Higgs play key role in multi-million pound waste facility deal

24 February 2022

Higgs LLP’s commercial property team has played a leading role in a multi-million pound deal to bring a 395,000 tonnes per annum waste-to-energy facility to West Bromwich.

Acting for landowners Giffords Property Ltd, the Higgs team overcame a multitude of complications and challenges to help bring the project to fruition.

When operational, the enfinium Kelvin facility will take non-recyclable household and business waste and use residual waste to generate 47MW (gross) of renewable baseload energy per annum, equivalent to the needs of more than 95,000 UK homes.

The project will create more than 400 jobs during construction and over 40 full-time jobs once operational, bringing significant economic benefit and investment to the local area.

For Higgs’ Head of Property Cherry Elliott, the culmination of the waste-to-energy facility scheme was the end of a challenging journey.

Cherry said: “I started work on this job when I first joined Higgs nearly eight years ago so to see the project finally achieving financial close is hugely rewarding and something the whole team can be proud of.

“This is a high value and important transaction which will see a key local site redeveloped. For our client, they now have a great tenant for the next 25 years and possibly beyond.

“The property considerations that arose during the transaction were very complicated meaning our client had to put complete trust in the Higgs team.”

The complexities arose partly due the unique nature and location of the land which abuts Birmingham Canal and sits partly under M5 motorway.

There were also challenges in obtaining the required planning permissions for the redevelopment but eventually, after appeal, permission was granted by Sandwell Council. Covid slowed progress until earlier this year when the ball started rolling once more.

Cherry said: “I’m just delighted that through it all – through planning refusal, Brexit, Covid, funding requirements, last minute changes and multiple stakeholders – we still managed to achieve what we all set out to achieve.”

Higgs worked alongside various high-profile law firms to conclude the deal, including Pinsent Masons LLP and Ashurst LLP for enfinium, Bevan Brittan for the Canal & River Trust and Linklaters for the funders.

As one of the leading providers of commercial property advice in the region, Higgs’ specialist team has experience in acting for a range of clients from sole traders to major national corporations.

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