Abellio London Bus (ALB)

London
Surrey
Occupier
Industrial & Logistics
740
buses
52
bus routes
100
jobs saved
1
acre
freehold site owned by private individual
£3.5
million
quoting price for development land
Acquisition of development land and planning permission secured.
Challenge

Vail Williams was appointed by Dutch public transport company Abellio, operators of several bus and rail services in the UK, to secure new premises for its Hayes bus depot in Middlesex.

Abellio London Bus (ALB) operates 740 buses on 52 routes from Hayes, 9% of which are buses into the capital for Transport for London (TfL).

As a major bus operator and employer in Middlesex, the company needed to acquire new premises urgently, as its depot in North Hyde Gardens, was to be redeveloped for HS2.

Vail Williams sourced the new site – just two miles from the existing depot – and then helped secure sui generis planning permission for expanding ALB.

How we helped
  • Undertook detailed search of the market for appropriate development land within close proximity to existing site, to meet client brief.
  • Found a one-acre site within two miles of their existing depot at Dawley Road.
  • Site matched our client’s criteria to accommodate overnight storage of up to 56 buses, with infrastructure to support electric buses, in line with our client’s future environmental aspirations.
  • Negotiated freehold acquisition of the one-acre site with landowner’s agents at £3.2m from original quoting price of £3.5m
  • Planning experts made an economic and environmental case to justify planning permission for the new bus depot to be built on Green Belt land.
  • Transport for London supported the application and Hillingdon Council recognised the need for continuity, granting sui generis planning consent.
  • A Section 106 agreement will provide for new footways and cycle lanes and a shelter at a bus stop adjacent to the depot.
  • An acoustic wall will be also built, and an existing, historic wall will be repaired and kept.
  • Groundworks are underway and the depot, comprising offices, staff buildings, a bus wash and a fuelling facility, is expected to be finished in early 2022.

We very much needed to stay in the borough for geographical and employment reasons and many of our routes from the depot – 278, 350, 482, U5, U7 and U9 – all serve the local area. To have been forced out of the borough would not only have disrupted the business and increased bus ‘dead mileage’, it would have also created more exhaust emissions.

Tony Wilson, Managing Director, ALB.

“Thanks to the efforts of Vail Williams, it will be business as usual. They identified a suitable site in the right location, provided a robust justification for the usage and rose to the difficult challenge of securing planning permission.”

Tony Wilson, Managing Director, ALB.

Results
  • Expert market knowledge, acquisition negotiation skills and planning expertise came together to secure the future of ALB’s future
  • Deal will ensure ALB’s bus depot can remain in the Borough of Hillingdon, retaining over 100 local jobs.
  • Acquisition facilitated strategic redevelopment of an aged industrial site and will create an easily accessible depot location for ALB’s buses, whilst ensuring little disruption to services.
  • ALB vacates its current premises at the end of 2021 and will begin services from Dawley Road in April 2022. The intervening period will be covered by relocating services to nearby depots.
  • ALB is now able to future proof its business, installing infrastructure now to meet its target to move to fully electric buses in the future, whilst meeting the requirements of its renewed contract on the U5 Hayes-Uxbridge route, which will start with electric double-deckers on the first operational day out of Dawley Road.

 

Get in touch

If you think you may need similar support to that described here, or you would simply want to have an informal chat with a member of our team to discuss your property needs, get in touch.