BLP advises Borough of Poole on the legal agreement for the Poole Bridge Regeneration Initiative

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has advised the Borough of Poole on signing the complex legal agreement – the Bridge Link Road Agreement with developer and owner Gallagher UK and Lands Improvement Holdings, for the development of a new Second Harbour Crossing within Poole, known as the Twin Sails Bridge and Link Road. Gallagher UK and Lands Improvement Holdings as developer and owner of the Link Road land was advised by partner Richard Greenwood of Wood Glaister.

The Core Scheme Project has been in planning for over a decade, and after substantial negotiation the Council have now reached an agreement with Gallagher UK and Lands Improvement Holdings, owners of the former power station site – the brownfield land on which the bridge and Link Road will be built.

The development of the bridge will be significant for Poole. At an estimated cost of circa £37 million, it has the potential to create 5,000 jobs and develop 64 acres of brownfield land for homes, offices, shops and leisure use.

Now that the legal agreement has been signed, six short-listed international companies are being invited by Borough of Poole to tender for the Twin Sails Bridge works, with a view to beginning construction in early 2010.

The BLP team was led by real estate partner Lesley-Anne Avis and Rosalind Nuttall, supported by real estate associate Chris Rowe, construction specialist and senior associate Sean Austin, and Madeleine Clark, a senior associate in real estate finance. Work to date has involved advising on the Transport and Works Act Order (effectively a compulsory purchase order), negotiating agreements with various landowners in addition to the signing of the Bridge Link Road Agreement – a major milestone in such a significant project.

Commenting on the deal so far, Lesley-Anne Avis said “We are delighted to have worked with Borough of Poole on reaching such a significant milestone in relation to this development. We originally began advising Borough of Poole in 2004, and since then have worked closely with them in order to help them to achieve their objectives. The construction of the Twin Sails Bridge and Link Road will be an important element of the regeneration scheme set to enhance Poole and its surrounding areas, creating jobs for local residents and improving the infrastructure network and access to the town. Reaching agreement between the Council and the landowners has been challenging yet rewarding, and we are thrilled that the project can now progress to the next stages of the development.”

In the current market conditions, where regeneration schemes are being questioned on the grounds of viability, this is a significant achievement for Borough of Poole and for BLP. It further demonstrates the market leading real estate capabilities that we offer to the market. Our multi-disciplinary real estate offering and our understanding of the public sector has enabled us to advise on complex and high value assignments such as this, and has continued to attract prestigious clients to the firm in recent times.

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