capital’s most sought after areas.”
The development will take six to ten years and will involve close liaison with Westminster City Council who have already expressed support for the ambitious scheme including the upgrading of the public roadway.
The scale of the acquisitions has taken the property industry by surprise with few believing it possible to create a substantial private estate behind closed doors.
One commentator described the move as “potentially the deal of the decade.”
Siahaf was assisted by Dixon Jones, Arhitects, Savills and twentyretail.
The Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) has completed the acquisition of a surplus former sheltered housing complex from Oxford City Council.Read More
London, Wednesday, 23 November 2011 – The Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) has completed the acquisition of a surplus former sheltered housing complex from Oxford City Council. The ex-council building known as Grantham House in Jericho, Oxford will be refurbished by award-winning local practice Riach Architects to provide a contemporary high quality housing scheme of apartments.
The purchase was financed by SIAHAF. Shuif Hussain and Johnny Sandelson advised on the purchase. Mr Hussain commented that Oxford has an international standing, and its reputation was held in very high regard in Asia.
Johnny Sandelson, SIAHAF sponsor said:
“We are delighted to have made this acquisition. We will shortly be submitting plans to the planning department, and with their support, we believe we will reap significant long term rental returns. However, as advisor to the fund it is my duty to ensure that the project will benefit not only the private investors, we must also produce a high quality architecturally designed refurbishment.
“There is currently a shortage of high-quality letting units available, so this scheme will add to the rental pool in the area.
“It is our intention to progress the works quickly yet sensitively to create a modern feature building. I believe this will provide vibrancy and vitality to the local area. We will work closely with Oxford City Council throughout the redevelopment process.”
The refurbishment of Grantham House offers an opportunity to provide a refreshing ‘new’ building, helping to rejuvenate what is currently a derelict building in the heart of Jericho. The acquisition team and the local council also recognised the potential commercial link between the Grantham House refurbishment scheme and Oxford University’s new Humanities campus. The provision of 29 residential units in the area will provide much needed accommodation.
Steve Sprason, Head of Corporate Assets at Oxford City Council, said:
“This sale has produced a significant capital receipt in a very testing economic climate. Set against the savings required this allows the Council to continue in its plans to provide much needed affordable housing in the city. The building is surplus to our requirements and we have encouraged the purchasers to refurbish the building to a n attractive high standard in keeping with the location.” Riach Architects played a significant role in the acquisition process – preparing a number of feasibility and viability studies and appraisals, and worked with all parties in conceiving the design of the new development. Riach have been involved in a number of high-profile constructions in the Oxfordshire area, such as Ivydene and Poets Corner. Riach will act as lead consultants on the design and implementation of the Grantham House redevelopment.
The Grantham House development is in a highly sustainable location, close to Walton Street and Oxford City Centre. A new ‘green’ roof will be created using contemporary materials to modernise the appearance of the building – in addition to upgrading the fabric and reducing heat loss. New roof lights will also be introduced to bring greater levels of light within the building, thus reducing reliance on electricity.
Douglas Riach, Principal of Riach Architects, said:
“Sustainable aims were key to the design proposals. It is intended that we re-use the existing building saving the material which would otherwise be wasted in its demolition. These apartments will be light, open and well-connected – creating pleasant living conditions for future residents.
“The existing building envelope will be thermally upgraded with the introduction of modern glazing systems and an insulated external render system to over-clad the tired existing brickwork. This brings the opportunity to add colour as per the adjacent Observatory Street and Plantation Road.”
Discussions are currently taking place between the purchaser and Blenheim Palace regarding a proposal for partnership for the Grantham House refurbishment. This follows their successful joint venture on the redevelopment of Talbot Lodge, a £3.25 million Oxfordshire home. The Grantham House apartments are expected to be available to let from Autumn 2013.
The Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) today announced the acquisition of Somerset Place, one of Bath’s (UK) five Georgian Crescents ahead of a £60 million restoration project.Read More
London, Thursday, 2 February 2012 –The Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) today announced the acquisition of Somerset Place, one of Bath’s (UK) five Georgian Crescents ahead of a £60 million restoration project.
SIAHAF – a private equity fund established to acquire real estate with significant historic, iconic or culturally important attributes – propose to redevelop Somerset Place into residential townhouses, lateral apartments and maisonettes as part of a large-scale restoration scheme. The proposed restoration has already received full planning consent. Development will be led by award winning ORMS architects and internationally renowned architect, Paul Davis who has been involved in a number of significant projects across South East Asia such as the Grosvenor Estates, the first residential development in Asia to ever receive an MIPIM Award.
Shuif Hussain, Brunei-based SIAHAF Sponsor, said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the Fund to foster Asia’s traditional ties to the UK. Somerset Place is one of only five Georgian Crescent’s in Bath. It is one of the UK’s most iconic and recognisable properties which made it a very attractive investment opportunity for us and our Hong Kong backers.
“The international standing of Bath as a World Heritage City, and its strategic location between London and Bristol make it understandable that Bath is one of the most sought-after locations in the UK. The value of this acquisition for our fund simply cannot be overstated.”
Bruneian sponsor Shuif Hussain and his partner, British property entrepreneur Johnny Sandelson established SIAHAF in 2009 to identify attractive returns and off-market opportunities to acquire real estate with significant historic, iconic or culturally important attributes. Throughout its existence, SIAHAF has remained committed to the high-quality refurbishment of historic British assets, owing to the founders’ deep appreciation for historic buildings.
SIAHAF has specifically sought to invest in British real estate, leveraging its Anglo-Asian ties. Throughout its existence, SIAHAF has remained committed to the high-quality refurbishment of historic British assets, owing to the founders’ deep appreciation for historic buildings. The acquisition of Somerset Place was largely backed by HK investors who expressed an affinity for the building’s esteemed culture and heritage as it was originally constructed between 1790 and 1820 but then partially destroyed during the World War II blitz.
Johnny Sandelson, SIAHAF sponsor said:
“We are delighted about the acquisition of Somerset Place and look forward to ensuring that the restoration is of the highest quality. Bath’s status as a World Heritage City is due in large part to its five Georgian crescents. Somerset Place is the architectural jewel in Bath’s crown so we are honoured to be involved with this deal.
“We have assembled a professional team of industry leaders and local experts for all aspects of the redevelopment. Somerset Place is arguably the most historically significant property within this fast-growing, internationally recognised city. We are already hearing enquiries from buyers as far afield as New York and Hong Kong as well as significant interest from London and within Bath. This world class restoration will be built to the highest specification, and it will attract local and international investment to the city of Bath.”
As prime real estate prices in London continue to soar, there continues to be a migration away from the capital. Families are increasingly relocating to nearby cities such as Bath, which provide equally extensive transport links, excellent schools and various leisure opportunities. In addition to its growing population, Bath is currently the second-most visited city in the UK.
The restoration of Somerset Place is expected to be completed and available for occupancy in 2014.
The Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) and Blenheim Palace have redeveloped an Oxfordshire, UK home as part of a joint venture initiative.Read More
London, Thursday, 20 October 2011 – The Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) and Blenheim Palace have redeveloped an Oxfordshire, UK home as part of a joint venture initiative.
The Blenheim Palace construction arm, Blenheim Estate Contractors Ltd launched a joint venture with SIAHAF to refurbish no. 2 Talbot Lodge, into new luxury residential accommodation.
The venture, which was advised by well-known property entrepreneur Johnny Sandelson, further promotes Oxfordshire’s diverse real estate portfolio. The development showcases contemporary specification – advised by interior designer Kati Tschawow – seldom found in properties within the area. The Talbot Lodge venture also demonstrates the international nature of the modern-day real estate industry as the deal involved numerous investors and businesspeople from Brunei.
Johnny Sandelson, SIAHAF sponsor said:
“We have a huge sense of pride working with Blenheim Palace on such a high-quality refurbishment. Blenheim Palace is not only a World Heritage Site but a considerable landowner in this area. I am confident this will be the first of a series of investments from the SIAHAF into the UK residential real estate market and the beginning of a longer relationship with Blenheim Palace.”
The property, based in Oxford’s prime residential area, was redeveloped by Blenheim Estate Construction and extends to 4,600 square feet, over three floors. Formerly student accommodation, Talbot Lodge was granted planning approval to be divided into three separate dwellings having previously been a single building – two of the three has now been sold and the final is available for sale.
Blenheim Palace Property Director, Roger File said:
“I’m absolutely delighted to be involved in this joint venture to create high quality homes in the UK. The redevelopment of no. 2 Talbot Lodge has used the best materials and craftsmanship to maintain the quality that Blenheim Palace hopes to achieve in all ventures it is associated with, this has resulted in the completion of one of the most luxurious properties in Oxford. I hope to be working together on a number of projects in future with Johnny Sandelson and his team.”
Shuif Hussain, Brunei-based SIAHAF sponsor said:
“We are thrilled to be working with Blenheim Palace on this top quality investment opportunity and look forward to many more exciting investment opportunities in the UK’s commercial real estate sector in future.”
The Talbot Lodge development has 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a courtyard style garden and off-road parking for two vehicles. The property is now available for occupancy.
Plans to develop a derelict Oxford boatyard into a "Venetian-style piazza" have been provisionally approved.Read More
BBC News 11/2/15
Plans to develop a derelict Oxford boatyard into a “Venetian-style piazza” have been provisionally approved.
Oxford City Council made the decision on the £20m development at Jericho Wharf on Tuesday.
It would feature a row of townhouses and a community centre built around a large Italian-style square.
A new boatyard is also planned with two dry docks and a wet dock – a public swing bridge will give public access across the Oxford Canal.
Phyllis Starkey, from the Jericho Wharf Trust, said: “This is a positive move – but it still remains a very complicated development to deliver.”
Oxford City Council had previously rejected two planning applications in relation to the site, which has been derelict for 10 years.
Oxford Mail October 28 2014
THE entrepreneur behind £20m proposals to redevelop Jericho’s Castle Mill boatyard is confident the plans will be approved by Christmas.
Johnny Sandelson, chief executive of Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF), said fresh discussions were under way to hammer out a deal on the plans.
“I am more confident now than I have been for many months,” said Mr Sandelson.
In an attempt to get them approved before the New Year, the firm has proposed legal agreements to guarantee community facilities in the scheme in exchange for the backing of residents It comes after months of uncertainty, when concerns were raised about the provision of social housing, the height and cost of a planned community centre, and the ownership of a public square.
“In a few weeks we hope all these various bodies will have signed up to a legally binding agreement.”
The redevelopment would see a new public square created in front of St Barnabas Church, bordered by a boatyard, community centre, cafe, restaurant and luxury homes.
English Heritage and St Barnabas Church’s parochial council also claimed the height of the community centre would spoil views of the church.
Mr Sandelson said SIAHAF has been negotiating with the Diocese of Oxford, the Canal and River Trust – which raised safety concerns about a proposed “swing bridge” – and the Jericho Wharf Trust.
All objected to the scheme during its public consultation in June, July and August.
The legal agreements SIAHAF is proposing would see it pledge funding to different parts of the plans, such as the community boatyard, piazza square, winding hole, bridge and alterations needed for St Barnabas Church.
Mr Sandelson said he was now also willing to pass the piazza square into the hands of residents’ group the Jericho Wharf Trust.
Trustees refused to back the plans in August unless SIAHAF promised to do so and also demanded the firm helped fund a new community centre.
They claimed the developer’s choice to locate the building above the boatyard facility would push up the price by £1.6m – to £6.6m.
But Mr Sandelson said he hoped to reach a deal with them.
He said: “We are ensuring that there is never a situation where we get the houses but the city does not get its benefits. It is a way of giving certainty.
“I can’t be specific, but all sides are trying to reach a settlement and I am confident we are going to get there. It is exciting to think that by Christmas we might have something to celebrate.”
Jericho Wharf Trust spokesman Peter Stalker said: “We are very pleased negotiations have started again and are hopeful that they can be successful. But there is still a lot of work to do.”
The plans are expected to be considered next month by Oxford City Council’s west area planning committee.
Property entrepreneur Johnny Sandelson is buying another site on Queensway, W2, with backing from a Malaysian investor.Read More
ESTATES GAZETTE 14TH JUNE 2014
Property entrepreneur Johnny Sandelson is buying another site on Queensway, W2, with backing from a Malaysian investor.
Sandelson’s Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund has agreed to buy 34 Palace Court from ESCA Estates for £30m.
The fund is buying the 20,000 sq ft building with vacant possession on completion and is expected to pursue a mixed-use development when the tenants, including the Electrical Contractors’ Association, exit.
SIAHAF quietly amassed an eight-acre private estate in Queensway last summer through a series of off-market deals, as revealed by Estates Gazette (14 September, p47).
They included the Grade II listed, 300,000 sq ft Whiteleys shopping centre from Standard Life Investments and the Queensway Estate on the edge of Hyde Park from Robert Bourne’s Bourne Capital. It subsequently sold the majority of Whiteleys to European investor Meyer Bergman for around £115m.
SIAHAF plans to give the area a major facelift and has instructed Dixon Jones, the architecture firm behind the Royal Opera House and a new wing at the National Portrait Gallery, to create a 10-year plan.
FEEDBACK on the proposed redevelopment of the Jericho boatyard has been overwhelmingly positive, developers have said.Read More
Wednesday 26th February 2014
FEEDBACK on the proposed redevelopment of the Jericho boatyard has been overwhelmingly positive, developers have said.
Following a consultation held earlier this month, developer Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) said that 66 per cent of people surveyed positively to the scheme and only nine per cent disapproved of the project, chief executive Johnny Sandelson said.
A planning application to transform the former Castle Mill Boatyard is expected to be submitted to Oxford City Council “within the next few weeks”.
Mr Sandelson said: “We are pleased with the outcome of the consultation process which shows a big groundswell of support for the regeneration of Jericho Wharf.
“At last, it looks as if Jericho will get the scheme it deserves.”
The site stopped being used as a working boatyard in 1992.
If successful, its redevelopment will include a new community centre, restaurant, café, piazza and housing, changing the face of the site located at the bottom of Cardigan Street.
A new swing bridge across the canal will also be included in the development as will a community boatyard featuring two dry docks, a wet dock and workshops.
While Mr Sandelson said the large majority of people reacted positively to the scheme, the company did say that some concerns were expressed about the style of the housing, with some people saying they didn’t think it reflected the architecture of the rest of Jericho.
The architects Haworth Tompkins are now amending the designs to take on board the comments.
Previous unsuccessful attempts to redevelop the boatyard led the city council to draw up planning guidance which dictates what can be built there.
Jericho Wharf Trust chairman, Phyllis Starkey, said: “These plans offer a real opportunity to develop the site in line with the community’s desires, providing a viable boatyard, community centre, public square and bridge.
“Concerns have been expressed about the level of affordable housing in particular, and constructive public comment will help to ensure we finally develop this important site in the best way to meet the needs of the Jericho, canal and wider Oxford communities.”
City councillor for Jericho Susanna Pressel, added: “I am very pleased that the city council came up with the planning guidance for developers. It is really good that has happened because we have had four other completely ridiculous proposals in the past and it means the current proposals are not so unsuitable.
“This is a huge step forward and I would welcome it for that reason but I am sure it can still be improved and we do want to see people put their views forward.”
More than 400 people attended the public consultation. SIAHAF said the 66 per cent figure was based on written and verbal responses.
HOPES are high that the Jericho boatyard could finally be developed as people have been given a first chance to comment on the latest proposals.Read More
Oxford Mail February 10th 2014
HOPES are high that the Jericho boatyard could finally be developed as people have been given a first chance to comment on the latest proposals.
Developer Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) is close to completing a deal to buy the Castle Mill boatyard and held a public consultation at the weekend on its proposals for the site.
These include a new community centre, boatyard and housing as well as a swing bridge across the canal.
Johnny Sandelson, chief executive of SIAHAF, said: “We have been working hard to try and fit the needs of all the local groups into the design. It is essential that it is a community-driven development as opposed to a traditional residential development.
“Previous schemes didn’t strike the right balance between the community’s needs and their residential ambitions.
“We have had lots of positive meetings with the Jericho Wharf Trust and this will be a massive boost for the area.”
The centrepiece will be a public square outside St Barnabas Church leading to the canal.
A new community building will overlook the square and will contain two dry docks, a wet dock, workshops, a cafe, pre-school and a sports hall.
On the other side of the square there will be a restaurant with eight flats above, a row of 13 townhouses bordering the canal and a swing bridge linking the boatyard with the other side of the canal.
People examined the plans at a public consultation at the weekend in St Barnabas Church and the Jericho Community Centre.
Cardigan Street resident Alan Davidson said he was “impressed” by the scheme.
He added: “It is a complete transformation compared to plans that were thrown out years ago. I am pleased about the boatyard and the square and while I am not sure about how much housing is going to be affordable I am generally impressed.”
This scheme, for which a planning application is expected in around a month, is the fifth attempt to redevelop Jericho boatyard since it stopped being used commercially in 1992.
Previous attempts have either been abandoned or thrown out after planning appeals.
The last attempt was in 2007 when Spring Residential’s plans were rejected by the city council and by a planning inspector. The company went into administration in 2009.
Phyllis Starkey, chairman of community group the Jericho Wharf Trust which had attempted to buy the site, said: “There is a long way to go but we are excited that things are moving.
“This scheme has a much greater chance of success for a number of reasons, one of which is the extremely helpful planning guidance which Oxford City Council has agreed.”
Plans for a "Venetian-style piazza" and concert space at a derelict Oxford boatyard have been unveiled.Read More
BBC News February 7th 2014
Plans for a “Venetian-style piazza” and concert space at a derelict Oxford boatyard have been unveiled.
The plan for Jericho Wharf would also see a community centre, housing and a boatyard for canal boat owners built.
Johnny Sandelson, chief executive of developers Siahaf, said the plan would unlock the wharf’s “full potential”.
Author Philip Pullman, who has campaigned against past plans, said the proposal was “much better” but advised caution.
He said the design “looks good, it looks attractive [but] we can’t rush in and welcome it with open arms”.
Jericho Wharf Trust’s Phyllis Starkey said she welcomed the chance to discuss the plans for the area as “many people feel strongly about the site”.
Steve Tompkins, of architects Haworth Tompkins, said the design took “inspiration from buildings in the area, as well as traditional canal-side and boatyard architecture”.
“We’ve even looked to Venice and the Netherlands to help inform the design of the square and how it could relate to the canal.”
The design would also see a new swing bridge added to link the site to the opposite bank of the canal.
Ms Starkey said it was “vital that this historic site is developed in a way that enhances facilities for Jericho, the canal boaters and the wider Oxford community”.
Oxford City Council has rejected two planning applications from previous developers. Siahaf hopes to enter its application at the end of February.
A “VENETIAN-STYLE” piazza will be the centrepiece of the long-awaited redevelopment of Jericho boatyard.A “VENETIAN-STYLE” piazza will be the centrepiece of the long-awaited redevelopment of Jericho boatyard.Read More
Oxford Times February 6th 2014
Piazza to be centrepiece of Jericho boatyard plan
A “VENETIAN-STYLE” piazza will be the centrepiece of the long-awaited redevelopment of Jericho boatyard.
The Castle Mill boatyard will also include a new community centre, housing and facilities for canal boat owners.
A planning application will be submitted in about a month’s time and two public consultation events will be held tomorrow and Saturday.
It has not been used commercially as a boatyard since 1992 and five attempts have been made to redevelop the site.
The centrepiece will be a public square outside St Barnabas Church stretching to the waterfront.
A new community building will overlook the square with facilities for boaters and residents such as a cafe, a preschool and a hall.
On the ground floor there will be two dry docks and a wet dock with workshops.
Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF), the developers, said it would be built from wood for an “authentic dockside feel”.
A new restaurant will open on the other side of the square with eight flats above it while a row of townhouses will border the canal.
The development will be linked to the other side of the canal by a new swing bridge.
Fund chief executive Johnny Sandelson said it had worked with Jericho Wharf Trust.
He said: “This is an extremely sensitive and historic site which deserves careful development to unlock its potential.
“By collaborating with the community and listening to their aspirations, I believe we now have an inspiring plan for the future of Jericho Wharf.”
Steve Tompkins, of architects Haworth Tompkins, said: “The new square will be big enough for a market or outdoor concerts and will provide much-improved access to the canal.
“We have taken inspiration from buildings in the area as well as traditional canal-side and boatyard architecture.
“We’ve looked to Venice and the Netherlands to inform the design of the square and how it could relate to the canal.”
The last attempt to develop the site was a plan for 54 flats and boatyard by Spring Residential. It was refused Oxford City Council permission in 2007, lost an appeal the next year and went into administration in 2009.
The wharf trust unsuccessfully tried to buy the land and chair Phyllis Starkey, above, said: “We worked hard to engage constructively with SIAHAF and Haworth Tompkins.
“The next steps are to seek the views of the wider community and reflect on the implications of this complex development and the allocation of space for community facilities.
“We know many people feel strongly about the canalside site, and we welcome the chance for all parties to make their views known.
“It is vital that this historic site enhances facilities for Jericho, the canal boaters and the wider Oxford community.”
The public consultations will take place tomorrow from 10am to 5pm at St Barnabas Church and on Saturday from 9am until 12.30pm at the Jericho Community Centre in Canal Street.
Garden squares may be at the pinnacle of the property hierarchy in cities up and down the country, but in Bath the crescent is king.Read More
Garden squares may be at the pinnacle of the property hierarchy in cities up and down the country, but in Bath the crescent is king.
Grand golden curves cascade down the city’s northern slopes thanks to Georgian architects with a taste for the Neo-Classical, such as John Eveleigh and John Wood, the Younger, providing some of Bath’s most sought-after homes. And one such curve, Somerset Place, is in the throes of a transformation.
It may not be as large (four of the planned 20 houses were never built, after the original developer ran out of cash) or as famous as the Royal Crescent, but Somerset Place boasts the imposing façade, genteel communal gardens and Grade I Georgian style that you’d expect from a premium Bath address.
The development consists of nine townhouses and 20 apartments in a building acquired from Bath Spa University that not so long ago was home to students shuffling between lecture rooms on its lower floors and bedsit accommodation upstairs. However, any air of scruffy campus living has been well and truly swept away.
“All the buildings are being refurbished to a very high level. It’s the best-quality specification I have seen in a long time and it’s extremely rare to have an entire, unbroken crescent refurbished to the same standard,” George Cardale, head of new development at estate agent Savills, says.
The aim is to marry the kind of luxurious modern living those spending millions on a home expect, with Bath’s traditional period charms. Future Heritage, which is managing the £60 million redevelopment financed by the Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund, has gone to great lengths to restore the crescent’s charismatic original features. This includes spending £200,000 to reinstall railings that were taken away and melted down during the Second World War.
Inside the renovated townhouses, buffed-up Bath stone floors and staircases, high ceilings and delicate cornicing greet you — even the Upstairs, Downstairs-era service lifts are being repaired so that nobody has to walk their breakfast up to bed.
Seven of the five-storey houses have already been sold for between £1.5 and £2 million. Each comes as a shell, and buyers need another £500,000 or so to fit kitchens, bathrooms and other fixtures. Future Heritage director Stephen Green says this is designed to allow customers to create a home tailored to their needs while the developers “concentrated on the unglamorous things such as the roofs, chimney stakes, gutters, downpipes and windows”.
By contrast, the apartments — which are set to become available on September 14 — will come fully kitted out and ready to go. These have been created in a new house added to one end of the crescent and in the sections rebuilt behind its historic façade after Second World War bomb damage forced three homes to be demolished and two to be completely remodelled.
Oliver Richards, of project architects Orms , says: “Because it was bombed and rebuilt in the 1950s, it broke the grain of the internal arrangement and gave us a flexibility that is very rare in a traditional Bath building.” Freed from the strict listing rules associated with the surviving Georgian interiors, lifts and roof terraces could be added and maisonettes built into the lower and upper floors; and the middle-floor flats extend across two houses and offer dramatic 50ft-wide living rooms with views across the city.
Apartments start at £1.6 million and Cardale expects a spread of locals, Londoners looking for great value and international buyers — perhaps even the odd celebrity, although he remains tight-lipped – to grab their slice of glamorous English heritage.
Daily Mail, 31, May 2012
They were nearly never built and suffered bomb damage in the Second World War but now for the first time in two centuries all the properties on one of Bath’s famous crescents are going on the market.
‘For Sale’ signs are set to go up on each of the 29 homes on the eye catching curve of Grade I listed buildings on Somerset Place in Bath.
It’s thought to be the first time since the strip was completed in the early 19th century that an entire crescent has been made available at the same time.
The instantly recognisable architecture of the crescents are known around the world with thousands of tourists flocking to see the terraced properties every year.
In 2010 the most famous of them, the Royal Crescent, took second place in Google’s ‘Britain’s Most Picturesque Street’ awards, beaten only by The Shambles in York.
Now the Bath office of estate agents Savills is marketing 29 homes at 17 addresses on the street which is going through a restoration project due for completion in 2014.
Some of the nine individual five-storey townhouses are already on sale at between £2million and £3million, while there will also be 20 apartments created in the eight remaining properties.
Should agents Savills make just one per cent on the total sale of the 29 homes, expected to fetch at least £50million they will make £500,000 in commission alone.
Somerset Place, built between 1790 and 1820 and last used by Bath Spa University, was bought in February by the Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund.
Savills says: ‘The crescent has survived as something of a time capsule, full of original Georgian plasterwork, fireplaces and original detailing, in need of sensitive restoration and modern comforts’.
‘People with pockets deep enough to buy homes there will be able to call on a dedicated on-site concierge team, looking after the properties, gardens and what the agents describe as ‘purchasers’ every need’.
The apartments will range from ground floor maisonettes with gardens, to upper floor maisonettes with roof terraces.
Luke Brady, from Savills, said: ‘Somerset Place is a one-off. It’s rare that crescent properties come to the market and nowhere else offers you the choice of nine individual crescent houses with planning permission consented.
‘Purchasers looking to buy these at a developers finish will enjoy all the fun parts of designing a property with none of the headaches.
‘You could pay £20 million for a crescent house in Notting Hill or £2 million to £3 million for one at Somerset Place, with 100ft private gardens, which I would consider great value for money.’
The City of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1987 and attracts more than one million tourists who book in to stay and another 3.8 million day visitors each year, drawn by its famous Roman spa baths.
The Georgians loved the regularity of Bath’s streets and squares and the contrast with adjacent rural nature, and the crescents were gradually built in response to the increasing number of visitors to the spa and resort town who required accommodation.
Architects John Wood the elder and his son John Wood the younger laid out the new quarters in streets and squares, the identical facades of which gave an impression of palatial scale and classical decorum.
Much of the creamy gold Bath Stone used for construction throughout the city was obtained from the limestone Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines, owned by Ralph Allen.
Allen, keen to show off his quarried limestone, commissioned the elder John Wood to build him a country house on his Prior Park estate between the city and the mines.
A many of more than one talent he was also responsible for improving and expanding the postal service in western England, for which he held the contract for over forty years.