Category Archive: Development

Home Farm: multi-service success

Home Farm is a luxury housing development in the small traditional village of Ellingham, Northumberland; this has been an on-going project utilising the expertise of our planning, surveying and agency teams at George F. White, helping to transform the site from a range of agricultural buildings to a luxury development of 20 new homes.

Our Alnwick planning team achieved consent for the conversion of the traditional agriculture buildings on the southern farm steading in 2006. However, due to the economic climate the site owner was advised to commence development to implement the planning consent,  but not sell at this time.

Home Farm

In order to make the site more attractive to potential buyers, Partner, Stephanie Linnell began to work on a strategy to expand the planning opportunities. She achieved consent for the demolition of modern agricultural buildings on the adjoining northern farm steading and the development of 10 new homes. Local architects were brought on board to design stylish, modern homes in natural stone, in keeping with the character of the village. Following this success, the southern farm steading development was revisited, with planning consent achieved to demolish the existing agricultural buildings and develop a further 10 new homes in the same high quality design.

Senior Development Surveyor, Matthew Simpson, sold both sites on behalf of the original owners in 2017 to renowned London luxury property developer, Gerry Ellis.

Speaking about why he was so attracted to the site, Gerry said: “I have family connections to Northumberland and have always thought of it as an unspoiled and underrated part of the UK. When the site was launched to market, I jumped at the chance to develop quality rural homes in an idyllic location”.

Home Farm

We are now proudly marketing the sale of 10 luxury dwellings, with 10 more under construction. This April, we will be hosting an open weekend at Home Farm; an opportunity to experience the spacious accommodation and high specification interiors. The site will be open on the 6th and 7th April from 11.00 – 16.00. For more information, click here.

GFW Planning Surgery

On the 16th April 2019, we’ll be hosting free, 30-minute planning surgeries from 9am – 5pm in our Alnwick and Newcastle offices.

There’s no need to make an appointment, please feel free to drop in and our team will be able to assist you when available; however, if you’d prefer to confirm a specific time please contact Amanda Devereux.

If you aren’t available on the 16th, please get in touch and we’ll arrange to meet with you at your convenience.


Our teams are available to answer any of your planning queries, including (but not limited to):

  • New build homes;
  • Conversions;
  • Tourism Accommodation;
  • Removal of Occupancy Conditions;
  • Commercial, Office and Retail;
  • Leisure;
  • Education;
  • Energy;
  • Minerals and Waste;
  • Enforcement Issues; and
  • Listed Buildings.

planning team

Our Planning, Architecture and Development team consists of 16 experts, based in the North of England. The team have secured planning consent for thousands of new homes and advise on wide ranging projects from schools and quarries to holiday accommodation.

Thanks to our team of in house planners, architects, surveyors and GIS mappers, we can offer a one stop shop for any land, property and business matter.

Getting to us…
Alnwick Office
Newcastle Office

South Tyneside: SHLAA Review

South Tyneside Council are currently undertaking a review of their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). The SHLAA is the Council’s database for assessing available sites for potential future housing development.

South Tyneside

This is an opportunity to put forward sites which you consider to be suitable for residential development either now or in the future, or to update information regarding previously submitted sites.

The SHLAA is an evidence base document which will support the emerging South Tyneside Local Plan, due out for consultation later this year. The emerging Local Plan will look to identify sites for housing development in the plan period, and beyond. This will influence planning in South Tyneside until 2031.

If you would like to discuss any potential sites, ideas or concerns, please contact, Laura Dixon.


Property Development: are housing targets financially viable?

It’s no secret that the UK is in the midst of a Housing Crisis, and there are many reasons as to why we are where we are, however, the underlying issue is simply that there’re not enough affordable homes. James Brokenshire, Housing Secretary, has been tasked with meeting the target of 300,000 homes-a-year by the mid-2020s. However, with national building costs increasing to up to 5% in 2018, it’s not financially viable for housing developers and builders to deliver the required sites along with the necessary Section 106 (S106) Planning Obligations and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) contributions.

Financial Viable Planning

What are S106 Planning Obligations?

Planning obligations are a legal obligation agreed between a local authority and a developer. They are most commonly used to secure affordable housing, however, they’re also used to secure financial contributions to support infrastructure surrounding a new development such as health care, education and open space provision.

S106 Planning Obligations are based on the specific needs of the local community. Many councils use the number of proposed dwellings being delivered on site to decide what this charge should be. For example, a council might ask for a contribution to the local school in an area with limited school places.

What are CIL Contributions?

Introduced by the Planning Act 2008, CIL Contributions are more transparent than S106 Planning Obligations as they are tariff based and a set contribution per square metre of development in order to cover a larger number of community improvements. There is no set national tariff for CIL Contributions, and these differ across local authorities.

Financial Viability in Planning

In the past few years, we have seen Northumberland, Newcastle and Tyneside Councils put forward local plans in order to set a framework of development up until 2036. Many sites have been put forward by landowners and developers, however, despite achieving planning permission, many sites are undeliverable due to increasing build costs and financial contributions that are requested, as detailed above.

In order to solve the housing crisis, it is essential that house builders have their project professionally valued so that they can negotiate contributions with local authorities in order to make a site financially viable and deliverable.

How Can We Help?

With George F. White’s knowledge of the development and valuation process, a comprehensive appraisal can be undertaken to illustrate to local authorities whether a site with planning permission, including S106 and CIL, contributions is financially viable. The aim of such an exercise is to negotiate relief from such burdens to allow a site to come forward.

Viability Appraisals are often most effective in areas where the local residential market is weak but development costs are increasing, which can be seen across the development industry at a national level. George F. White can provide you with advice, evidence and professional valuations so that negotiations with the local authority can be undertaken.

For help and advice on Financial Viability in Planning, please contact Matthew Simpson.