Council hopes to raise millions from industrial estate sale this summer

Claverings Industrial Estate will be put on the market within weeks as council looks to secure investment to upgrade “horrible site”, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Claverings Industrial Estate, Edmonton (credit Google)
Claverings Industrial Estate, Edmonton (credit Google)

Plans to sell an Edmonton industrial estate as part of an ongoing cost-cutting drive have been agreed by senior councillors.

Claverings Industrial Estate is set to be put on the market this summer in the hope it will be bought and redeveloped to provide modern, energy-efficient facilities.

Initial plans to sell the 1950s estate were drawn up in 2021, when the council estimated that work to bring it up to the necessary energy efficiency standards would cost £19million.

It forms part of a wider programme dubbed “build the change”, under which the authority is selling off some of its existing buildings and moving to better-equipped “hubs” – partly to support its aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

A report presented to a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Wednesday states that without redevelopment, Claverings Industrial Estate will “fail to attract and maintain good levels of occupation and market rents”.

It adds that the industrial and logistics sector is “currently among the strongest and most attractive to property investors and developers”, meaning now is a “relatively good time to sell”.

The council aims to sell the estate for “vacant possession”, meaning the existing users would have to move to a new location.

A large number of third-party commercial tenants occupy Claverings Industrial Estate on development leases with flexible landlords’ termination rights. The estate is also home to voluntary and community sector organisations.

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The report states that these tenants could negotiate their tenures with an incoming developer or buyer, and the council will also offer advice to help them move to a new location.

Several council services have already moved off the estate since the sell-off plans were announced in 2021, and others have alternative accommodation available.

However, the council has been unable to find a new location for the Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES), which provides equipment and adaptations for vulnerable people and those with disabilities. If a move is not possible, this service could be housed in a redeveloped building constructed on the new estate by the site’s buyer.

Sarah Cary, the council’s executive director for place, told the cabinet meeting that officers were carrying out a “monthly review” of sites that could house the ICES service, and that “even today, a potential site has come forward”.

Council leader Nesil Caliskan said it was important for the authority to “move at speed” and not “delay in making important disposal decisions that will assist with our capital budget”.

She added: “It is also worth saying, for those who are not familiar with Claverings, that it is a horrible site. Not to point out the obvious, but it is in poor, poor, poor condition. It is adding very little value to the area.

“Yes, there are some good community groups there at the moment. But quite frankly they would welcome the investment and opportunity for alternative accommodation, and it is in a part of the borough that really could do with the investment.”

If it wins planning permission, a phased redevelopment of the estate is expected to begin in 2025 and be completed the following year.

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