Aylesham Village Expansion

Development advice and development management services

OUR BRIEF

BBP Regeneration was originally commissioned to provide appraisal and development management advice to this masterplan for an urban extension to the village of Aylesham.  BBP was subsequently appointed by the landowner, Dover District Council, to manage the procurement of a development partner for the scheme. A joint venture development agreement was entered into between Ward Homes (now part of the Barratt Group) and Hillreed Homes (now part of Persimmon) in 2007. In accordance with the agreement, the developers secured outline permission for the scheme and a detailed permission for an initial phase of housing.

BBP had originally advised Dover District Council on the structure for the joint venture. In essence this involved securing over £20 million of on and off site infrastructure funded through the value of the council’s land for the initial phases of residential development. This then left the Council with fully serviced development land for later phases from which it would be able to realise value.  However, the financial crash in 2008/2009 led to a situation where a number of the assumptions underpinning the fiancial
model, particularly those relating to sales values and rates of sales, were no longer valid. In addition there was less grant available to support the affordable homes. The overall effect was to signifiantly reduce residual land value and consequently the affordability of the infrastructure. In short the project became unviable and stalled.

BBP were instructed to lead negotiations with the Council’s development partners to identify how the development arrangements could be re-structured to achieve viability to enable the project to proceed.

OUR APPROACH

Our approach involved three key areas of investigations:

  1. First, we held a number of workshops to examine the scope of the infrastructure requirements and the phasing. We identifid scope for deferring certain items of landscaping improvements and off-site highways works which were desirable rather than essential for the first phase and concluded these could be deferred.
  2. Secondly, working with the developers, we undertook a value engineering exercise on the costs of infrastructure. There was a fim desire not to reduce quality but through re-design of key elements and with the help of a fall in prices we were able to identify savings.
  3. Thirdly, we re-visited the area of land the Council needed to make available to fund the revised scope of infrastructure costs. This was diffiult for the Council, but it concluded that delivering additional new homes was a strategic priority, and the option of mothballing the asset was not an attractive one. The Council agreed to make available additional land to compensate for the fall in land values. We also explored HCA managed programmes to support stalled sites, but for a variety of reasons the project was deemed not to meet the criteria.

OUTCOMES

The changes were agreed with the developers and a Deed of Variation to the Development Agreement was entered into. This required the developers to submit variations to the planning permission to reflct the changes that had been agreed. This has now been approved and the project is set to start on site in April 2014. BBP undertook all of the fiancial modelling and prepared market and viability reports for the Council. BBP also prepared RICS Red Book valuations to support the council entering into the revised arrangements by satisfying ‘best consideration’ requirements of the Local Government Acts.