January Professional Ponderings
The team at Bletsoes has been extremely busy since December 2016, working on everything from securing planning for new farm houses and the conversion of farm buildings into houses, through the sale of individual plots and barn conversions, setting up promotion and option agreements and concluding the sales of large “strategic sites”.
During this period we have sold over 400 acres of land for development, to provide 1,700 dwellings, 120 acres of employment land, together with retail sites, care home sites and a scheme for assisted living development. In total these sales have generated almost £100million of sale proceeds for clients based in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. The site areas ranging from 4 acres to over 250 acres.
2018 looks like being another exciting and busy year and, to give you a flavour, members of our team mention some of the work which they are currently involved in below.
After dealing with two expert valuations during 2017, Alistair Brodie spent Christmas and the New Year working on the sale of 75 acres of land for shed development in Northamptonshire. Looking forward, he hopes to close out a deal relating to a ransom strip in Hertfordshire which is linked to the development of 1,100 houses, whilst, back in Northamptonshire, he is working through a promotion agreement, on a site scheduled to provide 600 new homes.
For Peter Moore, it looks as if 2018 is going to continue where 2017 left off, with a good market and plenty of planning opportunities. Peter is currently concluding two large sales in South Cambridgeshire, where planning permissions were won by Promoters targeting the district’s five year land supply shortfall. In both instances, Peter acted for the Landowner, negotiated a promotion agreement, monitored the process and then marketed the land to house builders. A number of planning authorities will be bringing forward new Local Plans this year and we have secured a number of draft allocations on behalf of clients. We will be progressing these sites through the year. Bletsoes continue to invite proposals from promoters and developers on clients’ land and Peter is actively negotiating and monitoring agreements on behalf of clients, including long term promotions for large urban extensions (two in excess of 1,000 units), as well as a significant number of shorter term opportunities.
After an exceptionally busy 2017, Andrew Middleditch is involved with a number of diverse and exciting projects which include advising landowners regarding a major new settlement proposal in Cambridgeshire, the conclusion of a number of residential sales in Northamptonshire and promoting further land opportunities through the many Local Plans which are emerging across our area of practice. Andrew also continues to advise clients regarding planning applications, including new build development, barn conversions and agriculturally related approvals, particularly including the removal of agricultural occupancy conditions.
The first quarter of 2018 will be eventful for Tristan Peck, with a number of smaller scale planning applications in Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire set for determination. In addition, Tristan hopes to finalise a promotion agreement for approximately 75 dwellings in the Borough of Wellingborough and, in Huntingdonshire, acting on behalf of the landowner, Tristan is working on the submission of a planning application for the demolition of an agricultural barn and the erection of a residential dwelling.
Through our Stratford upon Avon office, Chris Templar has assisted clients with a variety of planning jobs. He has recently obtained planning consent to convert a redundant dairy building into a residential dwelling and is currently in the midst of negotiating the terms for an option agreement with a house builder on a site to provide several hundred new homes. He is also helping a client to clear down planning conditions, to enable the conversion of traditional buildings into holiday lets.
HS2 – Woodland Fund
Initial funding of £1million has been allocated by HS2 Ltd to provide grants for tree and shrub planting along phase 1 of the HS2 route.
The scheme is being managed by the Forestry Commission and applications can be made between January 2018 and April 2020. Sites within a 25 mile radius of the phase 1 route are eligible and it should be noted that under the scheme, it may be possible to continue to claim Basic Payments, provided the relevant criteria are met.
Funding is available for the restoration of ancient woodland and the creation of new native woodland. Funding may be available for capital items and there are maintenance payments for woodland creation. A total payment per hectare for capital items is capped at £8,500 for native woodland creation and £4,000 for woodland restoration. In addition, for woodland creation, a 10 year maintenance payment is available at £200 per hectare per annum, paid in years 5 and 10 of the agreement. Land owned by public authorities is not eligible for maintenance payments. There are various thresholds and criteria which need to be considered and met, when submitting an application and, if you require any assistance, please contact Daisy Miles (firstname.lastname@example.org) or another member of the team.
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