Helping regeneration sites to become developer ready

 

Dave Norbury, Urban Vision’s Associate Director for Property, discusses how his team are working with local authorities to help them bring large scale regeneration schemes to an area.

 

It’s no secret that if developers are to deliver a large regeneration scheme then they require a large area of land to build upon. The trouble is, in most neighbourhoods across the UK, the areas that are in the most need of new regeneration and developments in are in multiple ownerships, are densely populated by residents and businesses and available land and space is hard to find.

My teams role is to work side by side with local authorities to assist them find suitable site locations for their regeneration and development objectives.  We also help local authorities to remove any property related barriers that may stand in the way of delivering schemes that will provide significant benefit to the local community and the local economy.

Initially we provide strategic advice that will confirm the specific requirements and help the Council bring their aspirations into fruition for a site including working with the Council on progressing a masterplan that ensures development will meet the required regeneration objectives.

Subject to approved funding, our team will then work with the Council to start the site assembly process identifying all property and land interests within the area and approaching owners. In cases where private land ownership is present, we will work on behalf of the Council to consult and engage with the land owners to acquire the privately owned land by agreement. Any land or property interest that cannot be acquired through agreement or if the owner(s) of the interest is unknown or untraceable, the use of Compulsory Purchase powers will be considered.

Once the land is in full Council ownership this then clears the path for the Council to dispose of the site for the essential development which will help to bring significant benefits to the local area and community. As well as helping local authorities to market the site and gain interest from the right developers, we help them to shortlist and choose a developer that will not only complete a quality development and meet the regeneration objectives for an area but also deliver where necessary the best social value outcomes and ensure that the best value obligation is met.”

Using our property team’s industry knowledge and experience, we assist throughout the disposal process to legal completion of the development agreement. An important aspect of our role is to also ensure that the development agreement is adhered to and the developer delivers on its promises including any social value outputs that they are obliged to deliver.

A recent example is a site we have helped Salford City Council to secure and dispose of in Charlestown Riverside in Salford. The area was in much need of additional housing and the Council’s ambition was to attract a developer that would facilitate this need. We worked with Salford City Council’s housing regeneration and legal teams to identify the site area and boundaries, secure a Compulsory Purchase Order, progress the completion of a development agreement that met the Council’s regeneration objectives, including Social Value and then marketed the site to developers. We assessed all developer interest and proposals for the site and made recommendations to the Council on which developer would bring the best scheme and social value outcomes for the area.

In the case of Charlestown Riverside, Keepmoat Homes were appointed as Salford City Council’s preferred developer partner to deliver the £56m regeneration scheme over an 8 year period. Following the grant of planning permission in March 2016 and subsequent completion of the Development Agreement, construction works commenced on the site in late September 2016.

The scheme will ultimately secure the delivery of up to 430 new family homes, 86 of which will be affordable. The social value outcomes to date include four Kickstart Programmes, construction related apprenticeships and work experience placements for local people, the delivery of construction related education programmes in schools and a certain percentage of the contractors/sub-contractors are sited within the local area.

If you want to find out how we can assist to deliver your local authorities regeneration aspirations  then please contact  Dave Norbury on 0161 779 6121 or email  dave.norbury@urbanvision.org.uk.

To read the full article, please see here.