8905 new projects in the last 7 days
19 minutes ago: 10 Flats in Slough... 3 minutes ago: Extension to Hotel in Ilford... 3 minutes ago: 5 Dwellings in Worcester... 3 minutes ago: 6 Dwellings in Northampton... 19 minutes ago: Mixed Use Development (10 Units) in Gloucester... 19 minutes ago: Mixed Use Development (12 Units) in Reading... 3 minutes ago: 9 Dwellings in Oxford... 3 minutes ago: Business/Industrial/Storage and Distribution Facility in Oxford... 19 minutes ago: Extension to Dental Centre in Reading... 19 minutes ago: 16 Dwellings in Motherwell... 19 minutes ago: 14 Apartments in Kingston upon Thames... 3 minutes ago: Conversion to Storage Use in Worcester... 3 minutes ago: Pre-delivery Inspection Centre Building in St Albans... 3 minutes ago: 6 Flats in East London... 19 minutes ago: 11 Retirement Apartments in St Albans...

Six Live Planning Leads

19 April 2017

14 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £1.4m

Planning Authority: Wellingborough Council

Application Ref: WP/16/00191/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: 145 And Rear Of 145 Doddington Road Earls Barton Northampton Northamptonshire NN6 0NW

Proposal: 14 new detached dwellings including garages and amenity space.

Client: Georgian House Developments Ltd, Forest Park,Forest Road,Hartwell,Northampton, NN7 2EZ

Tel: 01604 863778

Agent: L M R Designs, 15 Duncan Close,Moulton Park,Northampton,NN3 6WL

Tel: 01604 492100

Email: lee@lmrdesigns.co.uk

13 Flats

Estimated Value: £1.5m

Planning Authority: Braintree Council

Application Ref: 17/00323/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: 263 Rayne Road Braintree Essex CM7 2QF

Proposal: Demolition of all buildings on site and erection of 13 No. flats, parking, communal gardens and landscaping

Client: Braintree Van Sales,

Tel: 01376 345888

Agent: Sue Bell Planning Consultant, Mrs Sue Bell Ropers Hall 9 Lodge Road Writtle Chelmsford Essex CM1 3HY

Tel: 07866 239043

Email: suebell555@aol.com

8 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £0.7m

Planning Authority: Stockton-on-Tees Council

Application Ref: 16/1570/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Development Site 81 Dwellings West Acres Durham Lane Eaglescliffe TS16 0PG

Proposal: Erection of 8 additional detached dwellings.

Client: West Acres Development Ltd, Tait Walker, Bulman House, Regent Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 3LS

Tel: 01912 850321

Agent: Mario Minchella Ltd, Unit 4, Witney Way Hi-Tech Village, Boldon Business Park, Boldon, NE35 9PE

Tel: 01913 002227

Email: bejhan@m-m-a.net

95 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £8.5m

Planning Authority: Guildford Council

Application Ref: 17/P/00513

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Land at Ash Manor, Ash Green Road, Ash, GU12 6HH

Proposal: Full detailed planning application for the erection of 95 dwellings with associated vehicular and pedestrian access from Ash Green Road, parking and secure cycle storage, onsite open space, landscape and ecology management and, servicing.

Client: Bewley Homes Plc, Inhurst House/Brimpton Rd, Tadley, RG26 5JJ

Tel: 0118 970 8200

Agent: Neame Sutton Ltd, West Suite, Coles Yard Barn, North Lane, Clanfield, PO8 0RN

Tel: 02392 597139

Email: david.neame@neamesutton.co.uk

Extension to Care Home

Estimated Value: £0.5m

Planning Authority: Leeds Council

Application Ref: 17/01771/FU

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Pennington Court Nursing Home Hunslet Hall Road Beeston Leeds LS11 6TT

Proposal: First floor extension to care home

Client: Westward Care Limited, Pennington Court, Hunslet Hall Road, Beeston, Leeds, LS11 6TT

Tel: 0113 331 4830

Agent: Walker Morris Solicitors, S Sadler Planning Unit, Kings Court, 12 King Street, Leeds, LS1 2HL

Tel: 0113 283 2500

Email: stephen.sadler@walkermorris.co.uk

45 Apartments

Estimated Value: £5m

Planning Authority: Trafford Council

Application Ref: 89045/FUL/16

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Land Adjacent To Nags Head Hotel Lostock Road Davyhulme Manchester M41 0SU

Proposal: Erection of two, 3 storey blocks for a new-build development of 45 apartments consisting of 27 two bedroom units and 18 one bedroom units with communal gardens and 53 parking spaces.

Client: Trafford Housing Trust, Sales Point, 126-150 Washway Rd, Sale, M33 6AG

Tel: 03007 777777

Agent: Bernard Taylor Partnership Ltd, Elizabeth House, 486 Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey, Stockport, SK4 3BS

Tel: 01614 431221

Email: penny@btparchitects.co.uk

Submission or approval - when should you make your sales approach?

15 March 2017

David Crick from CMS draws on his decades of experience in construction marketing to explain the fine art of timing your sales calls.

When starting out in construction sales, one of the most obvious conundrums is when to start phoning around about a job. You want to be using services like Planning Pipe to spot good value projects and then go after them proactively. But when do you make your move? What’s the best time to introduce yourself and make sure your company is in the running?

It would be a lot easier if the planning process were more predictable. In theory, every normal planning application should be decided within eight weeks of being submitted. In reality, not many are approved that quickly these days, and that leaves building contractors waiting around, trying to second-guess the process and time their introductions.  

The first thing to consider is to ask yourself how important a particular job is to you. If you’re keen, then it’s critical to get in as early as possible. If the client and their architect have had a pre-app session and the planners have indicated agreement, there’s a real likelihood it will sail sweetly through. That happens, and if the client is keen to get the job under way, then the building regulations, working drawings and tendering may even happen before the formal planning application is issued. 

That’s pretty extreme, but it does happen. If you’ve waited until notice of the approval is published, then you may have already missed the boat. There’s at least a week to ten-day delay between the formal approval and then subsequent publication in the market intelligence services (such as Planning Pipe) to take into consideration. A fast-moving job can be well on its way by the time the market hears about it. The lesson is clear – on non-contentious projects that you’d like to price for, get in at the application stage. 

Some people say that for the sake of efficiency, it’s better to stick to approvals. A quarter to a third of applications are refused, and it’s a waste of effort to chase a project that doesn’t get permission. However, if permission has been refused on a minor point of design, it may well go straight back to the architect. They will do a re-design and re-submission. Then it should get approved with no further delay, and may move very quickly. If you were holding off for approval, you’ve missed it. 

Professional sales people tend to go in at the early stages, for a number of reasons. The first is to catch the fast-moving jobs. But even if you’re talking to an architect and it turns out you’re too early, then you can start to build the relationship. Be pleasant about it. Emphasise your interest and the benefit you can bring to the client. Then ask about the best time to get in touch again. The architect can often give you a date for the planning committee, and you’ll know to give them a ring after that. 

Of course, you can’t go for the hard sell at the early stages. Don’t push for the tender list when they’re not even thinking about it yet. That gets people’s backs up, and it makes you look unprofessional. What you’re looking for is the window of opportunity when they do start looking at the tender list, so that you can get in touch at the right moment. That might be just two or three weeks out of a four or five month pre-construction process. 

The second reason is that if you talk to an architect, and then you phone back later and find that it’s still delayed, that’s offers you still more opportunities to talk and build relationship. It’s all building friendship and relationship from the start, which you wouldn’t have had opportunity to do if you came in later. Good sales professionals know that a chance to talk to an architect is never wasted. You may discover that the project you were after has been delayed, but that they have other jobs that are more advanced that may be of interest. 

Another compelling reason to get in early is that if you go after a job and it gets held up for months and months in planning – if there are problems with neighbours or something – it’s very easy to drop a good scheme too early. What we’ve found is that if you’ve got your eye on a good job and you’re patient enough to track it for six, nine, twelve months even, very often you’re the last builder standing when it finally gets approval. In the meantime, you’ll have built up a lot of good will by hanging in there, you’ll have had plenty of opportunities to talk, and your stickability will stand you in good stead.

Yes, this takes time, which is why I began by asking how keen you are on the job. You can’t go in early and chase everything, so a lot of this comes down to good targeting in the first place. Use market intelligence wisely, find your best business, and choose the right jobs to chase. 

Don’t be shy about getting in touch early in the process. If you’re a reputable builder and you know you’d be right for that project, you have every right to put yourself forward in this way. You have nothing to lose from being early - and plenty to lose from waiting.

We could be doing this for you – give CMS a call today if you’d value an experienced sales agent on your team.  

Six Live Planning Leads

17 January 2017

40 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £3.6m

Planning Authority: Durham County Council

Application Ref: DM/16/04017/FPA

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Land At West End Villas Crook DL15 9LR

Proposal: 40no. dwellings

Client: Galliford Try Partnerships North , 2 Esh Plaza, Sir Bobby Robson Way, Great Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE13 9BA

Tel: 01912 271000

Agent: P H S Architects, The Old Station, Station Road, Stokesley, TS9 7AB

Tel: 01642 712684

Email: planning@pandhs.co.uk

5 Houses

Estimated Value: £0.5m

Planning Authority: Central Bedfordshire County Council

Application Ref: CB/16/05912/FULL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Former Prebendal Farm, Grove Road, Slip End, Luton, LU1 4BZ

Proposal: Demolition of existing farmhouse and retail premises and redevelopment with five detached houses.

Client: Brickhill Properties Ltd, White Knights, Heath Rd, Great Brickhill, Milton Keynes, MK17 9AL

Tel: 01525 261754

Agent: B H D Ltd, First Floor, 12 Church Square, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1AE

Tel: 01525 854770

Email: info@bhd.uk.com

10 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £1m

Planning Authority: Wolverhampton Council

Application Ref: 16/01413/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Land Corner Of Sweetbriar Road And Pump Street Wolverhampton WV2 2NB

Proposal: Erection of six houses and four apartments, with associated parking and landscaping.

Client: City Of Wolverhampton Council, Civic Centre, Ring Rd St Peters, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SH

Tel: 01902 551155

Agent: B M3 Architecture Ltd, 28 Pickford Street, Birmingham, B5 5QH

Tel: 01216 330000

Email: dinaz@bm3.co.uk

Mixed Use Development (83 Units)

Estimated Value: £11m

Planning Authority: Leeds Council

Application Ref: 16/05532/RM

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Land Between Mabgate, Macaulay Street, Argyll Road And Mabgate Mills Sheepscar Leeds LS9 7DR

Proposal: Reserved Matters application for approval of appearance and landscaping for phase 1 of multi-level mixed use development pursuant to outline planning permission 12/04953/EXT

Client: Wright Investments,

Tel: 0845 222 2111

Agent: Max Design Consultancy, Meteor House First Avenue Doncaster DN9 3GA

Tel: 01302 802025

Email: max@maxdesignconsultancy.co.uk

34 Retirement Units

Estimated Value: £4m

Planning Authority: Doncaster Council

Application Ref: 16/01920/FULM

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Land And Buildings On The West Side Of Top Street Bawtry Doncaster DN10 6JU

Proposal: Demolition of existing buildings and erection of 34 retirement living (Category II type accomodation), provision of communal facilities, landscaping and car parking -

Client: Mccarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd,

Tel: 0800 310 0386

Agent: The Planning Bureau, Aspen House Wykeham Road Northminster Business Park York YO26 6QW

Tel: 01904 444277

Email: clare.davies@theplanningbureau.ltd.uk

Conversion to 4 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £0.3m

Planning Authority: Gateshead Council

Application Ref: DC/16/01137/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: L G Coffee Bar The Gallery Church Chare Whickham Whickham NE16 4SH

Proposal: Conversion of commercial premises to create four dwellings

Client: Trafalgar Leisure Ltd, Church Chare, Whickham, NE16 4SH

Tel: 01481 728121

Agent: Studio Stuart Palmer Ltd, Studio 29 Baltic 39, 39 High Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1EW

Tel: 01912 302353

Email: stuartpalmer@studio-sp.com

Six Live Planning Leads

23 November 2016

48 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £4.3m

Planning Authority: South Holland Council

Application Ref: H16-1083-16

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: EMG Hyundai 2 St Johns Road Spalding PE11 1JA

Proposal: Demolition of existing properties and erection of 48 residential dwellings with associated access, hard landscaping, soft landscaping and parking

Client: Kaplan Property Group , Venari House, 1 Trimbush Way, Rockingham Road, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 7XY

Tel: 0116 216 5174

Agent: Corporate Architecture, Venari House, 1 Trimbush Way, Rockingham Road, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 7XY

Tel: 01858 467476

Email: Charlie.Drucquer@corporatearchitecture.co.uk

Mixed Use Development (31 Units)

Estimated Value: £7.5m

Planning Authority: Camden Council

Application Ref: 2016/6088/P

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Highgate Newtown Community Centre Unit A, B, C, D & E 25 Bertram Street London N19 5DQ

Proposal: Redevelopment of the existing Highgate Newtown Community Centre and Fresh Youth Academy and the change of use of the People?s Mission Gospel Hall to provide replacement community facilities (Use Class D1) and 31 residential units (Use Class C3) with associated public open space, landscaping, cycle storage, plant and disabled parking.

Client: London Borough of Camden (Property Services), 5 Pancras Square,London,N1C 4AG

Tel: 020 7974 4444

Agent: Iceni Projects Ltd, Flitcroft House, 114-116 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0JR

Tel: 020 3640 8508

Email: asnow@iceniprojects.com

Residential Development (48 Units)

Estimated Value: £4.3m

Planning Authority: Aberdeen Council

Application Ref: 160241

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: 26 Loirston Road, Cove Bay, Aberdeen, Aberdeen City AB12 3NR

Proposal: Proposed Change of use from sports facility to residential development of 48 units including associated car parking and landscaping

Client: Barratt North Scotland Limited, Blairton House, Old Aberdeen Road, Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, AB23 8SH

Tel: 01358 741300

Agent: Halliday Fraser Munro, Carden Church, 6 Carden Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1UR

Tel: 01224 388716

Email: mick.wernham@hfm.co.uk

Mixed Use Development ( Units)

Estimated Value: £12m

Planning Authority: West Dorset Council

Application Ref: WD/D/16/002398

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted


Proposal: Erect a 24 bedroom hotel and 82 extra care (C2) apartments and 38 extra care (C2) dwelling houses together with communal facilities, landscaping, car parking, access and highway Improvements (Full)

Client: Quantum Sherborne Llp, The Sherborne Hotel, Horsecastles Lane, SHERBORNE, DT9 6BB

Tel: 01202 531635

Agent: Quantum Group, Quantum House, 170 Charminster Road, Charminster, Bournemouth, BH8 9RL

Tel: 01202 531635

Email: nw@quantumgroup.org.uk

2 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £0.2m

Planning Authority: Powys County Council

Application Ref: P/2016/0691

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: The Bears Head East Street Rhayader Powys LD6 5DN

Proposal: Erection of pair of semi-detatched dwellings and associated works

Client: Mr & Mrs Powell , The Bears Head, East Street, Rhayader, Powys, LD6 5DN

Tel: 01597 810289

Agent: D S J Planning & Design, Maesbury House, 7 Great Oak Street, Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6BU

Tel: 01686 412421

Email: jerman@pc-q.net

13 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £1.2m

Planning Authority: Mid Devon Council

Application Ref: 16/00693/MOUT

Stage: Outline Plans Approved

Site Address: Land at NGR 310280 114261 Hunters Hill Culmstock Devon

Proposal: Outline for the erection of 13 dwellings

Client: West of England Developments (Taunton) No2 Ltd, Oaklands, Gatchell Meadow, Trull, Taunton, Somerset TA3 7HY

Tel: 0844 8059464

Agent: Peter Smith Design Service , Hollyfield, Hewish, Crewkerne, TA18 8QR

Tel: 01460 72185

Email: peter@petersmiths.co.uk

Six Live Planning Leads

02 November 2016

Mixed Use Development (19 Units)

Estimated Value: £1.8m

Planning Authority: Midlothian Council

Application Ref: 16/00672/DPP

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Former Bonnyrigg Market Site High Street Bonnyrigg EH12 2DA

Proposal: Erection of 19 flatted dwellings and one retail unit, formation of access road and car parking and associated works

Client: M N M Developments Scotland Ltd, Stuart House, 10 Eskmills, Musselburgh, EH21 7PB

Tel: 01312 735257

Agent: Hackland And Dore Architects, 16 Annandale Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4AN

Tel: 01315 387707

Email: james.walinck@hackland-dore.com

Conversion to 2 Flats

Estimated Value: £0.2m

Planning Authority: Cotswold Council

Application Ref: 16/03155/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Horizon House 4 Longwood Court Love Lane Cirencester Gloucestershire GL7 1YG

Proposal: Change of use and minor alteration of the existing office store to 2 No. one bedroom flats

Client: Chris James Homes Ltd, The Bell Hotel, 24 High Street, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 3EP

Tel: 01793 423300

Agent: Chris James Homes Ltd, The Bell Hotel, 24 High Street, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 3EP

Tel: 01793 423300

Email: planning@chrisjameshomes.com

2 Terraced Cottages

Estimated Value: £0.2m

Planning Authority: Sevenoaks Council

Application Ref: 16/02333/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: 1 Church Field Cottages Landway Seal KENT TN15 0DR

Proposal: Demolition of No. 1 Church Field Cottages and erection of 2 new terraced cottages and landscaping to the existing garden.

Client: West Kent Housing Association, 101 London Rd, Sevenoaks, TN13 1AX

Tel: 01732 749400

Agent: Architects Plus, 2nd Floor, The Grange, Market Square, Westerham, TN16 1HB

Tel: 01959 561078

Email: g.henry@architects-plus.co.uk

Extension and Conversion for 2 Flats

Estimated Value: £0.2m

Planning Authority: Islington Council

Application Ref: P2016/3654/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: 58 Cross Street Islington London N1 2BA

Proposal: Erection of a first floor rear extension to facilitate the conversion of the upper floor flat into no. 2 self-contained flats (2x 1 bedroom flats). Associated with roof extension granted planning permission ref: P2016/1715/FUL.

Client: J B London Builders, 32 Openview, London, SW18 3PE

Tel: 020 8764 1540

Agent: M G L Architects, Unit 4 Tanners Yard, 1-3 Treadway Street, London, E2 6QB

Tel: 020 7729 2269

Email: admin@mgl-architects.com

5 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £0.5m

Planning Authority: Wychavon Council

Application Ref: 16/02356

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Land to the rear of Car Park, Defford Village Hall, Harpley Road, Defford Worcester WR8 9BL

Proposal: Erection of five dwellings with garages and improved access

Client: Millstrand Properties Limited , Woodview Barn, Whitehall Lane, Rudford, Gloucester GL2 8ED

Tel: 01452 790408

Agent: Tufnell Town & Country Planning, The Woodings, Bosbury, Ledbury, HR8 1JX

Tel: 01531 640675

Email: peter@tufnellplanning.co.uk

Office Building

Estimated Value: £2.3m

Planning Authority: Bedford Council

Application Ref: 16/02282/MAF

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: British Car Auctions Ltd Kiln Road Kempston Hardwick Bedford Bedfordshire MK43 9PR

Proposal: Construction of B1 office building

Client: British Car Auctions , Kiln Road, Kempston, Hardwick, Bedford, Bedfordshire MK43 9PR

Tel: 01234 849700

Agent: Phillips Planning Services, Kingsbrook House, 7 Kingsway, Bedford, MK42 9BA

Tel: 01234 272829

Email: al@phillips-planning.co.uk

Six Live Planning Leads

28 September 2016

Extension/Conversion for Student Accommodation (42 Units)

Estimated Value: £3.1m

Planning Authority: Lancaster Council

Application Ref: 16/00274/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: 23 North Road Lancaster Lancashire LA1 1NS

Proposal: Change of use and conversion of bar, nightclub and shop (A1/A4) to student accommodation comprising four 7-bed, two 8-bed and one 9-bed cluster flats (sui generis), one 3-bed and two 5-bed cluster flats and 32 residential studios (C3) and gym area with associated internal and external alterations, erection of two 2-storey rear extensions, associated landscaping and carparking and Relevant Demolition of existing rear extensions

Client: Bargh Estates & Cityblock Ltd, Victoria Court, Penny St, Lancaster, LA1 1XN

Tel: 01524 541250

Agent: H O W Planning, 40 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5GP

Tel: 01618 351333

Email: christopher.bradshaw@howplanning.com

4 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £0.4m

Planning Authority: Cotswold Council

Application Ref: 16/03602/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Earle & Ludlow Ltd 77 Victoria Road Cirencester Gloucestershire GL7 1ES

Proposal: Demolition of existing buildings and erection of four dwellings

Client: Earle & Ludlow, 77 Victoria Rd, Cirencester, GL7 1ES

Tel: 01285 653599

Agent: Andrew Miles, Trull, Tetbury, Glos GL8 8SQ

Tel: 028 9064 4001

Email: andrew.miles@lpctrull.com

27 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £2.4m

Planning Authority: Cheshire East Council

Application Ref: 16/3285M

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted


Proposal: Demolition of vacant dental surgery (77) and House (79), and construction of 21 Apartments and 6 bed detached house.

Client: William Developments, 77-79 Alderley Road, Wilmslow, SK9 1JX

Tel: 0844 2880000

Agent: Paddock Johnson Partnership, Studio 2, The Lyceum, Bath Street, Port Sunlight, CH62 4UJ

Tel: 01516 431234

Email: michael.paddock@paddockjohnson.com

Extension to Industrial Unit

Estimated Value: £0.2m

Planning Authority: North Kesteven Council

Application Ref: 16/0793/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: TR Western And Son Ltd Westminster Industrial Estate Station Road North Hykeham Lincoln Lincolnshire LN6 3QY

Proposal: Erection of single storey extension to industrial unit and replace hedge with new perimeter fencing.

Client: T R Weston & Son Ltd, Westminster Industrial Estate, Station Road, North Hykeham, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN6 3QY

Tel: 01522 688436

Agent: Heronswood Design Ltd, 2 Sadler Court, Lincoln, LN6 3RG

Tel: 01522 690138

Email: kevin@hwdarchitecture.co.uk

72 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £6.5m

Planning Authority: North Warwickshire Council

Application Ref: PAP/2016/0280

Stage: Outline Plans Submitted

Site Address: Land Opposite 84 To 104 Orton Road, Warton, B79 0HU

Proposal: Outline application for erection of 72 dwellings with associated access, parking and landscaping

Client: Warwickshire County Council, Physical Resources,Shire Hall,Market Place,Warwick, CV34 4RL

Tel: 01926 410410

Agent: Ritchie & Ritchie Llp, The Manor House,Lichfield Street,Tamworth,B79 7QF

Tel: 01827 62251

Email: matt@randrarchitects.co.uk

Architect or Client - Who you gonna call?

07 September 2016


When you’re interested in a smaller project, sometimes it’s not clear who you should be contacting. Do you call the architect, or go directly to the client? David Crick of CMS explains.

When a planning application goes in – unless it’s for a very small project – a client will hire an architect or a planner to do it for them. That means on most applications there are two parties who may represent significant interest for you as a builder. The first is the client, and the second is the architect who has been appointed as a professional advisor. This is where the question comes in for those who are after that job: who should they be contacting? 

If you want the quick answer on whether it’s better to call the architect or the client, it’s yes.

It’s a bit like journalism - you talk to everyone, because you never quite know where the story is. The same applies with sales. You can take an educated guess about a job, but you can’t take it for granted who the decision maker will be. So talk to everyone.

Now for the longer answer. The first thing to look at is the size of the job. If it’s a really tiny job, a wall or patio, a single garage, then you’re safe to assume it’s the client who will be making the decisions.

If it’s a small scale domestic project, say a kitchen extension, or a garage with a room above or a side extension, then it’s going to be getting closer to architect involvement. If the likely buildcost is around £50k or less, the architect will have put in the planning application and probably prepared building regulations/working drawings but they usually won’t be paid to handle the tendering process or to supervise the job on site. There’s just not enough money in the job. In those cases, you go straight to Mr or Mrs Smith. (Approaching a client is different to approaching a professional, I should add. We’ll come to that in a future post.)

Now, there are a couple of caveats to that. The first is that an architect may occasionally be paid to handle tendering as a separate matter – perhaps if the client is away, for example. Or if an architectural practice has been appointed, it may well be a bigger project than it first looks. A small extension for example can sometimes indicate a lot of internal remodelling. But generally speaking, most people will handle the work themselves on a project of this size. It may still be worth talking to an architect on a smaller job because they can refer you to the client. If you come to the client through the architect, then you’ve come with a degree of credibility. Besides, as a sales professional I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to talk to an architect, especially one new to me, because it’s good relationship building – and you might hear about other jobs along the way.

The bigger the job, the bigger the role for the architect, so once you get to £60-£70,000 and above, then there’s usually enough money in the job to warrant the architect taking it to tender and then to supervision on site. You know who to call. Some jobs may have a planning consultant rather than an architect. That’s usually a indicator that the client already has a builder in mind, because a planner won’t handle a project after the planning approval. Having said that, if you can’t get hold of the client, a planning consultant will usually be ok with a call from you and may well be happy to pass on your details. There may occasionally also be a QS in the background, so look out for those names on the planning application forms and drawings and make your enquiries accordingly.

On any project it’s vital to find out who the actual decision makers are. Every architect is an advisor who is instructed by the client. They may assemble the tendering list and then discuss it with the client – who may also have two or three builders they’d like to add to the list. They may be completely inexperienced, but like the look of a certain builder and want them to submit a price. So you can never quite tell. You can look for clues: if the client is an elderly couple aiming to sell a piece of land for development, there will be no tender for construction and it’s likely they’ll have little direct involvement in the sale process. Then again, the client may be ‘construction literate’ – a surveyor or developer themselves – and they may well be making the key decisions. To sum up, the rule of thumb is that for small residential projects under £50,000, talk to the client. For larger and more complex projects, talk to the architect. But as I said at the beginning, we take the view that if you’re keen on a job, there’s usually real value in talking to everyone! If your competitors don’t it all helps to establish you at the head of the queue.

You might want to talk to the architect first, because they’re often easier to get hold of. Then, in a friendly way, ask who’s going to be putting together the tendering list. An architect can refer you to a client. Likewise, if you’re struggling to get hold of an architect, call the client and get a referral the other way. Feel free to approach a job of interest from two or three directions at once. If in doubt, remember that very useful three letter word: ask.

At CMS, we’re experts at hitting the phones and asking, pursuing every lead, and winning the work you want. If you’d like some sales support, get in touch on 01256 475880 or visit www.contractorsmarketing.co.uk for more information.

Six Live Planning Leads

02 August 2016

Extension to Hotel

Estimated Value: £1.6m

Planning Authority: Durham County Council

Application Ref: DM/16/00933/FPA

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Ramside Hall Hotel Ramside Durham DH1 1TD

Proposal: Partial Demolition and Extension of Existing Ballroom, including new W.C. facilities, Entrance and Rooflights

Client: Ramside Estates Limited, Ramside Hall Hotel, Ramside, Durham, DH1 1TD

Tel: 01913 865282

Agent: Padgett White Architects Ltd, The Dovecot, 4 Hunwick Hall Farm, Church Lane, Hunwick, Crook, Durham DL15 0JS

Tel: 01388 665703

Email: info@pw-architects.co.uk

25 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £2.5m

Planning Authority: Chichester Council

Application Ref: 16/02096/REM

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Land South Of Meadowbank Petworth Road Wisborough Green West Sussex

Proposal: Approval of the details of the layout of the site, the scale and the appearance of the buildings and the landscaping of the site. The outline planning application was not an environment impact assessment application.

Client: Jones Homes (Southern) Limited,

Tel: 01322 665000

Agent: OSP Architecture, Broadmede House Farnham Business Park Weydon Lane Farnham GU9 8QT

Tel: 01329 559401

Email: gavin.edwards@osparchitecture.com

Residential Development (35 Units)

Estimated Value: £3.2m

Planning Authority: City of Bradford

Application Ref: 16/05707/MAF

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Land At Former Ferniehurst First School Cliffe Lane West Baildon West Yorkshire

Proposal: Phase 2 of proposed development of houses (as previous permission ref. 15/01549/MAF). This phase is for 35no 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses of mixed tenure with associated infrastructure

Client: C B M D C, Housing Service,8th Floor MMT, Princes Way,Bradford, BD4 7RY

Tel: 01274 439333

Agent: C B M D C, Achitectural Services, 5th Floor, Sir Henry Mitchell House, 4 Manchester Road, Bradford, BD1 0QL

Tel: 01274 434160

Email: fiona.kelly@bradford.gov.uk

Conversion to 9 Flats

Estimated Value: £0.5m

Planning Authority: Richmond upon Thames Council

Application Ref: 16/0058/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: 29 George Street Richmond TW9 1HY

Proposal: Change of use of 2nd floor and 3rd floor level from ancillary retail to nine 1 bedroom flats (C3 use) with external alterations and enclosure of walkway at 1st floor, new residential access, bin store, bicycle storage, replacement of plant, new stairs to roof access and reconfiguration of food store at ground floor level.

Client: Tesco Stores Limited, New Tesco House, Delamare Rd, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire EN8 9SL

Tel: 0800 505555

Agent: G L Hearn, 280 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EE

Tel: 020 7851 4900

Email: paul.manning@glhearn.com

26 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £3m

Planning Authority: South Ribble Council

Application Ref: 07/2016/0479/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Spring Bank 123 Duddle Lane Bamber Bridge Preston Lancashire PR5 4TB

Proposal: Erection of 26 dwellings (including 7 Starter homes) with associated infrastructure following demolition of existing dwelling and outbuildings

Client: Jones Homes Lancashire & Bowsall Ltd ., Newfield House, 5 Fleet Street,Lytham St.Annes, FY8 2DQ

Tel: 01253 728760

Agent: De Pol Associates Ltd, Farington House, Stanifield Business Park, Stanifield Lane, Leyland, PR25 4UA

Tel: 01772 888488

Email: alexis@depol.co.uk

2 Flats

Estimated Value: £0.3m

Planning Authority: Bristol Council

Application Ref: 16/02222/F

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: 92B Whiteladies Road Bristol BS8 2QN

Proposal: Removal of a canopy and construction of 2x single storey, 1-bed flats at first floor level and addition at ground floor.

Client: Principality Holdings Ltd, Park St, Bristol, Avon BS1 5NF

Tel: 0117 925 9494

Agent: Sanderson Weatherall Llp, 30 Queen Square,Bristol,BS1 4ND

Tel: 0117 338 1813

Email: owen.pike@sw.co.uk

Six Live Planning Leads

13 July 2016

Residential Development (157 Units)

Estimated Value: £14m

Planning Authority: Edinburgh Council

Application Ref: 15/03075/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Land 100 Metres North Of 86 Longstone Road Edinburgh EH14 2AS

Proposal: Residential development of 157 new build homes, a mixture of houses and flats and mixed tenures.

Client: Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association Ltd, c/o Saltire Studio, 3 Saltire Street, Edinburgh EH5 1QS

Tel: 01772 667007

Agent: Hackland & Dore Architects Ltd, 16 Annandale Street Edinburgh EH7 4AN

Tel: 01315 387707

Email: manuela.molendini@hackland-dore.com

10 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £0.9m

Planning Authority: Bexley Council

Application Ref: 16/01151/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Venners Wessex Drive Erith Kent DA8 3AA

Proposal: Demolition of existing property and erection of 10 dwellings comprising 2 x 4 bed and 6 x 3 bed houses and 2 x 2 bed bungalows with associated parking and amenity space.

Client: McCulloch Homes Ltd, 3 Southlands Road,Bromley Kent BR2 9QR

Tel: 020 8466 5725

Agent: Ubique Architects, Unit 11 Ashford House Beaufort Court, Sir Thomas Longley Road Medway City Estate Rochester ME2 4FA

Tel: 01634 226560

Email: studio@ubique-architects.co.uk

Extensions to Care Home

Estimated Value: £1m

Planning Authority: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Application Ref: 16/01900/PLF

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Quarry Bank Residential Home Woodfield Lane Hessle East Riding Of Yorkshire HU13 0ES

Proposal: Erection of single storey rear extensions to provide new accommodation rooms and operation areas, and new roof/re-roof of existing single storey rear section

Client: , Quarry Bank Residential Home Woodfield Lane Hessle East Riding Of Yorkshire HU13 0ES

Tel: 01482 648803

Agent: Philip Bingham Associates, 14A Market Place Hornsea East Riding Of Yorkshire HU18 1AW

Tel: 01964 533777

Email: phil@pbinghamassociates.com

Extension to Factory

Estimated Value: £1.2m

Planning Authority: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Application Ref: 16/01139/PLF

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Country Style Foods Limited Carnaby Industrial Estate Lancaster Road Carnaby East Riding Of Yorkshire YO15 3QY

Proposal: Erection of an extension to existing factory

Client: Country Style Foods Ltd, Carnaby Industrial Estate, Lancaster Road, Carnaby, East Riding Of Yorkshire YO15 3QY

Tel: 01262 607000

Agent: Dixon & Associates Ltd, 14 High Street, Bridlington, YO16 4PX

Tel: 01262 425100

Email: info@dixonassociates.org

Care Home

Estimated Value: £1.4m

Planning Authority: Leeds Council

Application Ref: 16/03154/FU

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Hopewell Works Hopewell Terrace Kippax Leeds LS25 7AQ

Proposal: Demolition of existing works and the erection of a care home with ancillary facilities

Client: Selectrical Services , 4 Hopewell Terrace, Kippax, Leeds, LS25 7AQ

Tel: 0113 286 1995

Agent: Pop Architectural , 34 Park Lane, Allerton Bywater, Castleford, WF10 2AT

Tel: 01977 515060

Email: candyday1@googlemail.com

Extension and Conversion for Mixed Use (10 Units)

Estimated Value: £1.2m

Planning Authority: Cambridge Council

Application Ref: 16/1108/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Cherry Hinton Constitutional Club 142 - 144 Cherry Hinton Road Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7AJ

Proposal: Proposed change of use of existing club building to form four 2-Bed flats and five 1-Bed flats, including additional storey in new roof extension. Erection of new two storey club building at rear with basement and a one 2-Bed flat, along with car and cycle parking and associated landscaping.

Client: Cherry Hinton Constitutional Club, 142 - 144 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB1 7AJ

Tel: 01223 566680

Agent: Carter Jonas, 6-8 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1NH

Tel: 01223 326809

Email: peter.mckeown@carterjonas.co.uk

Six Live Planning Leads

28 June 2016

24 Apartments

Estimated Value: £2.2m

Planning Authority: Crawley Council

Application Ref: CR/2016/0166/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: 56 North Road Three Bridges, Crawley RH10 1RH


Client: Places For People Homes Ltd, 6th Floor,80 Cheapside,London,EC2V 6EE

Tel: 020 7429 0400

Agent: G H M Partnership Ltd, 20 Fink Hill, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS18 4DH

Tel: 0113 239 0006

Email: richard.gale@ghmpartnership.co.uk

4 Houses

Estimated Value: £0.4m

Planning Authority: Westminster Council

Application Ref: 16/05491/FULL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: 7-10 Deans Mews London W1G 9EF

Proposal: Demolition and redevelopment to provide four, three bedroom dwelling houses with associated plant.

Client: The King’s Fund, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0AN

Tel: 020 7307 2400

Agent: Savills, 33 Margaret Street, London, W1G 0JD

Tel: 020 3320 8236

Email: cwilliams@savills.com

Residential Development (10 Units)

Estimated Value: £1m

Planning Authority: Broadland Council

Application Ref: 20151644

Stage: Outline Plans Approved

Site Address: 1-4 Station Road, Swannington NR9 5SY

Proposal: Demolition of 4 Existing Units and Development of 10 Residential Units, Together with Associated Access (Outline)

Client: Wherry Housing Association Limited, 6 Central Avenue,St. Andrews Business Park,Norwich,NorfolkNR7 0HR

Tel: 01603 703500

Agent: Ingleton Wood, 8 Whiting Road,Norwich Business Park,Norwich,NR4 6DN

Tel: 01603 666847

Email: samantha.jones@ingletonwood.co.uk

4 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £0.4m

Planning Authority: Cornwall County Council

Application Ref: PA16/01791

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Tzitzikama Rock Road Rock Wadebridge PL27 6NP

Proposal: Construction of four new build dwellings

Client: Mr & Mrs F & A Cox, Tzitzikama, Rock Road, Rock, Wadebridge, PL27 6NP

Tel: 01208 862839

Agent: Keystone Consultants Uk Ltd, West Winds, St Minver, Wadebridge, PL27 6RD

Tel: 01208 863250

Email: tonyjeal@me.com

Extension to Care Home

Estimated Value: £1.5m

Planning Authority: South Lanarkshire Council

Application Ref: EK/16/0159

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Whitehills Care Home Scholars Gate East Kilbride G75 9JL

Proposal: Change of use of existing nursing home administration block and alterations and extension to form 20 bed care unit with associated parking and landscaping

Client: Whitehills Care Home, Thistle House, Scholars Gate, Whitehills, East Kilbride G75 9JL

Tel: 01355 579758

Agent: Sondh Associates, Bristol and West House, 4th Floor, 82 Union Street, Glasgow, G1 3QS

Tel: 01412 484046

Email: info@sondhassociates.com

Redevelopment of Petrol Filling Station

Estimated Value: £1m

Planning Authority: Barnsley Council

Application Ref: 2015/1480

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Turnpike Filling Station, Wakefield Road, Staincross, Barnsley, S75 6JX

Proposal: Redevelopment of petroleum filling station including demolition of existing forecourt structures and new car wash building and new kiosk

Client: S K Fuel Ltd, Leyland Central Garage, High Street, Belton, Doncaster, DN9 1LR

Tel: 01427 873488

Agent: A D P Architecture Design Partnership Llp, The Old Police Station,16 Bridge Lane,Holmfirth,HD9 7AN

Tel: 01484 685411

Email: tony.stead@adp-architects.com

Six Live Planning Leads

08 June 2016

Conversion to 170 Dwellings

Estimated Value: £10m

Planning Authority: Barnsley Council

Application Ref: 2016/0489

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Joseph Locke House, Heelis Street, Barnsley, S70 1LW

Proposal: Change of use from offices (B1) to 170 residential units (C3) (Prior Notification)

Client: Empire Property Concepts, 92 Cleveland St, Doncaster, DN1 3DP

Tel: 01302 564263

Agent: D L P Planning Ltd, Ground Floor, V1 Velocity Building, Tenter St, Sheffield, S1 4DE

Tel: 0114 228 9190

Email: susie.boyce@dlpconsultants.co.uk

4 Apartments

Estimated Value: £0.4m

Planning Authority: Runnymede Council

Application Ref: RU.16/0811

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: 70 A Wheatash Road ADDLESTONE KT15 2ES

Proposal: Demolition of existing industrial unit and ancillary buildings and erection of one two storey building containing four x 2 bedroom apartments

Client: Homes By Warwick Ltd, Preston Farm Court, Lower Road, Bookham, Surrey KT23 4EF

Tel: 01372 453759

Agent: Pelham Planning Associates Ltd, 2 Stag Leys,Ashtead,KT21 2TD

Tel: 01372 272885

Email: geoff@pelhamplanning.co.uk

Extension and Conversion for 3 Flats

Estimated Value: £0.2m

Planning Authority: Warwick Council

Application Ref: W/15/1937

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: 12 Parade, Leamington Spa, CV32 4DP

Proposal: Conversion and adaptation of offices on the upper floors to 3 no self contained flats.

Client: Heart of England Co-Operative Society, The Cooperative Funeral Care,22 Abbey Street,Nuneaton,CV11 5BU

Tel: 02476 382331

Agent: Paxton Brown Ltd, 25 Centenary Business Centre, Hammond Close, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV11 6RY

Tel: 02476 382880

Email: ross@paxtonbrown.co.uk

Leisure Centre

Estimated Value: £4.8m

Planning Authority: Bolton Council

Application Ref: 96141/16

Stage: Outline Plans Approved



Client: Bolton Council & Bolton Community Leisure Trust, 3rd Floor,Town Hall,Victoria Square,Bolton, BL1 1RU

Tel: 01204 333333

Agent: G T Architects, Stanford House, 19 Castlegate, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1 7AQ

Tel: 0115 947 0800

Email: garyt@gt-architects.com


Estimated Value: £3m

Planning Authority: Northumberland County Council - Southeast & Central

Application Ref: 16/01675/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Submitted

Site Address: Playhouse Cinema Sandgate Berwick-Upon-Tweed TD15 1EP

Proposal: Erection of a 4.5 storey building for hotel (C1) with restaurant / bar (A3/ A4) at ground floor.

Client: Premier Inn Hotels Ltd, Whitbread Court,Houghton Hall Business Park,Porz Avenue,Dunstable,LU5 5XE

Tel: 01582 424200

Agent: Walsingham Planning, Brandon House, King Street, Knutsford, WA16 6DX

Tel: 01565 757500

Email: emma.whitney@walsingplan.co.uk

Redevelopment of Petrol Filling Station

Estimated Value: £1m

Planning Authority: Selby Council

Application Ref: 2015/1274/FUL

Stage: Detailed Plans Approved

Site Address: Abbeyside Filling Station Bawtry Road Selby YO8 8NA

Proposal: Proposed redevelopment of existing petrol filling station including new shop with external compound, external first floor plant area, external accessed ATM, the existing forecourt canopy is to be retained, 3 No. new jet wash bays, new wash plant enclosure/external compound, new refuse compound and landscaped areas. 2 No. new 60,000 ltr underground fuel storage tanks, new customer car parking area following demolition of existing buildings

Client: N J B Services, Bawtry Road,Selby,North YorkshireYO8 8NA

Tel: 01757 213154

Agent: Jennings Design Ltd, York House, 1 Valley Court, Canal Road, Bradford, BD1 4SP

Tel: 01274 395422

Email: wayne@jen305.com

Planning Our Retirement

11 August 2014

This year it is expected that the over 65s will outnumber those under 16 for the first time in the UK. The care sector remains dogged by a consistent media and political portrayal of failures in care. But below the headlines, this ageing population and demand for a more sophisticated range of care provision options, provide strong fundamentals for long term investment and growth in the sector’s property portfolio. Current new construction project proposals submitted and proposed since the start of the year, give a flavour of the size and the diversity of the plans for our future care in old age.
Planning Pipe examined over 350 new detailed new construction project proposals for new and existing care homes, supported living and other dedicated retirement units since the beginning of the year across the UK.
As expected, the growth in new care provision comes from new build schemes – outnumbering extensions to existing facilities by a factor of around 10 to 1. There is a relatively even 50/50 split in new beds versus new independent units. This snapshot of recent plans for new construction projects submitted since the start of the year sees a strong pipeline in the Midlands as well as the high-density South East of the England.


* Based on UK New Detailed Plans Submitted January to July 2014

The Retirement Village: Whitecraigs in East Renfrewshire, submitted June 2014
The retirement village of Whitecraigs, south-west of Glasgow, is the largest new care scheme so far submitted for approval this year. It combines 320 one and two bed room apartments and a 60 bed care home and supporting shops and leisure facilities. The village provides on-site carers and resources which aim to separate how care is offered from the accommodation of those requiring care. This provides the basis to move away from the rather binary home or care home options of the past. The developers plan to offer the ability to buy properties outright as well as shared ownership and rental.

Client: Whitecraigs Developments Limited
Agent: Jewitt And Wilkie Architects

Extra-Care Apartments: Westcliffe in Staffordshire, submitted January 2014
The proposal for 140 extra care units in Stoke on Trent which are an alternative to care home provision and serve as more affordable local authority housing for rent. Communal facilities are more limited in line with its scale, when compared to more dedicated “retirement villages”. This scheme sits within an existing urban site in close proximity to existing housing, shops and transport.

Developer: Seddon Construction
Agent: PRP Architects

The Care Home: Broad Lane in the West Midlands, submitted July 2014
One of the nearly 100 proposals for traditional care homes, this proposal for a 105 bed care home in Coventry divides rooms into 10-15 resident clusters with the aim of balancing privacy and the principles of group living.

Developer: St Matthews Healthcare
Agent: Carless & Adams Partnership

So far in 2014, demand for more traditional care home remains relatively strong but dedicated housing geared specifically with the retired and elderly in mind is becoming a more dominant trend.

For more information on upcoming new construction projects in the care sector, contact Planning Pipe at www.planningpipe.co.uk

Plans Afoot at the Checkout

11 July 2014

Recent figures for UK Supermarket growth and profits have painted a portrait of sector undergoing substantial challenges and change. The established big four are struggling to deal with the new discounters Aldi and Lidl. At the same time consumers appear to be falling back in love with the convenience store, rebranded as the mini-supermarket.

The current players have very mixed fortunes. Tesco is seen by many to be too dominant, Sainsburys too similar to Tesco. Asda - with its huge superstores - seems a little out of vogue yet extremely resilient; the Co-op with over 3000 smaller stores is well placed but beset by internal problems. Aldi and Lidl are promising growth. Together with Waitrose have secured strong niche brands albeit at opposite ends of the market. Morrisons are starting to appear a little lost in the middle.

Planning Pipe examined 220 planning applications submitted by the largest supermarket groups over the last 12 months, to provide a snapshot of their current positions and a guide to their future confidence and ambition.

Aldi and Lidl - each starting with around 4% of the current UK Supermarket sector - demonstrate the biggest ambition for future growth. Between them they have sponsored just over half of the 107 total new supermarkets submitted for planning approval throughout the UK in the last 12 months. Aldi have stated publicly they want to grow to 1500 stores by 2021 while Lidl have ambitions for around 1000 outlets (Tesco by comparison have currently around 3150 stores).

As established players with significantly larger footprints, Tesco and Sainsbury are re-focusing around existing estate refurbishment and smaller stores. On the renewal side, both are planning to expand facilities for easy grocery collection of online orders (eg “Click and Collect”). Tesco is also planning more retail pods to provide key cutting, shoe repairs and dry cleaning adjoining many of their existing outlets. Waitrose is planning similar adjoining pods – this time selling flowers. More significantly for the construction industry, Tescos with “Express”, Sainsburys with “Local” and Morrisons with “M” have stated plans to open 350 new convenience stores in 2014. The big four all believe to get bigger (or even stand still) they must get smaller – invariably under 280sqm to avoid Sunday licensing laws. Morrisons – at least on this analysis – may struggle to maintain this kind of momentum.

This change in focus for the big retailers has not been without cost – particularly to Tescos who were forced to write down the value of their property portfolio this year by over £800m. But a much bigger cost is predicted by some for many independent retailers. Once fearing death by superstore, the independents are now faced by the big beasts of retail (with the exception perhaps of Asda) directly targeting similarly sized operations on their doorsteps. Their fears are shared by some communities – particularly in villages – who are in many cases objecting in significant numbers to the proliferation of the big supermarket brands in their high streets.

Objections to planning applications have historically delayed rather than thwarted well-founded and well-funded supermarket expansion plans. Lidl and Aldi are not and will not be immune from these issues – particularly given the scale of their planned new store openings. It remains to be seen just how big a brand focused on price discounting can become - and how well the incumbents in this highly competitive market place will react.

For more information and data on supermarkets or any other upcoming construction projects go to Planning Pipe or call us on 01202 757980.

Going Round the Houses

12 June 2014

Enter Garden Cities as the latest act in the long-running variety performance of the “UK Housing Crisis”. Following on from Planning Reform (no discernible audience impact) and Help to Buy (rather too much of the wrong impact), Garden Cities received box-seat support via the Wolfson Prize – whose 5 finalists were recently announced.

The 2014 Wolfson Economic prize awards £250,000 to the best answer to the question “How would you deliver a new Garden City which is visionary, economically viable, and popular?” The promise of fixing – as one of the finalists put it – the “land-strangling planning policies, and intransigently-negative attitude towards development” is enough to make the property and construction industry sit up and pay attention.

The concept of a prize – indeed much the concept of a Garden City itself – allows for a re-presenting and re-packaging of the longstanding issues of housing supply and demand. With competitions and events, so the theory goes, comes excitement and winners. Certainly the Wolfson prize can never be accused of not trying to address current contentious issues – the 2012 prize focused on how the Eurozone could be safely dismantled.

A number of the 2014 finalists took the opportunity to highlight some of this country’s most horrifying housing statistics. So for the record, the UK is Europe’s densest populated with the highest population growth. As a country, we build less than half the numbers of new homes that we require and half that of France. Despite longstanding and virtually universal agreement from politicians, industry and citizens that we need to build more homes – the UK has consistently failed to meet population growth by at least 20% for at least the last 10 years. Average UK house prices are nearly 10 times average incomes - in London, over 13 times. 80% of the UK cannot provide affordable housing according to leading charity Shelter. At the same time we have built on less than 10% of the UK’s available land mass. As Bank of England Chairman Mark Carney recently put it – “deep, deep structural problems”.

So if we can all agree on the problem, what do the finalists offer as solutions? While Shelter did suggest the Hoo Penninsula in Medway in Kent as one prime candidate location, the finalists main focus was on the how rather than the where. Most recognised that several locations were required – the potentially frightening thought of one Milton Keynes per year for 10 years. All in their different ways touched on the apparent simplicity of a solution – central government direction to build securely on green belt land for the long term, with the agreement of financially incentivised local communities.

The themes found much common ground. Central government must be involved as a central plan is required and the legislative changes required stretch beyond local politics. Green belt land must be involved as it falls by definition within the metropolitan areas of greatest housing demand. And local communities must be significantly involved and significantly incentivised to support more new homes in their localities.

While it is easy to remain cynical about the obstacles, HS2 demonstrates there can be political consensus to enable long term controversial projects. A significant proportion of Green Belt land is used for intensively farmed land. This fact forms the basis of a genuine discussion about the extent of the value of Green Belts to local communities. The 50 to 80 times uplift in agricultural value that planning permission provides, could provide part of the means by which local communities can be financially incentivised.

Politicians have generally steered clear of tackling development head-on. They have shunned discussion of the peculiarly UK issue of Green Belts and done little to counter the view of houses as assets to be protected rather than places to live in. Instead politics seems to have recently concerned itself with policies that will not, if truth be told, make any significant difference to our housing problem.

The Wolfson reward of £250,000 will not create a new Garden City on its own. As one finalist rather frankly stated “it is probably impossible to create a Garden City of any scale from scratch in the current economic climate”. The current political climate provides equally little cause for optimism. Attacking the central issues of the housing problem would require politicians to summon up the courage to take on the fears of both the green lobby and those of current homeowners - on behalf of those who cannot afford to buy a home. For the moment the former’s votes heavily outweigh the latter.

What the Wolfson Prize finalists do show is that if political leadership is forthcoming and can help frame the debate correctly, there is a high degree of convergence in both analysis of the problems and possible long term solutions. The big question remains is how long it will be before we see Westminster leadership take to the centre stage with the central issues.

Paul Graham is founder of Planning Pipe, provider of cost effective, bespoke construction leads. See www.planningpipe.co.uk.

Planning Pipeline for Schools

15 May 2014

Cowes Enterprise College on the Isle of Wight seems to represent all that was wrong with the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. Construction started on the innovative, environmentally-friendly, £32m new secondary school in late 2010. The school opened last September - a year later than planned. Last month it was revealed the school required up to £9m of repairs. Isle of Wight council was left to foot the bill after the contractors on the project went into administration.

The Cowes College construction project appeared to embody criticisms of the whole BSF scheme – “…massive overspends, tragic delays, botched construction projects and… needless bureaucracy.“ The new austerity post BSF promised less money but more value. School Minister David Laws stated recently that around £3bn is being spent per year in England alone on school estate repair and renewal.

While politicians debate the merits of how and how much repair and renewal is required, what does the immediate health of the sector look like? Planning Pipe examined over 800 new planning applications in the last 6 months involving significant construction refurbishment and new build work for schools across the UK.

UK Schools Construction Market
The UK currently has just under 30,000 schools serving 9.75m pupils. Demographic changes will see pupil numbers set to rise by at around 150,000-200,000 per year until 2021. Inevitably, the impact of this growth will fall initially on primary schools – followed by the more costly and complex impact on secondary schools.

Areas of high forecast future demand invariably coincide with areas of extremely limited capacity. The majority of those areas are in the south of England – a fact borne out by the high number of current plans for new classroom space across the south.

To meet all UK demand, school capacity will need to see around 150 new schools or over 5,000 additional classrooms created every year until 2021. Currently around 1600 schools submit significant plans for extension or refurbishment each year on top of the new school plans.

Looking at new construction proposals submitted in the last six months across the regions reveals a snapshot of future market activity as follows:

More Plans Down South
The South of England is responding to the strongest short term and long term demand for growth. Around 1 in 5 of all new planning applications across the south involve temporary or modular buildings – reflecting the need to satisfy more immediate demand for the 2014/15 academic year.

Across the South new construction plans inevitably cluster around areas such as Bristol, Poole, Bracknell and Tonbridge. Kent has seen plans for 3 new schools in the last six months alone.

Planning activity provides a telling picture of future construction activity in the schools sector as well as a basis for construction sales leads. It is to be hoped that it is only a tiny minority of these new schemes fall prone to the kind of design, management and delivery issues of Cowes Enterprise College. Aside from the political disagreements over the control and funding mechanisms, even politicians agree that more new schools must be built and more new places for teaching created. The economics of the school construction sector are patchy but positive.

An interactive map of the new planned schemes across the South of England is available here. More information about new school construction projects is available from Planning Pipe, provider of cost effective, bespoke construction sales leads at www.planningpipe.co.uk.

UK Housing Shortage Latest: Icing Here with Cake to Follow

13 March 2014

The go-ahead on what could be a pioneering model for reform in the UK’s housing supply was announced as Cherwell Council’s purchased a 187ha MOD site and offered up to 1000 homes solely for self-builders. There has not been a self-build project of such a scale in the UK before - but does this innovative scheme in fact reveal as much about what is not happening to help solve the UK’s housing shortage?

Self-build has been seen by many as a significant but untapped source of new homes. While small scale and pioneering in the UK, self-build is just how most (and in fact more) homes are built in Europe.

Taking inspiration from Europe, Cherwell are encouraging a variety of approaches for development on the site in Bicester – from kit homes and single unit custom builds through to terraced housing and apartment blocks. The council hope that around 30% of the homes will be classed as “affordable” and want to attract a mix of sole-owned, part owned and rented properties. The approach is markedly different to the current, developer-dominated UK housing market. Can self-build be that significant?

The Self-Build Icing
There certainly appears to be substantial unmet demand for self and custom build in the UK. The National Self Build Association estimates that 6 million of us expect to research how to build a home for themselves in the next 12 months. Self-build is also viewed as an accelerator in the speed of construction – with less likelihood for landbanking.

Proponents also argue that more self-building can help to defuse some of the toxic planning arguments of NIMBY versus developer. With more individuals involved in building houses, they argue, local support for new homes will increase with more desirable houses built.

Government has supported self-build. November 2013 saw £30m in loans set aside for self-builders. In February 2014 it was announced that each self-builder is set to benefit by around £15,000 per build as Community Infrastructure Levies are removed.

Cherwell Council’s Graven Hill project may change the view that self-build cannot promise new houses in any significant numbers. However, critics could rightly claim that such schemes are mainly a substitute to traditional developer-led large schemes – and don’t really enhance the housing cake overall.

Follow the Incentives
For many, the main portion of the housing supply problem stems from the incentives in the current market. The incentive for developers to build houses is too often less than the risk/return of land acquisition and sale. There is every incentive for individuals to be a NIMBY rather than support large numbers of new homes nearby. There is virtually no incentive for local authorities to exceed local housing targets in the short term – and every incentive to listen to the local community and often object to new schemes.

With all these incentives pointing in the same way, it came as no surprise that following the abolition of centrally-imposed regional housing targets, local councils have almost universally set lower housing target. With relatively stable land and house prices (at least compared to many other countries) UK house builders and developers have been only relatively annoyed.

Many believe significantly more homes will be built only when the incentives are right at the local level. Those incentives must focus on land supply and prices. Community Land Auctions (CLAs) – competitive tendering auctions similar to those used for 3G mobile phone networks – were backed by the Coalition in 2011 and a pilot scheme was promised. The potential of CLAs were viewed as significant precisely because they created significant incentives at a local level to build new homes.

The losers from CLAs would be existing developers and landowners. Their current profits from land would be in effect transferred to local authorities and local communities. CLAs also promise “build-ready” sites which encourage more competition for existing developers. As a final blow, CLAs would see the value of developers’ current land banks fall. There is every incentive for existing developers to oppose this new auction model.

Graven Hill project could be well be a pioneering model for self-build in the UK and hence an important contribution to the UK’s future housing supply mix. However it remains on the surface of the issue.

The political incentive to tackle perhaps the single biggest issue in housing supply – that of land prices - appears to be less than the incentive to keep the status quo. Self-build at scale may be here now but we still await even a pilot for CLA.

Paul Graham is Managing Director of Planning Pipe, provider of bespoke, cost-effective information on upcoming new construction projects.

New Leisure Facilities in Planning

20 February 2014

This summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will be hoping to capture the both the spirit of London 2012 but also its focus on legacy investment in brand new sporting, leisure and entertainment facilities. As new construction information provider Planning Pipe reveals, Scotland is already at the forefront in planning for hospitality and leisure facilities – outpacing London and most of its more populous regional rivals.

Planning Pipe analysed over 5000 new planning applications submitted to all local authorities throughout the UK in 2013 to assess plans in the making for new and significant refurbishment of sporting, leisure and hospitality buildings and facilities.

It comes as no surprise that the South East leads the way in the UK overall for new plans but it was the volume of new plans in Scotland – particularly in the hotel and hospitality sector – that gives a guide to the continuing future strength of the sector north of the border.

Looking at the largest new leisure schemes across the whole of the UK in 2013, two schemes stand out:

Theme Park North Kent Est Value £2bn
Set over nearly 3.5 km2, Paramount Pictures plans to create Europe’s largest indoor water park with live theatre and music venues, cinemas, restaurants and hotels between Dartford and Gravesend – with 27,000 jobs in the process.

Motorsport Circuit of Wales: Ebbw Vale Est Value: £280m

Proposals submitted in February 2013 for a major motor sports and commercial, retail and hotel development on a 335 hectare site in South Wales, creating over 1600 new jobs.

Digging into the some of the detail across the sporting and leisure sector reveals no shortage of new activity at the planning stage.

Sporting Facilities: There were nearly 2000 plans for the improvement and construction of significant new sporting related buildings and facilities submitted to local authorities across the UK during 2013. Planning Pipe estimates that this is around 80% up on 2012 – clearly a positive for those in search of an Olympic or other government legacy. However with only 300 new plans for new and improved sporting facilities in schools and colleges, it could appear the focus is not directed most at the UK’s next generation. Perhaps with this in mind, Sport England gave this sector a boost with an announcement in December that £18m of Lottery funding was to be specifically directed at primary schools lacking existing sports facilities.

Hotels: Across last year there were, submitted into planning there were over 50 hotels with more than 100 rooms planned. Whilst the biggest new project – a new 660 room hotel planned for Heathrow – the UK region planning the most hotel development last year was Scotland. We estimate overall across the UK there were plans for some 20,000 new hotel rooms last year.

Restaurants: There were multiple new restaurants and plans for significant refurbishment work from the big restaurant groups such as McDonalds, Greene King and Wetherspoons. What remains striking are the sheer volume of new openings or refurbs and conversions – nearly 10 a week across the UK.

Leisure and Health Centres/Clubs: 50 new community leisure centres over £1m build value were submitted for planning approval last year with new facilities set for Port Talbot, Belfast, Irvine and Walsall amongst others. Conversion projects large and small dominate the smaller end of this sector with over 400 new fitness, yoga and dance studios put into planning last year.

For bespoke, cost effective contact and project information about new upcoming construction projects – large and small - visit www.planningpipe.co.uk.

Increase Your Home Improver Mailing Response

23 January 2014

Crafting an initial communication to a prospect who is planning an extension or other renovation is more art than science easy – but these 5 steps should help you maximise any home improver mailing.

1. Clear Headline Message
Many prospects will have a natural response of scepticism and distrust to unsolicited mail. There will be those who will read the letter with a mind set of “Bin it”! You have probably no more than 5 seconds to capture their attention.

The aim of an envelope is to get the recipient to open it. The aim of your headline message (heading/sub-heading) is to get your prospect to read the first paragraph. The aim of the first paragraph is to convince them to see your call to action (see point 5 below).

Make your headline message clear and simple. Avoid any marketing hype or qualitative bragging!

2. Don’t Oversell
A prospect will not become a customer on opening a letter. Make the aim of your communication realistic. Don’t attempt to sell the final contract at first contact. You want your prospect to contact you, or provide you with the means to contact them - and that’s all – at least at this stage.

To maximise the chances of that response, you need to:
offer something of interest (why this?)
be credible (why you?)
be relevant (why now?)
incentivise a response (why right now?)

Planning Pipe helps you partly answer the why this? and why now? questions… but you need to focus on all questions.

3. Communicate with your prospect
Does your letter read more like advert than a personal communication? If you want prospects to have a conversation with you, you need to start that conversation. But creating a successful dialogue with a potential customer requires some understand of their situation – some empathy. This means focusing on the interests of your reader. Your letter should convey what responding will do for them – it should not be a monologue about the qualities of your firm or attempt to tell them what to do.

4. Never Underestimate Customer Anxiety
You know how good you are. Your prospect has no idea - but probably won’t believe you if you try too hard to persuade them. Do all you can to reduce their anxiety. Third party testimonials, trade accreditations and specifics will always perform better than subjective, unspecific and unsupported claims.

You need to be simple and clear about why they should contact you. You need to focus later on in the sales process why they should choose you over anyone else. But never lose sight - at any stage – that the customer has anxieties throughout the process.

5. Clear Call to Action
Your prospect may see what you have to offer as relevant and timely. They may view you as a credible prospect for them. But unless you make it clear what the next step is and why there is realistic urgency, then you may well lose them as a prospect.

If you can incentivise that response and/or incentivise a response in a given time-frame, your response will be improved.

And finally….
Crafting the right approach is an art not a science. There is no single templated correct approach, but avoiding some common pitfalls and following some of these simple guidelines for an initial mailing should help boost your response.

Planning Pipe provides cost-effective construction project leads and planning information to the UK construction industry.

The Big Idea is Back: Build Big… or is it Build Small?

08 December 2013

Over half a million new homes have been submitted for planning approval so far in 2013. The fact that only 130,000 new homes will actually be built in the year remains the vocal frustration of politicians, developers and would-be home owners. Signs that big ideas might be back in vogue came with Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister’s recent proposal for 5 new towns to be built “within the first five years of a new Labour Government”. Re-kindling the spirit of Britain’s post-war housing boom, Emma Reynolds called for a return to quality with “the garden city model” to help solve the problem of housing supply.

To many, the idea of Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City (built in the early 1900s) as model new towns may cause slightly less anxiety than the 1960s examples of Milton Keynes or Washington New Town. Nevertheless the idea plays well into an ever-growing consensus that the housing shortage is critical enough that SOMETHING (specific, deliverable and properly funded) MUST BE DONE!

The experience of 1990s - when housing building volumes remained relatively impervious to unprecedented increases in house prices - should have convinced politicians that tinkering at the edges of planning or mortgage reforms would make little difference. The big idea of New Towns may be back - but in fact it hasn’t been away very long.

Remember Eco-Towns? No? Gordon Brown wanted ten Eco-Towns. Four schemes were given the go-ahead in 2009, aimed at delivering around 20,000 homes in total. Fast forward five years and of those four, Rackheath in Norfolk has made no apparent progress; St Austell in Cornwall has been revised down to 1500 homes with a Masterplan still yet to be agreed - and Whitehill Borden in Hampshire will see the first outline application for 100 homes submitted in early 2014. Only North West Bicester has seen any significant progress with 394 new approved last year and building started.

The Eco-Towns of 2009 were the product of a centrally-driven political initiative that ran into the new Coalitions’s new emphasis on localism. Eco-Towns were allowed to be ground into the near-dust by the usual, everyday compromise of communities, planners, developers and councils. This year around 70 new projects proposing over 1000 new homes each – have been submitted into planning. Unlike HS2, these projects, like Browns Eco-Towns before them, are unlikely to have the scale to warrant a “national importance” trump card that can break through the existing logjam. They are likely to suffer the same bureaucracy/benefit from the same democratic consultation as every other large housing scheme.

For the Coalition, Planning Minister Nick Boles preferred to focus on an equally radical measure – the self-build solution. Those “who cannot afford to buy somewhere to live should be handed plots of state-owned land so they can build homes of their own”. The big idea could in fact be small….

Very different proposals but at least the politicians agree on the need for a big idea driven from the centre. We will wait to see which, if any, of these proposals can gain sufficient long-term momentum and cross-party agreement to make a significant contribution to the creeping crisis of UK housing supply.

Planning Pipe provides cost-effective construction project leads and planning information to the UK construction industry.

Planning by Numbers: Wind Turbines

13 November 2013

As political controversy continues to surround energy company pricing and the role of renewable energy subsidies, Planning Pipe looked at the number of onshore wind turbines submitted into the planning pipeline over the last 12 months (Oct 2012-Sep 2013).

5000 the number of new wind turbines

                                                114 miles: the total height of new turbines

                                   38: the average height in metres of each turbine

0: the number of new onshore wind turbines planned in London (1 replacement)

             400,000: households that could be powered by the new turbines – if approved.

                               1: the number of nuclear power stations providing equivalent power output.

We examined nearly 3000 planning applications proposed to local authorities throughout the UK over the last 12 months:

Location, Location

While the South of England tops the charts for new construction projects involving solar energy, when it comes to wind, Scotland has no regional equal.


Number of Turbines

The 80:20 rule applies with single turbine projects dominating new planned wind projects.


Maximum Power Output

250kw remains the most common power output turbine, with less than 40 projects comprising the most powerful 1mw turbines.


Source: Planning Pipe; provider of bespoke planning leads for the UK construction industry.