Wates Developments had another very successful year, generating value across all areas of operation – creating land opportunities, devising high quality scale master plans, securing significant planning outcomes, increasing its investment in joint ventures with leading house builders and delivering major land sales.
Investment increased significantly throughout the year across a range of green and brownfield land interests. The business now has a portfolio of over 80 sites at all stages of planning representing in excess of 12,000 homes.
While the planning environment remained challenging throughout the period, the team’s deep understanding of the market, strong relationships with landowner partners and expertise in creative and compelling engagement strategies, enabled successful consents for 1,500 new homes to be achieved in 2017. A particular highlight was the consent for 750 new homes at Hounsome Fields in Basingstoke and its subsequent sale on behalf of landowners.
It was a year of significant success in Wates Development house builder joint venture (HBJV) portfolio. Operationally, seven new HBJVs were added to the portfolio with existing partners Linden Homes and Miller Homes, bringing the total number of active schemes to 18. These developments will deliver a total of over 2,800 new homes over the next few years. The geographic spread of the portfolio was also widened to the west as planned, now including developments in Bristol, Salisbury, and Ringwood.
Home sales across the HBJV portfolio were resilient across the year. A combination of careful investment in sustainable locations and a focus on delivering homes within the scope of the government’s Help to Buy scheme thresholds, enabled a steady rate of sales at growing margins.
WATES DEVELOPMENTS CASE STUDIES
Achieving planning consent and the subsequent land sale of Hounsome Fields in Basingstoke was a standout highlight for Wates Developments in the year.
The business developed a strategic plan to promote a residential urban extension to the south west of Basingstoke which benefits from excellent transport connections. This follows the teams 2015 success with its Kennel Farm development to the north of Hounsome Fields.
After strategic planning promotion and extensive public consultation and engagement, planning was secured on the 44 hectare site for 750 private and affordable (40%) new homes – a major development for the town.
Along with much needed new homes, which will make a significant contribution to meeting the Council’s housing target, the approved scheme will deliver a three-form entry primary school, community centre, indoor sports facilities and local shopping facilities, land for a children’s nursery and includes multi-functional green space including neighbourhood park play areas and allotments. This all equates to over £15m of public benefit.
The land was successfully sold to Linden Homes in the year with work commencing on the site in 2018.