Planning Update Delays
As a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, the United Kingdom entered a nationwide lockdown on the 23rd of March 2020. This meant that all non-essential services were required to either close or work remotely where possible. This resulted in a number of local authority services being suspended.
With the current easing of the lockdown, we can confirm that our planning team in the UK are engaging with all the relevant authorities to ascertain the progress of all our sites.
We are treating this as a matter of urgency and we hope to have some updates to share with you in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Yateley, Hampshire, UK Draft Allocation Secured
Our latest strategic land investment site is located adjacent to the urban boundary of Yateley, Hampshire, close to the Surrey border. On successful allocation of the site we anticipate annualised returns in excess of 27% over a 4 - 6 year period.
The site consists of agricultural land which is adjacent to existing residential development in Yateley. The site is strategically placed on the western edge of the town with direct access from the town's main distributor road. It is in a sustainable location, being well located to the town's main supermarkets, health care facilities, schools and employment areas, therefore making it a sustainable location for an urban extension.
Our Planning Department Comments
- Hart District Council is at an advanced stage of producing a Core Strategy which will replace most of the existing 2006 Local Plan policies. The Core Strategy sets out the spatial distribution of growth for the area for the next twenty years and seeks to distribute new housing growth across the district with all areas taking some share of the district's needs. In this plan period Yateley must deliver a minimum of 162 homes.
- The Core Strategy relies on a number of major sites to deliver houses and there is always the risk that such sites will not deliver homes quickly and in those circumstances there is the opportunity to promote this site as an early and deliverable release. The Core Strategy is due to be submitted to the Secretary of State in early Spring 2013 with adoption of the plan expected in summer 2013.
- The next review of the Core Strategy (2016-2017) will provide the opportunity to fully promote the site in the context of new growth figures. Historically there has been and continues to be an under supply of homes to demand in the south east. There is very good reason to believe that future housing allocations are likely to be at the same or greater levels than currently.
- The area around Yateley has a network of heathland sites designated for protection which constrain the future direction of growth around Yateley. The southern and eastern areas are constrained by this and to the north are extensive areas of wetlands. This site is situated to the west of Yateley and is therefore not subject to such constraints, making it suitable for future development.
- The site is currently identified as part of a strategic gap between the village of Eversley and Yateley but this policy designation is capable of being challenged and indeed a Planning Inspector has noted that the site is well related to shopping, schools and community facilities and well served by local buses.
Latest Planning Update
As described earlier this year, we have elected to proceed with an Outline Planning Application for a mixed-use development for our site. The mixed use will comprise of a C2 care home alongside residential development of up to 70 homes.
A pre-application submission was made to Hart based on the above prior to lockdown and engagements with the local council, whilst restricted, continued during the UK nationwide lockdown. Currently, the council has expressed strong support for a care home development or a care style village, but work continues on the residential element of the development. The council have expresssed an interest to restrict the development to care home provision along the lines of enhanced sheltered living. This would most likely be in the form of small cottages / bungalows alongside the care home allowing independent living with the benefits of on-site support services, site managers and personal and home help services.
We have had several expressions of interest from prospective developers and are currently working closely with a care home company that specializes in developments of this nature. We are assessing the supportive work required for sheltered housing applications and hope to make further progress during Q4 2020.