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L&Q pulls out of £1.4bn Essex town regeneration

L&Q has pulled out of a £1.4bn scheme to overhaul Purfleet town centre in Essex, Construction News can reveal. 

The firm has stepped away from its role as developer and part-funder for the project in the south Essex town, which includes plans for 2,800 homes on brownfield land and the UK’s first purpose-built film and TV studio for more than 50 years. 

The company has been replaced on the scheme by Billericay-based Swan Housing Group, which has also taken L&Q’s equity stake in the scheme, worth £27m. 

It is understood L&Q’s involvement was ended by mutual consent, after being appointed early last year

It was part of a consortium – Purfleet Centre Regeneration – made up of Keltbray, Regeneration Investments and Princess Anne’s husband Sir Tim Laurence.

Sir Tim is listed as one of six directors of the consortium on Companies House. 

The scheme is being led by regeneration and development specialist Urban Catalyst. 

The regeneration, which was approved by Thurrock Council in October 2015, will take place over nine phases.

It envisages a complete overhaul of Purfleet town centre, including new offices, a school and remodelling the town’s railway station, as well as the construction of 2,800 homes.

The masterplan for the project was devised by award-winning architect Will Alsop. 

Contractor Bouygues has also been involved in the PRCL partnership but decided against taking an initial equity stake in the joint venture when it entered into a contract with Thurrock Borough Council last November. 

All parties declined to comment.

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