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Knowledge Is Power

4th November 2017

We are in the process of closing a deal in Wanstead.  It is a site which has been vacant for decades, its positioning is right on the High Street, in the midst of a residential development.  It’s a few minutes from a Central Line station, and from there only 30 mins from Marble Arch station, and only 8 minutes to the new Crossrail.

The location is very good, as it’s close enough to central London, but far enough away to be affordable.  The developed units will qualify for the Help To Buy scheme, which applies if the properties are less than £600k, and are in London.  Buyers only need a 5% deposit to get on the ladder.  There is no wonder most Help To Buy schemes get sold out very quickly.

There was a fixed price for the development, however, the incoming investors requested if the deal can be done using part payments.  This is understandable, as the less money you use in a deal the more deals you can do.  We managed to persuade the seller to postpone part of the payment until planning comes through.  In effect, this last tranche will never have to be paid, as the moment planning comes through there will be no shortage of banks who will be happy to lend on the project.  Therefore, the only required injection into the deal will be the first tranche.

Aside from the commercials and the location, there is the essential point of whether the land will get planning in the first place.  In assessing this, there are four main criteria within which the land must fit, in order to qualify to get planning.  The first is it should be situated in a settlement area, meaning the area surrounding the development must be residential led.  The second criteria is there should be no restorations on the land, i.e. it should not be in a conservation area, have any trees with preservation orders on them etc.  Thirdly, any proposed development must be in line with the council’s planning policies.  Fourthly, consideration must be given to what surrounds the development.

The first two points are factual, and black and white, the latter two come down to the details in the development itself.  Our land passes the first two points.  You need the help of a planning officer in order to ensure any proposed planning is in line with council policy.  At times an architect might fulfil this function, however, it is better to have a planner’s opinion to ease the application.  With regards to the fourth point, we have researched this very deeply and have even analysed and profiled the characters who will be the decision makers for this application.  In short, we have conducted all the due diligence we possibly could have regarding this site and are confident planning will be forthcoming on this site in due course.

We are expecting some very interesting and lucrative land to be maturing very shortly.  Get in touch with our office if you want to know more.

Suresh Vagjiani

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