The Commercial Park Group, a partnership between developer John Baker and leading building and civil engineering contractor Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, has submitted a planning application to redevelop 21-23 Perrymount Road in Haywards Heath to provide 65,000 sq ft of new offices. This scheme is the first phase of a wider project to create a new 400,000 sq ft business hub called Haywards Park formed of multiple office redevelopments on Perrymount Road.
Haywards Park forms part of a portfolio of new business hubs The Commercial Park Group is delivering across the south east of England. The Commercial Park Group has already received two planning approvals for its Gatwick Park business hub in Crawley, (which will provide a 500,000 sq ft, modern business hub ten minutes from Gatwick Airport) and it is also undertaking pre-planning work for a major, multi-phase office scheme in Bromley. All together, The Commercial Park Group’s portfolio will create circa 2 million sq ft of new office space, with a total end value of around £2bn. The Group’s critical mass, and the scale of its development pipeline, makes its portfolio the largest of its kind in the UK.
John Baker, The Commercial Park Group, said: “We’re excited to have submitted our first planning application for Haywards Park after the great success we’ve had so far in Crawley progressing our Gatwick Park scheme. Like Crawley, we believe Haywards Heath could be an extremely attractive location for major companies, especially if we are able to provide the kind of modern, green, high tech and well-connected office space that they are looking for.”
The decision to develop new office schemes in strategic locations like Bromley, Haywards Heath and Crawley is underpinned by shifting working trends and dynamics in the UK office market. Many workers are increasingly looking for a more flexible lifestyle outside of London, which has led to the build up of a large, skilled workforce across the south east in places like Haywards Heath. Many of these workers would value the wellbeing benefits of being able to work closer to home. However, there is a historic lack of high quality Grade A office space in these locations, meaning international and domestic companies have, until now, had to look elsewhere for their headquarters. The Commercial Park Group’s portfolio, through developing in places like Haywards Heath, aims to provide modern, high quality offices for major companies in these attractive locations, whilst also giving workers a chance to improve their work/life balance by working closer to home.
In all three locations, Haywards Heath, Bromley and Crawley, The Commercial Park Group is aiming to transform ageing commercial buildings, and regenerate the surrounding streetscapes through a comprehensive and integrated approach to masterplanning that will create new destinations for business, rather than just modern office buildings. This approach will set a new standard for the kind of office accommodation available in these increasingly attractive locations to meet the needs of successful businesses from across the world. All masterplanning work in relation to The Commercial Park Group’s portfolio is being undertaken by Urban Infill Architects, led by Ian Dollamore.
Ian Dollamore, founder of Urban Infill, said: “The design of these buildings will be a step forward from what we’ve seen for the last 30 or 40 years in places like Haywards Heath in terms of their quality and the amenities they provide. We’re really focussed on wellbeing and that’s evident in everything from selecting locations that will save workers time and money, helping them to be happier and more productive, to our approach to creating green, attractive landscapes where we hope people will feel relaxed and comfortable. Haywards Park will be a great place to work and it will unlock towns like Haywards Heath as prime business destinations in the south East.”