Sovereign Housing Association has bought the Princes Mead Shopping Centre in Farnborough for £17.6 million with a plan to redevelop it for 350 homes.

The acquisition, from Knight Frank Investment Management (KFIM), was made on behalf of Local Pensions Partnership Investments (LPPI) and includes two adjacent shop units.

Sovereign now plans to bring forward a residential-led, mixed-use regeneration of the 7.77-acre site which is in the centre of Farnborough. The purchase is part of Sovereign’s strategy to build affordable housing and help regenerate towns and high streets.

The scheme falls within the wider regeneration plans for Farnborough town centre which is being brought forward by Rushmoor Borough Council and the Rushmoor Development Partnership. Their Civic Quarter masterplan incorporates a new leisure centre, civic hub and park, 1,000 new energy efficient homes and new food and beverage areas. The re-redevelopment of Princes Mead by Sovereign can be delivered before the first phase of those plans completes.

KFIM and LPPI will remain involved in the project.

Tom Titherington, chief investment & development officer of Sovereign Housing Association, said: “As our high streets evolve, it becomes increasingly important for forward-thinking housing associations such as Sovereign to take a proactive role in regenerating our town centres, supporting our customers through the delivery of affordable homes and the successful re-imagination of our high streets.”

John Styles, partner of KFIM, said: “Having worked with Rushmoor to establish support for a substantial residential-led development scheme we are delighted to have sold the site to Sovereign Housing Association.

“We are confident that Sovereign will take the project forward maximising the benefits, particularly in terms of affordable housing provision for Farnborough.”

Adrian Peachey, partner at Montagu Evans which, along with DWF, advised KFIM, said: “As town centres evolve and new partnerships – both public and private – are necessary to deliver on these opportunities, dynamic new types of investors are stepping forward.

“This is a deliverable development opportunity with strong alternative use value, which is supported by the local authority and forms part of their wider town centre regeneration plans. Farnborough has an active and growing residential market and this opportunity will help rebalance the town centre offer as well as meeting local housing demand.”

JLL, Ellandi and Winckworth Sherwood advised Sovereign.

© Thames Tap (powered by

Sign up to receive your free weekly Thames Tap journal here.