Barclays to overhaul Radbroke campus

The banking giant intends to demolish three buildings, replacing them with a 166,400 sq ft office building and open space as it seeks to modernise its technology complex in Cheshire.

Plans to be considered at Cheshire East’s strategic planning board on 24 February outline the proposals for a thorough redevelopment of the Radbroke Technology Centre site in a hybrid application.

Radbroke Hall was built as a luxury family home in 1917 and bought by Barclays in 1972, since when it has served as the central hub of the group’s 65-acre innovation campus.

Located in Lower Peover, close to Knutsford, the site employs around 4,000 people, and houses the bank’s technology office, architecture & strategy, technology quality and risk, and global infrastructure divisions.

Barclays’ plan is to demolish Kilburn House, Lovelace House and Brooker House to create a “town square” along with landscaped areas. It also wants to extend Furber House to create additional additional food & beverage and support space.

The full planning application also covers façade improvements at Furber House, Turing House and Babbage House, along with retrospective applications covering works including M&E kit, a new security lodge and internal public realm and highway works at the site.

The relatively modern Turing House and Babbage House are by some distance the largest buildings on campus, offering 130,000 sq ft and 160,000 sq ft respectively.

The outline part of the hybrid proposal covers the second phase: namely, the introduction of the New Kilburn office building, which will stand on the site on the former Kilburn House and include employee wellness facilities.

Floorspace occupied at the Radbroke site is currently 468,000 sq ft across nine buildings. The three buildings to be removed comprise 103,000 sq ft, while the replacement New Kilburn building is to be 166,400 sq ft, taking the site overall to 531,400 sq ft.

In a planning statement prepared by CBRE, the applicant describes its intention to modernise the estate by reorienting the campus around the grade two-listed Radbroke Hall. The bank’s decision to invest in redevelopment of its Cheshire base may have significance for a once strongly fancied move to a campus development at Manchester’s Mayfield regeneration project.

Although the site is designed Green Belt, planning officers concluded that the proposed additions do not represent a significant increase in the size of the built form on the estate. Approval is recommended, subject to a Section 106 agreement on external highway improvements.

Along with CBRE as planning consultant, the professional team includes Gensler Architects, Orion Heritage, Arup, Arcadis and UES.

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