Planning Update Delays
As a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, the United Kingdom entered a nationwide lockdown on the 23rd of March 2020. This meant that all non-essential services were required to either close or work remotely where possible. This resulted in a number of local authority services being suspended.
With the current easing of the lockdown, we can confirm that our planning team in the UK are engaging with all the relevant authorities to ascertain the progress of all our sites.
We are treating this as a matter of urgency and we hope to have some updates to share with you in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Peacehaven, East Sussex, UK
Our latest strategic land investment site is located on the eastern edge of the town of Peacehaven, a large town in the Lewes district of East Sussex. On successful allocation of the site for residential use, it is projected that investors will enjoy close to 400% return over a 6 - 7 year period. This equates to an approximately 22% annualized return.
The site is located directly adjacent to the north eastern boundary of Peacehaven and is approximately 56 acres in size of which 50% will be retained for company benefit and 50% made available for investment. Peacehaven is a large settlement that lies between the City of Brighton, Eastbourne and Lewes. The site itself is gently undulating and is currently farmed under arable rotation with access off Telscombe Road.
Our Planning Department Comments
- Peacehaven falls under the administrative authority of Lewes District Council which is in the process of completing their current Core Strategy due for adoption later this year. The site will be allocated as countryside within the plan but is not designated greenbelt. Under the South East Plan, the Lewes district has a housing target of 3000 homes that need to be delivered within the plan period and the current Core Strategy, due for adoption, will fail to meet this target requiring the council to find additional sites in their next review. Peacehaven is well supported with services making any site adjacent to it a Sustainable Urban Extension site and the land to the south of our site has already been allocated for development for 450 units.
- The site represents an excellent opportunity to secure planning allocation for residential development in the medium term. We will be promoting the site through the Core Strategy review process and subsequent Site Allocations Document for inclusion as a residential development site within 6 - 7 years.
Latest Planning Update
As detailed in the February 2020 update, pre-application discussions with both Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park commenced in January and a formal pre-application meeting was scheduled to occur in April. Unfortunately, due to the National Lockdown the UK entered in March and the need for a number of participants to be present, this meeting was postponed to later this year and we await confirmation of this new timetable.
National Parks across the UK have been heavily criticised by national Government as failing in their responsibility towards housing delivery and SDNP has been singled out as one of the more delinquent. Our work with Lewes DC is to jointly promote the site to SDNP as being suitable for release through cross boundary requirements with neighbouring planning authorities. We are also exploring the potential of submitting an Outline Planning Application.
We are confident that the pre-application meetings will have commence before year end and we should have some further feedback in Q1 2021.