Balance Out Living, a new co-living platform backed by leading global investment manager Oaktree Capital, secures planning permission for its first development close to Battersea Park. The London Borough of Wandsworth approved plans last night for the scheme, which is located on Culvert Road.
The new development, which will be developed and operated by Balance Out Living, and has been designed by award-winning Claridge Architects, will deliver 213 studio apartments and over 16,000 sq ft of onsite amenity space as part of a new co-living community. In line with Balance Out Living’s wellbeing-focused ethos, the co-living development will feature green walls, edible gardens and landscaped terraces offering panoramic views of London.
Amenities include communal kitchens, resident lounges, co-working spaces, gym facilities with treatment rooms, a cinema room, café, and a bar. Additional benefits include regular social events organised by the onsite team, with 24-hour staff and security, and regular cleaning and linen changes.
The local community will also benefit from improved public realm around the development. Balance Out Living has also agreed to deliver a new state-of-the-art sports facility for the neighbouring Harris Academy school.
“We are thrilled to have received planning approval for our first development.
“This decision represents a major vote of confidence in our vision to provide an attainable, stress-free housing option that has wellbeing and community at its core.
“Our own experiences, including my time living at the Collective Old Oak, taught us just how important home and community is to personal wellbeing. From design through to operations, we have considered how to support our future residents achieve a more balanced, healthy lifestyles and this will be demonstrated at our Battersea development.”Sarah Christie, co-CEO, Balance Out Living
Including Battersea, Balance Out Living already has over 1,100 homes in various stages of planning across the UK capital. The platform is actively seeking further acquisitions, targeting well-connected sites close to established cultural, social and fitness offerings. Using investment from Oaktree Capital’s European Principal Fund V, the platform aims to create an initial portfolio of best-in-class co-living communities in central London, targeting up to £1bn GDV before expanding into other major European cities.
“Balance Out Living will provide a better value alternative to the mainstream rental market without compromising on space, privacy or quality.
“Our focus is on building a high-quality stabilised portfolio in London, acquiring additional sites where we can deliver schemes of appropriate size and scale, before expanding into other European cities where there are similar underlying market fundamentals that support the growth of co-living.
“Planning approval for our first project is a key milestone in that journey and we look forward to getting on with delivering our Battersea site.”Zafar Bhunnoo, co-CEO, Balance Out Living
Balance Out Living was founded by Sarah Christie and Zafar Bhunnoo, who previously held senior roles at Blackstone, the Collective, Spaces Co-Living and WeWork. The pair, who will jointly lead the business as co-CEOs, aim to create a genuine wellbeing-focused housing brand after experiencing ‘burn out’ during various stages of their earlier professional careers.