It seems that a second developer may be emerging for the Carriageworks and Westmoreland House.
The sign of London based Assael Architecture has been placed on the hoardings on Ashley Road so, unless it’s a bit of guerilla advertising, it could indicate that someone other than Knightstone has started working up a scheme for the site. This could tie in with reports of an individual visiting local businesses to tell them that a new planning application is being prepared.
So who is behind this scheme? No developer has spoken to CAG about it so all we can do is speculate. It could be the owners of the site, Comer Homes, who are an established client of Assael Architecture. Or it could be the rather mysterious Fifth Capital London who suddenly popped up late last year asking for a meeting with the Council to discuss their plans. Online checks show the company is owned by Marc Pennick and possibly his wife but with little apparent turnover or assets how they would manage to bring in Assael and deliver a multi-million pound development is anyone’s guess.
The City Council and Knightstone have both confirmed that their approach is unchanged by this latest development. So they’ll be working up a planning application through the first part of 2014 and aim to acquire the site for development later in the year, using compulsory purchase powers if necessary.
Do let us know if you bump into anyone representing the mystery developer. We’d love to invite them to a community meeting so that we can all find out more!