Drive along any major North East route and there’s no escaping an array of construction projects in full flow. Whether it’s commercial, student accommodation, hotels, retail parades or new housing, there is a growing level of activity, signalling a time of confidence in the North East development market.
While this is the case, there continues to be an under supply in certain markets, particularly industrial, with a lack of high-quality large-scale premises. In many cases, there is the land available to provide solutions, but a lack of knowledge, expertise and funding to optimise a site’s development prospects.
It is in this current climate that Naylors has identified an opportunity to help landowners bring about new development by providing an all-encompassing development consultancy service, which brings together a range of expertise from the firm’s highly regarded agency and building consultancy departments.
The formation of the development consultancy department was triggered by two strategic appointments made over the past 12 months.
Chris Donabie joined as a director in 2016, bringing with him a wealth of experience in agency and development, following 12 years with Cushman & Wakefield. In January this year, the firm also recruited David Straughan as associate director to the bolster the services of the Building Consultancy department.
Since launching the service, Naylors is advising even more clients on sites across the region, with industrial and roadside markets particularly active.
Chris explains: “Combining our agency and building consultancy expertise means that development feasibility can be considered at an early stage when advising clients. This might be on previously undeveloped or brownfield land and across a wide range of sectors.
“We can advise on all factors including market supply and demand, values, optimum uses, site layout, density and build cost, to accurately appraise a scheme.
“Naylors is also active in identifying joint venture or funding opportunities for both landowners and developers.”
This year, the firm has been involved in a number of new developments, particularly in the industrial sector. At Team Valley, Naylors is working on behalf of UK Land Estates on a number of new developments as well as with Northumberland Estates on the Team Valley and Tyne Tunnel.
In County Durham, Naylors is working on the development of a major new mixed-use development at Bowburn. Integra 61 has planning permission for over 170,000 sq m of industrial space as well as roadside uses such as a family pub and restaurant, car showroom and retail space. Infrastructure work is due to start shortly with buildings to be delivered late next year. Discussions are at an advanced stage with end users.
David adds: “Once we have helped our clients to put together a viable development, Naylors building consultancy team can firm up the design, before tendering and project managing the scheme. The
development consultancy service is proving particularly popular with landowners who may have plots of only one or two acres in some cases, and don’t have the time or experience to carry forward a project.”