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Who owns and develops the IQL property?

The International Quarter London (IQL) was created through a partnership between London and Continental Railways Ltd (LCR).
© HBS and RREF

The International Quarter London (IQL) was created through a partnership (called a joint venture) between London and Continental Railways Ltd (LCR) as the landowner and Lendlease as the developer. This article looks at the first stage of the IQL property development process; ‘the bid’.

LCR is owned by the UK Government’s Department of Transport and specialises in the management, development and disposal of railway related, property assets, particularly those associated with major infrastructure projects such as the IQL.

Stratford in 2011 ©By EG Focus CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


UK Government departments and their agencies are required to follow certain procedures when selling land or entering into a commercial arrangement with private developers such as Lendlease. This is to make sure that such developments are:

  • undertaken in a fair and transparent manner
  • pay due regard to government policy objectives
  • achieve ‘best value’ for the public purse and
  • any surplus land is put out to tender so that interested parties can prepare competitive bids.

A tender is:

A formal offer to supply goods or to do a particular job, and a statement of the price that the bidder will charge.

A competitive bid is submitted in the form of a detailed proposal which explains why the bidding parties believe they should be awarded the development opportunity.

Construction work on the IQL site. © University of Reading.


Public bodies, like the LCR, have policies to guide the process of land sale and development and how to evaluate the submitted bids. These policies often reflect local government priorities and requirements set by central government and/or the European Union. The LRC policies focus on the regeneration benefits or ‘value creation’; of redeveloping surplus railway land; particularly the contribution it can make to housing provision and economic growth. They also include various sustainability requirements in their briefing documents.

A government department or agency has a range of options regarding how they can sell land; including by:

  • private sale
  • public auction
  • a formal or informally negotiated tender
  • exchange of land.

They can also enter into a joint venture partnership arrangement with other parties, and this is what LRC did in the case of the IQL, with Lendlease submitting the successful proposal or ‘bid’ based on their strong track record in regeneration and their sustainability credentials.

© HBS and RREF
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