Garden Communities, Urban Extensions and Strategic Land

Garden Communities, Urban Extensions and Strategic Land

We act for Strategic Land Companies, Landowners and Local Planning Authorities on the appraisal and delivery of Garden Communities and major urban extensions.

We assessed 68 Garden Communities bids for entry into the Wave II programme for Homes England as part of governments stated objective of delivering 300,000 net new homes a year by the mid-2020’s. We are also advising on the deliverability of various garden communities including St Cuthbert’s Carlisle (10,000 house); Worcestershire Parkway (10,000 houses); Salt Cross, West Oxfordshire (2,200 houses); Northern Arc, Burgess Hill (3,500 houses) etc.

Housing – Strategic Land

A large part of our work is advising on the long-term planning, viability and delivery mechanism for strategic urban extensions, garden suburbs and new towns. This can involve site assembly, influencing the development plan, funding primary infrastructure and affordable housing viability.

Site Promotion

We have acted for strategic land companies such as Gladman, Hallam Land Management, Commercial Estates Group (CEG) and Banks to name a few, to appraise sites and policies including affordable housing and CIL.

Infrastructure and Growth

We provide detailed financial modelling and delivery advice in respect of major strategic urban extensions. This includes analysis of the affordable housing and other planning obligations and the often significant ‘upfront’ infrastructure.

Our skills in financial viability, funding and delivery mechanisms are key to ‘unlocking’ sites to deliver infrastructure and growth. We are often retained by strategic land companies and/or local authorities to test the viability of strategic development areas (SDAs) vis-à-vis the timing and phasing of infrastructure.  This could be to support plan making (e.g. affordable housing viability and CIL) or delivery (e.g. phasing and trigger points for infrastructure, CIL off-setting mechanisms etc).

We have experience of ‘phasing’ developments and carrying out affordable housing reviews.  The emphasis is on finding deliverable solutions to balance land owner aspirations, developers profit, infrastructure and affordable housing.

Land Value Capture

A common thread throughout the government’s attempts to solve the housing crisis is ‘land value capture’. This is a mechanism by which the ‘windfall’ value from planning allocations and permissions (particularly on greenfield sites with a low / agricultural existing use value) is ‘captured’ to help co-fund infrastructure, affordable housing and high-quality design.  AspinallVerdi has the key skills required in planning, valuation, site assembly, compulsory purchase etc. to be able to advise Authorities and Garden Town Development Corporations on working with landowners.

Net Zero Smart Communities

We work with Local Authorities and site promotors to appraisal the building technology required to move towards zero carbon homes.

Smart, net zero carbon communities are often embedded within the guiding principles for Garden Communities. Smart 

sustainable living principles seek to support low carbon living through sustainable planning, transport and energy.

Our starting-point is the Building Regulations Part L requirements followed by Future Homes Standard.  This could involve setting out a road map showing how the scheme can achieve both net zero carbon development and the creation of innovative smart communities by showing sensitivities to advise on policy choices e.g. net zero carbon versus affordable housing versus GDV growth etc.

Financial Modelling

We have experience of preparing viability models using Argus Developer and creating bespoke cashflow models in Excel.  We are also well versed in using the various development appraisal ‘toolkits’. 

For further information about our services browse our case studies