Halted sites present excellent off-market development opportunities

Having a database of around 20,000 residential schemes that have come through planning, over the course of a couple of decades, many of those will never make it to fruition. The majority will get through to completion, but some never make it past planning and are refused. They’re never dead and buried though. Once, they were thought of having development potential, there’s no reason why they couldn’t again under a different set of eyes and of course over time, when economic and planning environments can change. In short, our database is littered with development opportunities that are often off-market, those holiest of grail sites.

You’ll often come across sites that have got planning consent and many that completely lapse. On a lot of occasions a small SME builder may be struggling to get it off the drawing board, with planning in place, but finance hard to come by. It’s probably worth picking up the phone and seeing if a deal can be made. On rarer occasions developments can halt (see below). The benefit of site visiting in person is that we see what’s happening on the ground. Returning time and again, we’ll know the telltale signs of when a scheme has or is likely to grind to a halt.

Here’s an example from our travels recently. Two schemes, from the same developer, not too far from each other. As the photos show, at first it may appear construction hasn’t halted and just hasn’t started. However, photos from previous site visits clearly show ground works under way, marketing boards and builders on site. They’ve clearly downed tools with something amiss.

Looking at the planning consent, there’s also an argument to suggest the proposals could be more ambitious too. The local authority maybe willing to grant consent for more homes, if it means them being built out and not in this state of limbo.

Examples like this are all over the London Residential Research database, with opportunities waiting to be found, as well as pinged to your inbox. We even have a tool to find them, aptly named ‘Site Finder‘. Further details here.


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About Paul Wellman

Follow Paul for commentary and updates on the London Residential Market on twitter here @PaulWellman_EG

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