Tag Archive: housing

Council ‘Call for Sites’: Big Opportunity to Local Land, Property and Business Owners

As part of the preparation for Local Plans, Northumberland County Council and South Tyneside Council have both issued a ‘Call for Sites’.

The new Local Plan for each local authority will allocate sites for development; these need to be suitable, available, and in the right locations to meet the long-term growth strategy of each council.

Call for Sites

The councils are requesting anyone with development aspirations for the next 15-20 years to submit details of their land or property for consideration as potential development sites for:

  • Housing,
  • Employment,
  • Minerals,
  • Community,
  • Retail; and
  • Leisure uses.

“This is an ideal opportunity for landowners to seek professional and informed advice about their assets and the future development potential of their land, specifically sites around towns and villages,” said Stephanie Linnell, Associate Planning Consultant at George F. White. “We have a wide range of experience providing specialist advice on planning (policy and applications), site appraisals, development promotion and valuations, as well as resolving enforcement issues. Essentially, we always seek to find a solution and we are working with clients now on the opportunity this call presents.”

Please be aware that South Tyneside Council ‘Call for Sites’ closes on Friday 9 March 2018, and Northumberland County Council’s applications close on Monday 12 March 2018, therefore any formal responses need to be submitted by this date.

“The planning system can be very complicated but when navigated successfully it can be a tool to significantly raise the value of land and property in a variety of ways,” added Stephanie. “From successfully having your site allocated in the Local Plan to gaining planning consent and then selling it to a developer to deliver the new homes. Whatever the situation, George F. White is able to investigate the options and provide advice on the best route to achieve our client’s aims and help them maximise value of their assets.”

If you have a site which you think may be suitable and would like an initial assessment, for free,  please contact Stephanie Linnell at George F. White on stephanielinnell@georgefwhite.co.uk or 01665 511990.

Autumn Budget 2017 – The George F. White View

Yesterday, Philip Hammond announced his second Budget as Chancellor. Our team share their opinions on announcements affecting their sectors.

Autumn Budget

Richard Garland

Partner, Head of Planning and Development

As anticipated, there have been several significant measures affecting the development industry in yesterday’s budget, with a total of £44bn being allocated over the next 5 years with the intention of boosting housing delivery over 300,000 units per year. Measures include £8bn of financial guarantees to support house building and the private rented sector, alongside £1.1bn to unlock strategic sites and new settlements. On a smaller scale the measures also included a £630m pot for smaller sites, with a view to helping the delivery of 40,000 new homes.


Amongst the announcements was also a curious proposal of reviews into reasons behind delays for developments coming forward after grant of permission and a seemingly linked statement that land banked for “commercial reasons “could be compulsory purchased. Whilst a headline winning statement along similar lines of previous Labour suggestions, I suspect the reality is highly unlikely to have a real world impact. Anyone involved in the technicalities of planning, site appraisal and delivery as well as compulsory purchase has an idea as to how hard a test that would be to prove. Any compulsory purchase would be at market value, which also begs the question, who would fund it and what would happen once it has been compulsory purchased? Sell it to another house builder perhaps to put into their land bank? No doubt, more detail will emerge over the coming days and weeks.



Mike Young

Partner, Head of Commercial

Several positive initiatives have come from the Autumn Budget, especially for the commercial and construction sector. News that, from 1 April 2018, operators of illegal waste sites will become liable for Landfill Tax will see a sigh of relief from ‘formal’ operators, ensuring landfill is sent to their sites. The £44bn in overall government support to meet the target of 300,000 homes a year and the £400m to regenerate housing estates is great news for the construction industry considering the sheer amount of materials needed to fulfil the demand.


Looking into the Northern region in particular – we are to see £320m to clean up the former SSI steelworks at Redcar and kick start the 25 year development plan which will see the site transformed into a ‘hotbed’ of new industry. This is fantastic news for the region as it gives the prospect of 20,000 new jobs which is crucial for economic growth and development across the Tees Valley.



Sheryl Sowden

Head of Residential Agency

For first time buyers it takes so long to save for the deposit to secure a mortgage and added to that the additional funds required for stamp duty mean it is often a lengthy process before they can become homeowners. The announcement today that stamp duty is to be abolished for first-time buyers on homes up to £300,000, with immediate effect, will be a welcome change and we hope it will have a positive impact on the overall housing market.

Housing Market: A Fresh Approach to Marketing…

Victoria Linsley, Branch Manager at our Barnard Castle office, looks into the best recipe for success when entering your property onto the Housing Market. 

Most businesses strive to do things differently, or will certainly profess to, but often it is about achieving the perfect blend of an old and new approach that really writes the success stories.

I wholeheartedly stand by the theory that the initial launch to the housing market is the best one. It is the exposure of a fresh new property to buyers who are out there looking, that will, in the majority of cases, achieve the best price in the most reasonable time frame. This is because there are no preconceived ideas about the length of time it has been advertised or assumptions about why a sale may have fallen through and people buying with their hearts are excited by a new offering and the competition this may generate. However, on occasion, a niche property will require a ‘few and far between’ buyer. A cheaper price for a quicker sale is not necessarily the right advice.

Housing Market

Reading through extensive research however, we understand that the modern day buyer will shortlist many properties online before even picking up the phone to a human being (are estate agent’s human I hear you ask!?) in one of our offices. Therefore an effective combination of an ‘old fashioned agent’ making outward bound telephone calls to a ‘hot box’ of people we know are looking in the area together with a state of the art approach to photography and an appealing, informative and interesting listing on a website or property portal will make all of the difference to a client trying to sell or let their home.

A driven and proactive team of people who care about the service they provide, together with the technology behind them to make sure a property is seen in the housing market is absolutely key in delivering the task set by a Seller or Landlord.

With this in mind even properties which have gone unsold with an agent can have the marketing regenerated and be pushed out to a new audience and a sale or let achieved by just using an agent with a fresh and enthusiastic approach following tailored advice to the client.

A blog I read recently quoted that nearly half of the properties advertised will go unsold and sell with a second agent. Therefore, your choice of agent is vital from the outset and it is always good to examine the ratio of properties they list to that of those they have under offer and also to question their means of keeping the property listing and sales approach rejuvenated and fresh.

If you are thinking about selling or letting your property or would like to chat through a new approach feel free to speak to one of our team at Barnard Castle on 01833 690390 with no obligation.

The Housing Market – The Right Time is Now

Each agent will report a slightly different stance on the market at the present time of asking. Whether it be a direct reflection of events taking place within their branch at that time, a view that they wish to share as part of a wider strategy to ignite the market or hard cold facts regurgitated from the latest Land Registry Housing Market report.

With this in mind, I have tried to share a brief view in this brief article that encompasses all three of those perspectives.

Housing Market

To give a flavour of what the averages look like… within our region the average house price is £132,999.Wider within the UK the average house will set you back £226,185. Nearly double.

Our region has seen a 4.1% annual increase in the average property price next to a UK average of 5.1%. A refreshing statistic that for once puts the North East on trend with the rest of the country.

It is even more exciting to hear is that the North East has seen the highest rise in average house price of all the regions this month where the average property value has risen 3.3% in comparison to the previous month that was analysed. The statistic although very positive does not mean that all current marketing values need to be lifted as the increase is in sold prices and not market values which can sometimes be different.

The Land Registry have collated information from other industry data and surveys and reported  that the expectation of vendors is declining, undoubtedly due to the incessant doom and gloom often reported.

This may well also be linked to the decisions of vendors deciding to delay putting their property on the market, which we see day to day. For the 17th month running there has been a reported lack of new stock coming to the market.

Contrary to this common view, there has never been a better time to sell which is shown with the increased buyer activity (viewings up 20% in the last fortnight) in our Barnard Castle office. Having agreed many sales in the last few weeks there are a wide variety of buyers waiting for the right property to come onto the market as stock levels are still very low.

There is a huge amount of information available in the full Land Registry Housing Market report which is updated on a monthly basis, however, to speak to one of us in person about the market in the immediate locality or if you are interested in knowing more about selling or letting your property, please contact our professional and friendly team at Barnard Castle on 01833 690390.

X