The Daedalus Waterfront team has a vision to bring innovation, excitement, and energy back to HMS Daedalus. The team have worked with planners, councillors and the local community to develop a clear, shared set of objectives for the project; first, to bring jobs and opportunity to the area, second to preserve historic buildings and celebrate the site’s significant history and third, to support the Hovercraft Museum and nurture it as a successful destination – all of which will ultimately restore this community’s pride in HMS Daedalus.
The masterplan will open up five acres of new public space, create 270 new homes and refurbish the heritage accommodation blocks for a further 76 homes, generating 240 full-time jobs a year and an estimated £117.8 million of social and local economic value over ten years.
We have summarised the six key pillars of our strategy below, and you can download the full details of our plans in the Design and Access statement here:
HMS Daedalus can once again be a crucial part of Lee-on-the-Solent, offering a link to its military history, and providing a world-class leisure destination celebrating 100 years of innovation and ingenuity.
The ambition is to create a complete community, with the provision of circa 270 new homes, and the refurbishment of the existing heritage buildings for a further 76 homes.
Daedalus Waterfront is actively supporting the museum, including funding a business plan to promote growth, leveraging our network to bring supporters, inputting creative ideas and providing financial support to help secure full funding.
The development team’s vision includes a commitment to strong ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principles. We plan to implement several initiatives to remain in step with, and where possible, exceed regulations.
The development will meet and grow local demand for small, medium and mid-sized industrial units, acting as a catalyst for the wider development.
The proposals have been designed to meet the needs of a modern community, where people can work effectively from home when it is possible to do so while also delivering an attractive environment to support the on-site employees.
Homes England has confirmed Daedalus Development Company – a joint venture between MurrayTwohig Development, Orwell Real Estate and Patron Capital – as development partner for Daedalus Waterfront. Their development vision for this 42-acre site is for a creative, revitalisation of this historic waterfront site with a targeted, industrial innovation strategy and mixed residential community.
From 1914 until 1996, RNAS Lee-on-the-Solent, HMS Daedalus was a site of extraordinary energy, innovation, and vibrancy. Home and workplace to thousands, the engine of an entire community and a point of pride for the nation.
The site was established as a seaplane base in 1917, during the First World War. In 1931 the first grass airstrip at Lee was constructed and by 1936, it became RAF Coastal Command. During WWII the site played an important role in the invasion of Normandy and a major embarkation centre for D-Day. Following the war the site continued as a Royal Navy Air Station. In 1962 the Joint Service Hovercraft Unit was formed with the aim of testing hovercraft in an operational military environment, and soon after the Air Station reverted to the name HMS Daedalus. The Hovercraft Museum remains on site to this day.
In the last few years, the site has been largely empty and dormant. In 2020, Homes England marketed to find a partner to realise the comprehensive regeneration of Daedalus Waterfront. Homes England were looking for a partner and a scheme that would provide an economic boost to the local economy, as well as much needed housing, while protecting and reinvigorating the collection of historic and listed assets.
In 2022, Homes England confirmed Daedalus Development Company as the development partner to realise Daedalus Waterfront. Daedalus Development Company led a world class team with a response that prioritises industrial and innovation jobs and restores heritage, to create a living community seeded in history.
Our ambitious vision, designed by master planner ACME, is for a creative revitalisation of this historic waterfront site.
Daedalus Development Company has experience on over 400 million square feet of mixed-use property across the world, and will work in collaboration with the local community, and all stakeholders, including the local authority and Historic England, over the coming years to solve this challenging and historic site.
We will be engaging with the local community over the coming months to present the initial vision that was developed as a requirement of Homes England’s tender process. We will host a series of meetings and events with the community, maintaining an ongoing conversation as designs evolve and we look forward to hearing your views. We will then move towards an outline planning application for the entire project towards the end of 2022.
Please get in touch through the contact form below if you would like to hear more. We want our conversation with the local community to begin now, so you can be part of our vision to bring innovation, excitement and energy back to Daedalus.
The Daedalus Development Company is a joint venture between MurrayTwohig Development, Orwell Real Estate and Patron Capital.
MurrayTwohig Development is a development company founded by William Murray and David Twohig and the development arm of their place strategy consultancy MurrayTwohig Place Strategies. MurrayTwohig (previously Wordsearch Place) was founded in 2018 and has provided vision and real estate strategy on over 300 million sq.ft. of development with a project value in excess of $200 billion, including at Battersea Power Station and Earls Court in London, Berlin’s Sony Centre, San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid San Francisco and The 78 in Chicago.
Orwell Real Estate provides professional development management services to private clients and institutional funds across the UK. We undertake a comprehensive advisory across the full spectrum of the development cycle from acquisition, planning, legal and construction.
Patron Capital is a real estate investment manager whose strategy is to back local partners and management teams in growing their respective business and investing in property. Since it was established in 1999, Patron has undertaken more than 170 transactions across 90 investments and partnerships involving over 65 million square feet (6 million square meters) in 17 countries.
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