Case Study — Meridian Waterside, Southampton

Site size:

7 acres

with heritage and a waterside location

Resolution to grant planning for

351

attractive new homes

Aerial view of Meridian Waterside

Meridian outside

Artist's impression of Meridian Waterside

The former Meridian TV studios in Southampton is a site of great local significance, in terms of both its heritage and its waterside location fronting the River Itchen. The seven acre site has changed hands a number of times, but none of the historical plans for its development have been crystallised. As part of Southampton City Council's major regeneration project, the Meridian site is a key priority for a flagship development, and has great potential despite requiring careful and knowledgeable planning. As part of our due diligence into the site, there was extensive consultation with the council about their ambitions for the area and its relationship to major transport infrastructure. The conversation saw Inland advising the council as well as consulting with them to gauge where this site fits into their plans for the city as a whole.

Key to our bid for the site was proving our ability to 'place make', to transform a previously neglected site into an attractive place to live. Inland's great track record of turning around sites and capturing homeowners' interest served us well in this instance. For example, in Poole, Dorset, we created a real buzz transforming a previously dormant site into a flagship regeneration development, not only rapidly selling out the development but also attracting award shortlistings including Sunday Times 'Development of the Year' 2015. The level of community consultation that goes into planning at Inland ensures that the homes developed are attractive to potential buyers, and as such we were a natural choice for Southampton to work with to spearhead the regeneration of the area.

The plans developed for the site reflect the needs of both the community and the wider city, including infrastructure works contributing a portion of a new flood defence system the city are building along the water bank. Building work will commence soon, with Inland undertaking the infrastructure works. This is an example of our agile business model in action, where Inland and our partners benefit from a clear vision as well as the flexibility to release cash in different timescales dependent on the sale of the plots before or after their completion.

Our purchase of this site, which was previously in receivership, is already contributing momentum to the development of the area, following stalled attempts in the past. Once the development is complete, our ability to add value to an area will once again be seen in the 351 quality new homes delivered. The project will also be a great addition to our portfolio, and a strong example of the recent shift into more city centre builds, and particularly in 'place-making' regeneration projects. Furthermore, in a city with so much potential for future projects, establishing a strong relationship with Southampton City Council is very valuable for the future, and the success of this project may open the way for further fruitful partnerships in the region.