Major Milton Keynes business park gets green light

Woodlands Business Park proposed new Oak House by owners Barwood Capital

A major Milton Keynes business park has been given the green light for its new owner Barwood Capital, a leading UK real estate investment and development business, to commence the implementation of its new masterplan and ambitious expansion programme to create a leading business location.

On 7 July 2016, Milton Keynes Council voted unanimously to approve planning permission for Woodlands Business Park (“the Park”), which Barwood Capital acquired in an off market purchase for its 2015 Property Fund in 2015. Under the hybrid application, the outline permission is for the development of up to 150,000 sq ft of new Grade A office accommodation arranged over 6 acres within four buildings of between 25,000 and 60,000 sq ft, alongside a detailed consent for the construction of new roadways, footpaths, parking areas and structural landscaping to serve the existing and new office buildings.

Andrew Barlow, director, Barwood Capital said:  “Milton Keynes Council has supported our ambition to transform Woodlands Business Park into a first class modern business environment, to enhance Woodlands’ business community, and compliment the estate’s excellent location and proximity to central Milton Keynes. The ten companies at the Park are thriving and our aim is to provide a place where they feel the utmost pride, through our investment to deliver greatly improved landscaping and high specification new office space. The Council’s decision means that we will have flexibility for a range of office floorplate sizes to meet national occupier requirements up to 150,000 sq ft and address Milton Keynes’ lack of new Grade A office supply.”

The demolition of Oak House (37,000 sq ft) has been completed which provides a site for a new 60,000 sq ft new office building. Three new lettings totalling 16,300 sq ft have been completed at Woodlands under Barwood Capital’s ownership, to Your MK, a joint venture between Milton Keynes Council and the Mears Group, MBA Consulting Engineers and Nexus Business Solutions respectively. Refurbishment of the remaining available accommodation at Beech House (6.875 sq ft) will commence imminently.

Barwood Capital’s 2015 Fund targets sites and buildings that require investment and expertise to reposition them within specific markets where supply and demand are fuelling genuine rental growth.  Barwood’s 2015 growth fund closed in July 2015 with the ability to secure more than £100m of commercial and residential property assets.  Barwood Capital continues to seek well located assets with lot sizes between £3 million and £15 million that have the potential for value to be added through active asset management, planning and development.

The masterplan, building design and planning have been completed by PRC Architecture and Planning. LSH is the letting agent with Bidwells for the remaining vacant accommodation at Beech House; Bidwells and Knight Frank are the new development letting agents.