Derwent London strayed outside its central London heartlands at the start of the year to buy Blue Star House in Brixton for £38m, but the 11-storey office block is by no means the company’s most distant outpost.
In the Scottish Highlands, Derwent owns about 5,500 acres of land, inherited through the acquisition of Lord Rayne’s London Merchant Securities (LMS) in 2006.
It isn’t clear exactly why or how Lord Rayne came to own the land, or indeed why LMS and later Derwent held on to it. There is no obvious benefit to owning vast swathes of land in Scotland for a London office developer. But the land could now come in handy for Derwent thanks to the company’s drive to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Derwent insiders tell Property Eye they are thinking about how the land could be used for carbon offsetting purposes.
Options include renewable energy projects and tree planting. Derwent’s acquisition of this Highland outpost could end up being a shrewd property play.