Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Hammerson put Brent Cross expansion on the back burner

Hammersons have announced that its £1.4bn Brent Cross Shopping Centre development has been put on the back-burner, perhaps until 2023, reflecting the current poor performance of the retail sector.

The proposals are now more than 10 years old and throughout the period have been hotly opposed by the cross-party Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Development.

Doubts have emerged over the viability of the scheme following many recent failures in the retail sector and the public's move to on-line shopping.

Shareholders' basic earnings per share was 7p in June 2018 and 36.2p in 2017 - a reduction of 81%.

Hammerson said:
Given the current turbulence in the UK retail markets and whilst alternative uses of capital offer higher short-term financial returns, we have decided to defer the start on site at Brent Cross.

Whilst we have decided to defer the start on site of the scheme, it remains an important strategic project and we continue to recognise its role as one of London’s leading retail destinations.

It also forms part of the wider Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration plans encompassing improved road and rail infrastructure and significant residential development and we remain engaged with retailers and stakeholders towards the future delivery of the scheme.
Andrew Dismore, Labour Assembly Member for Camden and Barnet said:
 Due to the nightmare market conditions for retailers, the developers for Brent Cross- Hammerson and Aberdeen Standard Investments- say they need more certainty before they can commit to going ahead with the project. Brexit and the possibility of leaving the EU with no deal is a genuine fear for businesses.

This delay is also a disaster for the local community, as it delays the creation of much needed jobs, and will have an impact on the rest of the huge regeneration scheme.  More immediately, given Barnet Council’s reliance on projected business rates in its future budgeting, this decision could really impact on  the Council’s solvency.
Company press release HERE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The 2023 date probably comes from the Evening Standard, but it was the new opening date after an earlier postponement of six months made a few months ago.

The START date had already been put back to 2019, and it is THAT date that has now been abandoned. It may well become 2023, or more likely, never, at least in it's grandiose form.