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Octopus Real Estate completes refinance of huge Bedfordshire residential site

Octopus Real Estate, working alongside Cardiff-based brokerage Pure Commercial Finance, has completed the £28.3 million refinancing of UK Regeneration’s 970-acre development site in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

The site is made up of two parts, with the first a 270-acre site which benefits from planning consent for 1,500 residential dwellings and an agreed Section 106, while the second part is an immediately neighbouring 700-acre site that has been zoned by Central Bedfordshire Council for future residential development.

The huge site is in a prime location for residential development, being situated between Bedford and Cambridge, and is immediately adjacent to the newly constructed Baden Powell Way, which connects directly to the A1 duel carriageway.

Biggleswade's mainline station is just five minutes away, from where regular direct trains reach London King’s Cross within 40 minutes.

Octopus Real Estate completes refinance of huge Bedfordshire residential site

UK Regeneration, which has worked on the concept since 2015, has assembled a large and complex site that it says will support the sustainable growth of Biggleswade.

Development of the first site will be delivered on a phased basis whilst the borrower works concurrently with Central Bedfordshire Council to ensure that the wider site gains consent and is delivered. 

The last year has seen Octopus Real Estate - part of Octopus Group and a specialist UK real estate lender and investor - set a range of new lending records.

It has completed a variety of commercial loans, each worth over £20 million, across the country and on a wide range of asset classes.

The company says its appetite to lend both in the capital and the regions is as strong as ever, with recent completions in Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, London, Somerset and Suffolk ‘underlining its broad national coverage’.

Dominic Gibson, investment director at Octopus Real Estate, said: “This is an extremely well-located site in a highly desirable part of the country. With strong commuter links to London, Cambridge and Bedford and a lack of family housing in the wider area, we are confident that the long-term development will attract strong demand. UK Regeneration’s vision and desire to deliver high quality, sustainable housing is clear, and we are very pleased to support them as they progress this exciting project.”

Jackie Sadek, chief operating officer at UK Regeneration, added: “We’ve been working on this evolving scheme since 2015 so it has been fantastic to partner with Octopus Real Estate as we move ever closer to its delivery.”

She said that, working closely with Central Bedfordshire Council, the long-term plans will deliver a range of ‘high quality, sustainable homes and create important new communities’.

“Octopus Real Estate was quick to recognise the transformative impact of the scheme and with their aligned views on quality, sustainability and certainty, they have been a truly fantastic finance partner to us,” she concluded.

This latest activity from Octopus Real Estate follows on from the £21.2 million loan it provided in September last year to transform a former Shredded Wheat Factory in Welwyn Garden City.

*All images are courtesy of HTA Design LLP

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