Tag Archive: new build

New Build Housing: Why Knowledge is King

It’s no secret that housing developers, or new build housing, are now nationally recognised as a solution to the UK housing crisis, and if executed correctly, they can deliver sustainable new communities.

Executing a successful housing development, large or small, is a tricky business with many factors to consider, such as identifying appropriate sites, planning and design justifications, right through to the sale of plots. Our team of experts argue that stumbling blocks tend to appear when a developer hasn’t received sound advice on the market and needs of the people surrounding the acquired land at an early stage.

New Build Housing

Speaking about the importance of market knowledge when looking to build new build housing, Gemma Miller, Residential Sales Manager at George F. White said: “For any housing developer, knowledge is king; we cannot stress that enough. You might have a fantastic vision, but does it fit the market in the area you’re looking to build? The agency team at George F. White work closely with our planning, investment and site finding teams, ensuring that private investors and developers are looking at the bigger picture, and are better advised on a market before progressing with new build development plans. We’ve seen it too many times before where a developer has come to us for advice after they’ve already progressed through the architectural and planning stages and are ready to commence the development, or when a new build is complete and ready for sale, only to be disappointed that there’s no demand in the area for the style of home they’ve created, or that the profit margins they hoped to achieve are not feasible for the area.”

“It’s extremely important for a developer to be in touch with a local estate agent in the early stages of a new build project to fully understand the market, constraints and motivation they’re working with; if this stage of the development process is cut, it’s more than likely that the developer will lose out financially. I would strongly suggest speaking to your local estate agent within the first phase rather than at the point of marketing.”

Motivations for new build housing differ depending on location; however, a report by the Joseph Roundtree Foundation found that the majority of new build buyers are largely influenced by both internal and external design, stating that buyers prefer developments where there’s more flexibility on bespoke design and where there’re a larger variety of property types available. That’s certainly a factor that we’ve found to be vital for a housing development to be successful.

Gemma continued: “As modern living continues to progress; we’ve found that selling housing plots off plan has become more popular as it is giving buyers the option to design their home to suit their lifestyle. There’re so many housing developments now with specific blue prints; buyers want to be able to make a property their home, therefore offering that flexibility prior to building increases the attractiveness and likelihood of a swift sale.”

“We are lucky to have a team of in-house estate agents, planners and architects, allowing us to ensure that each of our developments is executed professionally and to an excellent standard. It also means that our clients are dealing with the same people but with the individual that has the most relevant expertise, meaning they receive the same level of service from beginning to end.”

If you’re considering developing housing opportunities, be it a large or small scale project; get in touch with your local team today to find out more about how we can help you.

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