Difficulty in obtaining speculative funding for residential development and the collapse of available credit for first time buyers has created a shortage of available and affordable accommodation, particularly in the South East. This leads to pressure on developers to push for higher density schemes and ‘infill’ or ‘back-garden’ development in order to create viable opportunities. Such development needs to be sensitively built with regard to the impact on neighbouring residents and a robust financial appraisal will often be needed to deliver the sort of returns required, especially given the ‘planning gain’ package often sought from local planning authorities.
Advice provided on a variety of residential development schemes, including a 40-unit affordable housing project in St. Albans, a private residential development in Hendon and a mixed-use, residential-led urban regeneration scheme of 640,000 sq m in Clapham. It is important to understand the wider local issues involved in promoting such schemes and our experience in advising local planning authorities, both as internal and external legal adviser (often working with senior planning officers and Planning Committee Members), provides a unique and valuable insight that can often be telling in promoting any scheme.
Private housing developers, affordable housing operators (e.g. Metropolitan Housing Trust, Hightown Praetorian & Churches), and English Partnerships (now part of the Homes and Communities Agency) on larger regeneration projects.