Tag 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.

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.

Haven Hill: a perfect sanctuary

Haven Hill development

Offers over £325,000

Haven Hill presents a unique and rare opportunity to purchase a combination of property and land, which offers huge development potential. Located in the Northumberland village of Craster, which is 7 miles from Alnwick and 40 miles from Newcastle upon Tyne, the Haven Hill development has full planning permission for residential use that’s been granted for two properties, each with 3 bedrooms.


Superb Scenery

Haven Hill offers a spectacular view over the historic harbour, which sits on the edge of Craster. Originally named after the Craster family, the village is centred around the historic harbour. The harbour was built to commemorate a death of a member of the Craster family and the memorial is still visible on the harbour wall.

Haven Hill development 2


Idyllic Location

A sought after and highly desired area of Northumberland, Craster is famous for its fishing, especially its kippers, which are exported all over the world. As well as its picturesque walks towards popular tourist attraction Dunstanburgh Castle, Craster is home to the world-famous Robson’s Smokehouse, which boosts lovely views over the harbour from the dining room.

Situated in the centre of the village is an art gallery and popular café which is open daily all year round. There’s also a popular gastro pub. Craster has a lot to offer and is a great place for food lovers. It’s been nominated in the past for a Google Street Award for best ‘Foodie Street’. Craster really does have something for everyone.

The development is also well located for the many golf clubs offered on this part of the Northumberland Coast, all just a short drive away.

For more information about the development, click here, or to view, please contact Simon Brierley on 01665 603231 / simonbrierley@georgefwhite.co.uk

2017: A Landmark Year for George F. White

2017 was a landmark year for George F. White. Richard Garland, Head of Tyne and Wear region for the Group, explains why this last year has been one of the best, and most progressive, years yet.

Richard Garland 2017

“When George White established the business nearly 40 years ago, the consultancy’s services were very much focused on the rural and agricultural sector. By 2017, the Group became a multi-disciplined and diverse consultancy that employs more than 120 people in eight locations from the Scottish Borders down to North Lincolnshire. Our focus is much more commercial these days, which is reflected in the rapid growth of our professional services in the last 12 months, especially in the North East.

Back in April 2017, we opened a Tyne and Wear base at Hoults Yard but just six months later we found ourselves closing that office, and moving to bigger premises, with a much more central presence, that is not only home to the professional services teams but also our letting arm, GFW Letting. We’ve done this to facilitate the growth of the lettings business in the last year, and to integrate the George F. White and GFW Letting brands more closely together. This provides opportunities for all sides of the business at the Newcastle office, by being able to offer a broad spectrum of services to our clients, within teams who can offer specialist advice.

2017… A Change of Focus

Due to the rapid growth of the Group across key service areas in the region, the office, which is based in Newcastle City Centre on Westgate Road, will be focused on our planning and development, commercial property and energy consultancy services. In particular, the office is a hub for the North East planning and development team, meaning it can draw on one of the largest specialist teams in the region and a new offering for development clients in the North East.

The planning and development team has experienced consistent growth in recent years, with 2017 being stronger than ever. While George F. White has grown, the rate of growth of the planning and development team has been even more striking and now constitutes 25% of the business’ turnover.

Because of a growing reputation, the team are flat out on many projects of up to 250 houses and several larger sites of 1,400 to 6,000 houses as well as commercial projects. They act both on behalf of land and business owners as well as in partnership with some of the UK’s biggest house builders.

Team Expansion

Such strong growth has been powered by adding more specialists to the team, we appointed a new operations director, Sally Hart, and also a new regional operations manager for GFW Letting, Donna Cheney earlier in the year. When we first expanded into Newcastle, the company took five staff. Since the second move, the team’s workforce in the city has expanded to 11.

We’re continually growing and currently have several available vacancies in the North East. Indeed, we are looking to expand our team by over 10% in the next year. 2018 and beyond is shaping up to be a busy but exciting year as we look to really establish our presence in Tyne and Wear, like we have elsewhere across the North East region and nationally.

For more information about the Group’s professional services, please contact Richard Garland on richardgarland@georgefwhite.co.uk or 01665 511994.