Ex-Police training centre to be transformed through regeneration plan

07 June 2013

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today invited developers to submit plans to regenerate 22 hectares at the site of the historic Metropolitan Police Peel Centre training headquarters at Hendon, creating a thriving new neighbourhood with more than 1,650 new homes and releasing capital to plough back into the development of a brand new training facility fit for modern day policing.

Owned by the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), the site has been home to the renowned Met training centre since 1934, but is now considered outdated, expensive and underused. Proposals outlined today would see it transformed into a new residential quarter with a minimum of 1,650 new homes, cycle routes, retail units and a primary school and nursery, as well as a substantial amount of open green space.

The site is the first major scheme to be procured through the new London Development Panel, set up by the Mayor to fast track the disposal of public land to boost construction and housing. The Mayor already has an extensive programme to release public land for development, with recent agreements signed to develop sites including Cane Hill in Croydon and Catford stadium in Lewisham.

Key to the redevelopment of the site is the requirement that any capital raised through the sale of the land will be ploughed back into funding a new modern and fit-for-purpose operations and training centre at a smaller part of the site. Currently the Met Police only uses around a fifth of the space provided by the 22 hectare Peel Centre site. Estimates suggest that the redevelopment of the site will halve running costs at Hendon, freeing up revenue of up to £6 million each year – the equivalent of more than 120 police officers.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “This regeneration will create much needed jobs and homes to drive growth in a vital area of north London, as well as bringing schools and parks to a thriving new neighbourhood.

“The iconic Peel Centre has been at the heart of the Met for almost 80 years, and these proposals will cement Hendon’s future as one of the best police training grounds in the world.

“What’s more, it will drive down costs and cut waste in the Met’s estate budget, helping us to maintain officer numbers and keep London’s streets safe.”

The sale of the site is part of a wider strategy by MOPAC to dispose of underused land and buildings in its vast and expensive estate, which will save £60 million in running costs and help the force protect front-line policing.

Jane Bond, Director of Property Services for the Metropolitan Police, said: “The Peel Centre has a proud place in the history of the Met and a world-class reputation for police training.

“We are undertaking the most significant transformation of the police estate in order to reduce running costs whilst investing in modern facilities that are fit for our officers, staff and the public.”

The London Borough of Barnet has identified the Peel Centre site as one of the essential sites for the regeneration of Colindale in its action plan for the area, driving jobs and growth in the borough.

Leader of Barnet Council Richard Cornelius said: “I am delighted to see MOPAC moving forward with the redevelopment of this site.

“The Peel Centre is a key employer in Colindale and this will enhance the effectiveness of a major police asset. It will also see the construction of new homes which both Barnet and London desperately need.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. The Peel Centre, founded with the official name of the Metropolitan Police College, was officially opened in 1934 as a training centre for Metropolitan Police cadets. It was rebuilt in 1974 and re-opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

2. MOPAC’s estate strategy was launched in May 2013 and details plans to exit around 300,000 square metres (one third) of MOPAC’s estate over the next three years. This will save £60 million per year on running costs by 2015/16 and a significant amount will be reinvested in the estate and infrastructure to support the frontline and help keep officer numbers high. The plan will also provide up to 950 modern cells to help reduce the time it takes to process people in custody and the sale of up to 200 buildings - the vast majority of which have no public access. The strategy can be found at http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/policing-crime/publications/mopac-mps-estates-strategy

3. This is the first regeneration project to be offered to the London Development Panel, the group of 25 developers created by the Mayor of London to make the sale of public land in the capital faster, easier and cheaper to landowners by speeding up the procurement process. The panel members have been invited to submit expressions of interest in taking on the development, which could also bring about a complementary redevelopment of Colindale Tube station and improved access to transport.

4. Developers will have until June 13th to submit expressions of interest in the Peel Centre. It is expected the transformation of the site into a successful and diverse new neighbourhood for London will be complete by 2021.

5. The London Development Panel (LDP) is a land procurement panel, set up to accelerate the delivery of housing in London by making it faster, easier and cheaper for public land owners to bring forward land for development. It establishes a framework agreement between 25 developers, enabling public land owners, including London’s boroughs and government bodies, to award individual contracts without having to go through a full and expensive procurement process each time. The panel is made up of 25 panel members including developers, house builders and Housing Associations. It was created in May 2013 and has been procured for a four-year period. A full list of the membership can be found at http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/housing-land/land-assets/london-development-panel 

6. The London Borough of Barnet has registered the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) planning application for the redevelopment of the Peel Centre site. The application seeks permission to develop new training and operational facilities fit for 21st century policing. The new facilities would replace the current outdated buildings and make more efficient use of space, housing a similar number of staff to current levels on a much smaller site.