For over 100 years Brentford Dock was an important part of the transport infrastructure, having been created as a trans-shipment point linking the Great Western Railway and the canal system with the Port of London; goods from all over the world arrived on barges from the Pool of London, goods from the UK arrived at Brentford Dock via the railway and canals to load into barges and send into the Port of London and from there all over the world.
In 1964, Brentford Dock was closed as a shipping point and the site disposed of by the British Railways Board to the Greater London Council. Plans were drawn for what we now know as Brentford Dock by Sir Roger Waters in 1968
Brentford Dock was built between 1972 and 1978 for the Greater London Council (GLC) and originally intended to be used as Social Housing. However, only 90 of the first-built flats were let. As the rest of the 500 dwellings were built they were offered for private sale on 98 year leases from the GLC.
The original leases were granted by the GLC to i) Estmanco (Brentford Dock) Limited and ii) The original purchaser of the flat. Estmanco (Brentford Dock) Limited was incorporated in 1978 – at the same time as the flats were completed - to provide management of the Estate (ie a ‘Residential Management Company’ or RMC).
The GLC (and subsequently the London Residual Body) continued as Freeholder and Head Lessor until the Freehold was purchased by Estmanco (Brentford Dock) Limited in 1991. This Company changed its name to Brentford Dock Limited in 1999.
Brentford Dock Limited (BDL) acts as Freeholder, Lessor and RMC. Owners of the 590 units on the Estate each hold 1 share in BDL as well as the leasehold interest on their individual property.
Brentford Dock Limited is governed by a Board of Directors, all of whom own a property on the Estate. Directors are selected by means of elections open only to other owners of property on the Estate. In this way Brentford Dock Limited is able to operate ‘for the Residents, by the Residents’.
Brentford Dock Limited employs a Managing Agent (Michael Richards & Co) to deliver services on the Estate. The Managing Agent oversees the operations of other Service Providers (cleaning, security, grounds maintenance etc.) on behalf of BDL.
Brentford Dock Limited is also the parent company of Brentford Dock Enterprises Limited (BDEL), which is able to undertake ‘commercial’ activities which cannot be provided using BDL’s sole source of income, which is service charge from leasehold properties. One of BDEL’s main activities is the operation of the Marina which sits at the heart of the Estate. Profits from BDEL can be used to carry out improvements to the Estate.