In an expansion of our place consultancy business, we are delighted to announce our first project as MurrayTwohig Development.
Homes England has confirmed its development partner for the regeneration of the 42-acre waterfront site at Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent as a joint venture between MurrayTwohig Development, Orwell Real Estate and Patron Capital, led by Daedalus Development Company.
The appointment follows Homes England marketing to find a partner to realise the comprehensive regeneration that will provide an economic boost to the local economy through the creation of new commercial and leisure sector jobs, as well as providing much needed housing while protecting and reinvigorating the collection of historic and listed assets.
A Unique and Important History
From 1914 until 1996, RNAS Lee-on-Solent, HMS Daedalus was a site of extraordinary energy, innovation, and vibrancy – home and workplace to thousands, the engine of an entire community and a point of pride for the nation.
The site was established as a seaplane base in 1917, during the First World War. In 1931 the first grass airstrip at Lee was constructed and by 1936 it became RAF Coastal Command. During WWII the site played an important role in the invasion of Normandy and was a major embarkation centre for D-Day. Following the war the site continued as a Royal Navy Air Station. In 1962 the Joint Service Hovercraft Unit was formed with the aim of testing hovercraft in an operational military environment, and soon after the Air Station reverted to the name HMS Daedalus on 5 October 1965. The site is now home to the largest collection of hovercraft in the world in The Hovercraft Museum.
A New Vision
The waterfront site is the final element of Daedalus within Homes England’s ownership to come forward for development. In recent years the site has been largely empty and dormant, and the important historic assets awaiting viable reuse. This new, ambitious vision, designed by master-planner ACME Architects, is for a creative regeneration of this historic waterfront site with a targeted, design-led, industrial innovation strategy supported by the local community.
Central to the vision is the restoration of the historic buildings, including the First World War hangars that face the Solent. These will act as a catalyst for economic development, a gateway to the project and an upgraded home for The Hovercraft Museum. The goal is to help it become a world-class visitor attraction – joining the rest of Hampshire’s unrivalled Naval and Maritime attractions.
This will be supported through the creation of around 450,000 square feet of new, modern employment work and light industrial space to attract new businesses and jobs to the Solent Enterprise Zone. The ambition is for the creation of a complete community, with the provision of c350 private and affordable homes.
Alongside the housing and commercial space, new services and facilities will be provided for the local community, including a public park in the residential areas and in Seaplane Square, creating new, attractive places for local residents and visitors.
Health, wellbeing and environmental sustainability underpin all elements of the proposals.
This unique project requires a depth of knowledge and experience in the creation of successful mixed-use communities and destinations around complex historic buildings and settings. The joint venture team has experience on over 400 million square feet of mixed-use property across the world, and will work in collaboration with the local community, and all stakeholders, including the local authority and Historic England, over the coming years to solve this challenging and historic site.
Jeremy Herring, Homes England said:
”Daedalus Waterfront benefits from being part of the Solent Enterprise Zone, with rich history, heritage buildings and wonderful location opposite the Solent. Daedalus Development Company’s exciting vision for the comprehensive regeneration of the site will create a great place to work, live and visit for the local community.”
David Twohig, co-founder of MurrayTwohig Development and CEO of Daedalus Development Company said:
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to bring all of the energy and buzz back to Daedalus, and to work with the local council and community to bring back pride and status to this historic place. We are excited that Homes England are backing our ambitious vision for this site, which has so much potential and these incredibly rich layers of history. We have hard-earned experience in preserving heritage, bringing community benefits and developing mixed-use places, and we will apply that experience, with local community guidance, to make this much-loved site, a vibrant and productive asset for the peninsula and wider region.”
Kevin Cooke, Senior Partner at Patron Capital said:
“We have a long track-record in delivering mixed-use regeneration schemes that are both sympathetic to and in celebration of their surroundings, as well as in working in the collaborative joint ventures that are needed to bring diversity of thought and experience to achieve the best possible end result. This project is an exciting opportunity to leverage this expertise and work alongside industry-leading partners to deliver a milestone project in the UK.”