Devonport House is a 75,000 sq ft Grade II listed building in Greenwich town centre, South East London, forming part of the former Royal Naval College, that sits within a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. We beat off world-class competition to secure this unique £30m mixed-used PPP development – a self-financing scheme that mixes high quality student accommodation for the University of Greenwich with a state-of-the-art conference centre hotel.
The University of Greenwich and the Secretary of State for Defence set exacting standards for the development of Devonport House and in 2000 we secured planning consent for the first new-build development within a World Heritage site in 100 years and negotiated a pragmatic Section 106 agreement.
Devonport House presented us with uniquely complex issues. The freehold is vested in a single Trustee, the Secretary of State for Defence, and so the ability to charge the title as security for investment was not available. In spite of this the development was funded from reserves and a unique facility from the Bank of Scotland.
The 101-bed hotel and conference centre, which opened for business in January 2003, is currently being managed and operated by De Vere Venues and is being retained in Cathedral’s investment portfolio.
To celebrate the completion of this project, we commissioned the french sculptor Francois Hameury to create a piece to stand in the courtyard of the development. ‘The Throne of Earthly Kings’ was unveiled in a extravagent ceremony in April 2004 with a show from an artist with an angle grinder and a man with a fiddle.
“I have worked with Cathedral over a number of years and I would say that they have a very ‘can do’ approach to development and resolving the issues surrounding it. They are especially tenacious and visionary when it comes to planning solutions (with a big and small P!!).”
Susan Adams, University of Greenwich.Back to top Back to home page