Adair Paxton recently completed the sale of 8 acres of residential building land at Alverthorpe on the outskirts of Wakefield, on behalf of private clients. The price was comfortably in excess of £3m and the buyers, Persimmon, were digging foundations on the Monday morning after completion on Friday afternoon.
Such is the appetite for suitable, clean and consented residential building land.
Government has recently set a target of 250,000 dwellings a year and Adair Paxton Ltd's Land & Development Director Bruce Collinson was quoted on local radio as saying that Government could either have a quarter of a million homes a year, or the NIMBYs could continue to protect Green Belt but we can't have both.
Private clients of Adair Paxton Ltd have recently obtained a Resolution to Grant planning permission on an 8.5 acre site in Killinghall, between Harrogate and Ripon. It is about to be marketed, jointly with Messrs Fisher German of Newark, who act for the owners of part of the site. The anticipated guide price will be £5m and the site has outline consent for around 73 homes.
Unusually, Harrogate Council's planning committee refused permission despite strong officer recommendation to approve it; it was subsequently reviewed by Harrogate Council's own internal procedures and permission has in effect been granted, but the Council took the unusual step of restricting the lead-in to Reserved Matters permission to 2 years from the standard 3. This would appear to be a token gesture towards the Government White Paper which hinted that housebuilders have been land-banking or sitting on sites suitable for development. This is of course a complete southern-centric myth; we have been dealing with major sites both in Yorkshire and across the UK from Aberdeen in the north to Weston-Super-Mare in the south for the last 15 years and never have we handled a site with suitable planning permission which was not immediately in demand from housebuilders.
The market for building land remains healthy and we're also currently negotiating options on three sites across West Yorkshire.