Hello. I’m Douglas Bodie, DIO’s Head of Land Management Services (LMS). On a day-to-day basis this involves leading a team of Surveyors and property people in delivery of property transactions and property advice.
With over 20 LMS office locations to visit I’m out of the office on a regular basis, but it is quite rare to visit Mayfair in Central London, as I did recently.
Replacing Headley Court
You may have heard in the news about the decision to develop a new defence and national rehabilitation centre (DNRC) at Stanford Hall near Loughborough, Leicestershire. This will replace Headley Court.
The creation of the DNRC is an initiative of the Duke of Westminster, who has spent more than four decades serving in the Army Reserve. Stanford Hall was acquired with a view to turning it into a rehabilitation centre and the Black Stork charity is raising capital funding. The Duke has made a significant personal contribution in addition to the use of Stanford Hall itself and is leading the fundraising efforts.
This video shows an aerial view of Stanford Hall and the surrounding land. [Courtesy of BS Stanford Ltd]
My visit to Mayfair was to attend a meeting hosted by the DNRC Programme Grosvenor and General Timothy Granville-Chapman, who is leading the DNRC Programme Director.
The creation of a new site is a big undertaking with substantial charitable funds to be raised and a new establishment created. There have been a number of meetings between DIO and BS Stanford Ltd., the charity's operating company. This particular meeting was set up to introduce the three sets of solicitors. They will be working together in order to draft the lease to the Ministry of Defence.
Arup have been appointed as Project Managers, but of course DIO will be involved, albeit in a different way from our standard project approach. We’re used to big projects, but the delivery of Stanford Hall does not follow DIO standard process, so I am very grateful that my colleagues Philippa Gilmour (nee Charles) and our latest recruit, Major Grant Kerr will project manage the DIO side for us.
The next step will be to consider the draft lease in detail with Robert McClure, lead surveyor of our Wyton office. We will then take on input and comments from DIO colleagues and all the other stakeholders with an interest in this new project. DIO’s role in the development will be to agree the terms and conditions upon which MOD will occupy the new complex on a 50 year lease. The drafting of the lease will be concluded by Alison Hinch and Robert Wardell, DIO solicitors based in Abbey Wood, near Bristol. The building should be ready for occupation in the end of 2017. Henry Robinson of our Aldershot office will be leading discussions on the future of Headley Court, which has offered so much to those who have needed to use its services since the 1940s, with its Trustees.
On the way back to the office I took the opportunity to stop off and take a look at some Reserve Forces and Cadet Association properties in central London where a lease restructure has been proposed.
Work at Stanford Hall is expected to begin next year with the new site becoming operational in 2018. We’re all looking forward to getting to work on such an important project which will have a real impact on the lives of its users.
To learn more, watch this video of Surgeon General, Air Marshal Paul Evans, discussing the move to Stanford Hall.