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Western Division

/live/news/rsz_jon.jpgOver the spring period we are happy to have seen progress on a number of sites across the Western Division.

Much has happened in the Western Division since my last update at the turn of the year - with the team securing new opportunities and converting existing projects into allocations and sales. 

January started the year off well for us as we secured planning permission for our Hampton Magna site in Warwick District. The site will deliver 131 homes in what is a very sustainable and attractive location close to Warwick Parkway station. Martyn Grimes (Midlands Regional Director) is leading on the marketing and sale of the site to a development partner and I hope to be able to confirm our appointed party in my next update.

Martyn and I have had a very busy start to the year as we have also recently completed two other sales. Firstly, I am very pleased to confirm the sale of our Back Lane, Somerford, Congleton site to Bellway Homes (North West).

It’s not been a straightforward project - but seven years on we have secured an allocation in the now adopted Local Plan; helped support the delivery of the Congleton Link Road; 200 new homes and facilitated a new 10 acre nature park which is to be managed by Somerford Parish Council. 

Bellway were fantastic to deal with and a big thanks to their North West office and the rest of the Richborough consultant and legal team for their support.

The Midlands Region has also disposed of two former Green Belt sites in South Staffordshire. Firstly, our Kinver site was sold to growing housebuilder, Elan Homes. This 43 dwelling sale to Elan demonstrates the differing scale of site we work with.

These ‘smaller’ sites are particularly important in enabling regional builders and SMEs to grow their businesses and we’ve seen very good interest for such sites when they go to market. The second was a 9 acre site in Wombourne which is a very popular commuter village on the fringes of the Black Country and we look forward to this site also coming to fruition.

Joe Jones, our Midlands Land & Planning Manager, has also been leading on multiple projects for the business to ensure what is our most active region delivers on all fronts. That means securing new agreements, project managing our portfolio, which ranges from live sales and applications to much longer term green belt promotion. He’s a glutton for punishment though so please contact him with further opportunities!

Away from Martyn’s Midlands Region, Rob Mitchell, our South West Regional Manager, is finalising our Wimborne (Poole) site’s planning submission. Supported by our in-house Planning Director, Haydn Jones, this application on our recently secured allocation for 600 homes, will be submitted to and determined by the newly formed Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council in the summer and we hope to be able to market the opportunity to housebuilders thereafter with a view to a partner being appointed by the close of the year. Please contact me for further details on this.

Rob and I have also been busy trying to grow the South West Region, which takes in everything from Newquay to Bristol - across to the edge of South West London - West Sussex down to Brighton - and back westward along the South Coast. So quite a big patch and plenty of service station sarnies! The region has projects in the likes of the New Forest, Wiltshire, Horsham and our recently secured site in Ottershaw in Runnymede District. We are keen to keep securing quality projects so please contact Rob with any new opportunities or details about our existing sites.

In my last update I announced the appointment of Harry Jackson as our Regional Manager for our newly created North Region. Since then, Harry, with support of our Assistant Land & Planning Manager, Alanna Mahoney, has been working hard to grow the patch. So far, they have secured two new sites and we are very happy to announce an agreement is now in place for us to promote the Knowsley Estate’s land on the edge of Ormskirk, West Lancashire. This is a first-class site which could deliver as many as 1,400 homes, a 15ha business park, new student accommodation and academic expansion for Edge Hill University. The project will see multiple phases delivered to the market and we hope to secure an allocation in the new Local Plan in the next two years. 

So, a busy period for the Western Division, but things don’t appear to be letting up going into the summer. Positively, my jitters in my last update over Brexit and its potential impact on our industry appear to be unfounded - as we are still seeing a very strong appetite for new land acquisitions across the country from builders of all shapes and sizes.

So, there’s much to be positive about for 2019.

All the best

Jon Bloor

07508 123424