Planning Update Delays
As a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, the United Kingdom entered a nationwide lockdown on the 23rd of March 2020. This meant that all non-essential services were required to either close or work remotely where possible. This resulted in a number of local authority services being suspended.
With the current easing of the lockdown, we can confirm that our planning team in the UK are engaging with all the relevant authorities to ascertain the progress of all our sites.
We are treating this as a matter of urgency and we hope to have some updates to share with you in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, UK
Our latest strategic land investment site is located on the north western edge of the town of Bradford on Avon, a key Market Town within Wiltshire District Council. On successful allocation of the site for residential use, it is projected that investors will enjoy a close to 400% return over a 6 - 7 year period. This equates to an approximately 23% annualised return.
The site is located adjacent to the north western boundary of Bradford on Avon and is approximately 8 acres in size of which 49% will be retained for company benefit and 51% made available for investment. Bradford on Avon is a large Market Town with a range of key services and employment making it suitable for housing growth. The site is currently a block of gently sloping grazing land that has been previously utilised for equestrian use. There are two main access points off Bath Road to the east of the site.
Our Planning Department Comments
- The town of Bradford on Avon falls under the BOA Development Area as guided by the Wiltshire District Councils Local Development Plan. The current BOA Neighbourhood Plan (NP) has identified sufficient sites to the north east of Bradford on Avon to deliver 33 shared ownership dwellings. This NP plan has already undergone Examination and a final decision is expected soon. However, affordability is a key issue identified for the BOA developmental area and resulting housing strategies going forward will need to focus on delivering affordable schemes either as components of market housing or on a 100% affordable development basis. It has further been established through a number of recent planning applications in the area, that Wiltshire District Council does not have a 5 year land supply in place for the North West Housing Market Area in which the sites falls.This means additional housing will need to be identified, if not in the current NP, then in the future Local Plan review.
- Given the current status of WDC Local Plan and the imminent approval of the BOA NP, this represents an excellent opportunity for securing planning allocation in the medium term. We will be strategically promoting the site through the next Local Plan review for residential development within the next 5 – 7 years.
Latest Planning Update
The Bradford on Avon Neighbourhood Plan review has commenced and the Bradford on Avon Community Area, within which our site falls, has been identified to deliver 595 new homes within the plan period. The Plan review will be based on the expectations of 2018 NPPF as well as more recent guidelines issued by national Government with respect to accelerated delivery of housing.
The nationwide UK lockdown did have an impact on the initial timelines, but this has since been addressed in July this year. Our next engagement with the council will occur towards the end of 2020 but formal pre-submission representations will only be made towards the end of 2021.
We will continue to:
- Promote strategic growth of the town to the northwest
- Clarify access and developable areas
- Explore possible opportunities to include land to our east within the masterplan
- Evidence gathering to support promotion of our site.