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Richborough Estates spreads its wings in the south

Richborough Estates is growing across the country, and nowhere is this more evident than in the South of England.

In recent months, we have acquired sites in Wiltshire, Dorset, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire and, in partnership with local stakeholders, will be working hard to secure planning permissions. Between them, these sites have the capacity to deliver approximately 1,000 new homes.

The South, and the South East in particular, is the area of the country most under pressure to provide housing and the one that appears to have the greatest hurdles to effective planning and housebuilding.

With some of the most extensive Green Belt land in the UK covering the region, stretching 30 miles from the edge of London in some places, planning for housing is an increasingly tough job. This is a real challenge for house builders, planners and local authorities as the number of available and sustainable sites outside the Green Belt are diminishing.

In Poole, Dorset, we will be working hard to deliver planning permission for a Green Belt site for approximately 500 new homes – this is a significant challenge and one we are relishing. The sites in Wiltshire and Berkshire are both Greenfield sites; certainly less daunting than delivering housing on Green Belt, but no less of a challenge. In Buckinghamshire we are promoting a Green Belt site through the emerging local plan for approximately 350 dwellings.

Understandably, local communities can be reticent about new development, an issue that is compounding the problems being faced in the South East, where the need for and the pace of new development is greater than anywhere else in the country.

However, good planning can allay many of the fears of local communities. By choosing sites in close proximity to reliable transport infrastructure, delivering the necessary community facilities and contributing to community projects through s106 contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy payments, we can deliver schemes that address the urgent housing need and provide for existing communities in a sustainable way.

We are looking forward to working closely with local authorities, communities and other key stakeholders as we seek to deliver the best possible developments in the South of England…and elsewhere!

14 June 2016