Empty buildings provide development opportunities

Live-in guardians have become quite common in the market in recent years. In short, when the market turned and developers put schemes on hold, ‘live-in guardians’ offered a good value and flexible way to deter squatters as well providing an exemption from empty property rates. Estates Gazette ran a feature on this very subject recently, with news of a new entrant in the market ‘Lowe cost living‘.

lowe cost living

As someone who site visits the capital on a weekly basis, monitoring the construction status on everything with planning consent or under construction, sites which are occupied by these live-in guardian companies, I can confidently state, there’s many such sites in the capital. Here’s one such example in Zone 2.

Look a little closer and you can see quite clearly the site is occupied by live-in guardians. What’s even more interesting is this site was not down on our list for visiting, being neither a site with planning consent or with just an application submitted. In fact, searching the local authority website there are no applications against the site, meaning this is ripe for redevelopment if acquired.

live in guardian site2

And here’s another. No planning application again for this site, yet live-in guardians occupy the building. Again Zone 2, although not far from Zone 1 at all, a 5-10 minute walk away. Could this be a development opportunity? Want to know about sites just like these? Get in touch.

live in guardian site1

And one more. According to planning documents the last application submitted for this site was a retrospective application for the change of use from a warehouse, to a place of worship, which was subsequently refused. Therefore the site has been lying empty for a number of years. Could this provide a redevelopment opportunity? A 5 storey residential block is currently going up next door to provide over 30 homes. Again this is Zone 2.

homerton live-in guardian1



About Paul Wellman

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

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