Through our in-house expertise we identify and acquire strategic land sites which are promoted through the planning process and sold to developers.

Supported by an encouraging planning environment, our role is to identify and acquire sites suitable for development and then promote the land through the planning process, before then releasing it to developers. Each year we are bringing forward sites that deliver thousands of new homes, which provides important capital receipts for our business.

During 2015/16 our strategic land team made local plan progress for sites accommodating 4,000 new homes and over 2 million sq ft of business space, and made planning applications for 200 homes. Further applications are planned during 2016/17.

We also got consent for over 7,000 homes focused on two new urban extensions, and sold five sites to developers for a total of £25 million with these sales leading to the construction of 900 new homes.

Among the many significant highlights of 2015/16, we secured planning permission for 2,000 homes in August 2015, on part-owned land close to Northampton that we had acquired in 2014. We also secured a draft allocation in the emerging St Albans Local Plan for 2,500 homes.

Another highlight was securing planning consent on our part-owned land north of Thetford. The ‘Kings Fleet’ development will provide 5,000 homes, 48 acres of employment land, improvements to local roads and new community facilities. Whilst in the South West, we finalised a deal with David Wilson Homes for the sale of two separate sites at Taunton and Devizes, having successfully promoted the sites through the planning process. They will deliver almost 500 new homes in the next few years with more to come at the Taunton site in the longer term.

We also purchased sites at Desborough and Kemprow Farm in Gorhambury for a combined sum of £3.3 million.