Knowledge Is Power

29th April 2017

We are about to finalise the finishing touches on a contract in East London.

The area is very quaint, and the site is based in the midst of the high street, minutes away from a Central Line station.  This will get you to Marble Arch in a mere 30 minutes.

To be honest when I was told it was in the heart of East London,  I was expecting a bit of a dump, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The area is very light and airy, you have your run of the mill franchise shops, but you also have many independent shops, which adds to the area.  The village has a lot of history to it, and has two Churches, which seem like they are from the 17th century.

It transpired that the High Street had been voted London’s best high street a couple of years ago.

All of this is interesting, however, the aim ultimately is to ensure the development we are looking to purchase ends up selling well.  This will be driven by demand, and demand will be driven by the factors above; which all seem to be conducive to achieving a good sale price.

The site looked like it was ripe for planning, in my eyes.  However, my opinions and perceptions are not the authority here.  Our planning expert visited the site, and was visibly impressed.

He was convinced the site would receive planning, the only objections he could foresee was the listed church which was next to the site.  Although the proposed development would be some distance away from the church, it may impact it visually.

He researched the issue and found there are seventeen points listed in the listing.  He also had experience with the conservation officer for the council, and knows he is a law unto himself.

This knowledge is powerful knowledge.  It allows us to anticipate and destroy the objections and moves the council will make, this is dependent upon the individuals within the council.  Knowing them, and knowing what makes them tick, is essential in ensuring we do not hit the goal posts when going for planning.  We already have a strategy to combat this issue.

This deal is coming in at £3m, and we expect it to achieve a valuation of £7.5m, conservatively.  On planning, the valuation will probably be much higher than this.

It is difficult to get funding for sites without planning.  Once planning is granted the banks become interested and start to release funds; without planning sites require cash.  I guess you wouldn’t want to take a loan even if you could, as there are objections you can anticipate and those you cannot.  The pressure of paying loan interest whilst trying to remain focused on the planning objectives doesn’t sound like an attractive proposition.

Saying this, the rewards for this site are high and likely, the architect and the planner are extremely positive.  This deal is now seeking an investor.  Get in touch if you are interested.

Suresh Vagjiani

Suresh Vagjiani
Suresh Vagjiani
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