Sweet deal: Challenger bank OakNorth lends £21m to Strawberry Star for Wandsworth development

Lucy White
London's New Diplomatic Quarter Takes Shape
The borough of Wandsworth includes areas such as Battersea, Balham and parts of Clapham (Source: Getty)

Property developer Strawberry Star has nabbed a tasty £21m from challenger bank OakNorth, to buy a site in Wandsworth to convert into luxury apartments and office units.

Along with a further £4.9m of debt from RM Secured Direct Lending, the firm will use OakNorth's loan to develop 77 residential units with a combined floor area of 56,000 square feet (sq ft).

The Buckhold Road site will also include 24,000 sq ft of “flexible work space” and 2,000 sq feet to accommodate a cafe or restaurant.

“Wandsworth is one of London’s most popular areas and is in desperate need of new homes – the borough requires 18,000 new homes a year until 2025 to keep up with demand,” said Santhosh Gowda, Strawberry Star's property mogul founder and chairman.

Read more: Wandsworth council seizes more than 100 oBikes for "blocking pavements"

The borough includes areas such as Battersea, Balham and parts of Clapham, and has the highest porportion of green space of any London borough.

According to Strawberry Star the average price of flats in the borough fell over the last five years, but has risen in the past 12 months to £557,882.

Since establishing the business, Gowda has overseen investment in more than 700 luxury apartments across London – including the Sky Gardens tower in Nine Elms and the Hoola block in east London's Royal Docks.

Strawberry Star's managing director Nick Stonley previously held the same position at United House Developments and Berkeley Homes.

OakNorth, which launched in 2015, aims to provide fast and flexible debt financing. It has raised more than £115m of equity capital, raised retail deposits from more than 15,000 savers and grown its loan book to in excess of £710m.

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