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Shell and Lend Lease end plan to redevelop South Bank HQ

The Times (UK): Shell and Lend Lease end plan to redevelop South Bank HQ

“The company denied that the termination of the joint venture meant the Shell Centre would be sold after the consolidation of the group’s headquarters in The Hague.”

Thursday 1 September 2005

By Jenny Davey

SHELL and Lend Lease, the Australian property group, have axed their joint venture agreement to carry out a £180 million mixed-use redevelopment of the Anglo-Dutch oil giant’s headquarters on the South Bank, The Times has learnt.

The companies said that the decision to terminate the agreement, which was signed in July 2002, was mutual. The strategic priorities of each partner had changed, the companies said.

The partnership had drawn up plans to develop the ground floors and adjoining land to the Shell Centre London complex. In April last year they received approval for a 510,000 sq ft scheme, including offices, shops and leisure facilities.

The project is dominated by the office component but Lend Lease has since decided that it wants to focus on shops and housing.

This year Shell held talks with Land Securities, the UK’s biggest quoted property group, about becoming involved in the project. No agreement has been made.

Shell said that it was committed to the project in the medium term. The company denied that the termination of the joint venture meant the Shell Centre would be sold after the consolidation of the group’s headquarters in The Hague.

A spokeswoman for Shell said that more than 3,000 staff were based in the Shell Centre with a further 700 in other offices across London. Less than 200 jobs were affected by the company’s move to The Hague, she said.

Planning permission for the scheme, which was subject to a 12-month public inquiry. expires in 2009.

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