New lease of life for Mountbatten House and gardens
New owners Longstock Capital plan to make significant investment into an extensive refurbishment of the property and its terraced gardens, listed by English Heritage in 2015, bringing it back to economic life. The refurbished building will provide needed modern space in the town and will offer options to companies who wish to relocate there from both inside and outside the borough.
The gardens are going to be fully renewed by designers Grant Associates who were responsible for the Sky Gardens in Singapore. Rainwater harvesting will irrigate all garden areas. As part of the property's transformation, Mountbatten House will be renamed 'Plant' in tribute to its cascading roof terraces and the wealth of sustainable features that will be delivered via the scheme.
To make the building meet modern sustainability standards there is an application to put photo voltaic cells at roof level, which will generate annual carbon savings of 50 tonnes. The building’s glazing is also to be replaced which will have a significant impact on the energy consumption. The property will have 77 electric car parking spaces and charging stations.
Deputy Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Property, Cllr John Izett said: "It is fantastic news that one of Basingstoke's most recognisable buildings is to be reborn. The deal agreed means substantial new investment into creating 21st century offices that will be just what today's businesses are looking for.
“In time it will bring jobs, and business rates for the council to direct towards services for our residents. The council's willingness to sell a new lease allows the long leaseholder to fund the extensive improvement works in the building.”
Unlike many other councils, the council has a large commercial property portfolio with a strategy to ensure this continues to give the best possible return. The income from property rents is more than double the income from council tax and is key to maintaining services whilst keeping council tax low.