Case Studies

View our extensive case studies below; Click the titles below to read more.

Elsenham, Hertfordshire - off market acquisition

The site consists of agricultural land and woodland adjoining the edge of Elsenham, close to Stansted Airport and with a direct train service into London. Nick Harper approached the owner’s agent and agreed terms for the land to be purchased.

The following year, after stakeholder engagement, outline planning consent on the first 17.5 acres (7.1 hectares) had been granted by Uttlesford District Council for 155 homes and an extra care facility for elderly residents.


Feering, Essex - off market acquisition

Through local knowledge, Nick Harper was able to make contact with his old client, a landowner, and negotiate the acquisition of this arable farmland on the edge of Feering for its development potential. Further land was then added to the holding and all of it is let to a local farmer. Planning representations have been made to demonstrate the land’s suitability for residential development.


Tabley, Knutsford, Cheshire - off market acquisition

Amounting to about 3500 acres (1416 hectares), the Tabley Estate was owned by Manchester University who approached a number of investors with a view to selling the estate off market. Strategically located between the affluent town of Knutsford and the M6, this diverse estate could have considerable potential should Knutsford need to expand over the long term.

Nick was responsible for this successful purchase, leading the internal and external teams, ensuring exchange and completion took place within a tight timescale.


Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire - sale of development land

This was the sale of a greenfield site on the edge of Hemel Hempstead. Having obtained consent for 34 houses, the site was offered for sale with outline permission subject to the bidders proposing a scheme that complied with the landowner’s design guide for the houses.

There was competitive bidding by a number of national and regional housebuilders to ensure best value was obtained and the site was then sold to Croudace, who have made an early start on site and are selling the houses.


Taunton, Somerset - 600 home planning consent

Following extensive planning representations, masterplanning and stakeholder engagement, Nick and his team successfully secured a resolution to grant consent for about 600 homes on the northern edge of Taunton, known as Nerrols Farm. Section 106 terms have been negotiated, in addition to affordable housing and extensive tree planting for mitigating the visual and wildlife impact. The development will also provide local shopping facilities and a potential site for a new school.

The site is likely to be sold in a number of phases to housebuilders.


Bingham, Nottinghamshire - 1000 home planning application

At Bingham, planning consent for industrial development had been obtained on land adjoining the town. As part of a review, Nick Harper and team took the decision to apply for changing part of this use to residential, in addition to expanding the area further to accommodate 1000 new homes, thereby increasing the town to 5000 residents and potentially providing about 1400 new jobs.

Following extensive planning representations and stakeholder engagement with the Town Council, residents, local businesses, Rushcliffe Borough Council and local politicians, an application for the scheme (Chapel Lane) was submitted. Chapel Lane focussed on how to integrate the new houses with the town and offered a country park, a primary school, improved healthcare facilities, new allotments and a lake (which doubled as a drainage solution).

A new urban extension of this size will take a number of years to build out in phases and different options to help fund and deliver important infrastructure will need to be explored.


Thetford, Norfolk - 5000 home planning application

In collaboration with an adjoining private landowner, support was sought from Breckland District Council for an urban extension of Thetford of up to 5000 new homes. As Head of Asset Management and Development, Nick worked closely with the landowner and its promoter in order to ensure that the scheme is regarded as deliverable.

A planning application has been submitted and offers considerable benefits to the surrounding area including new jobs, playing fields, primary schools, shops, restaurants, health care facilities, parkland, cycle, pedestrian and bus links and improvements to the A11.

Design and leaving a legacy of good development are important to both landowners and the masterplan has concentrated on integrating the scheme with Thetford’s existing character as an established market town, as well as dealing with sensitive matters such as the presence of a Scheduled Ancient Monument, reputed to be Boudicca’s Fort.


Burnhill Green, Staffordshire - 10 award winning homes built

Burnhill Green is a small village in the Green Belt of Staffordshire close to Wolverhampton and is located on a 4000 acre Patshull estate. By working with the community and parish council, Nick was able to gather support for 10 new homes in between existing Victorian cottages. Design, building materials and sustainability were crucial factors in a sensitive Green Belt location. Consent was granted by South Staffordshire Council and the houses have been built by the landowner.

Nick led the team responsible for ensuring planning consent was given and that these 10 houses became an example that could be a showcase of good planning and design. He also directed the project management of the construction and controlled the cost budget. As such, Nick ensured the houses were completed on time and within budget.

The scheme has won a number of awards for its design including the gold level Build for Life Standard. Built to level 4 of the Code for Sustainable New Homes, the houses include many sustainable features, including sheep wool insulation, rainwater harvesting, traditional lime mortar, under floor heating, pulse meters to monitor water and electricity use and restoration of the village green.

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