Aim of the Partnerships
The Council invests its surplus land and shares its knowledge of the needs of its communities, while GBSLF invests capital and the professional skills of its team to secure planning permission. The Fund then liaises with potential developers and purchasers for onward sales of the individual sites with uplifted value through having achieved the planning gain.
The disposal of surplus assets is a key focus for many Councils to help them generate profits as well as fulfil the increasing lack of home building and new community facilities and re-generate under used areas of land within its control.
By enabling the development of surplus land in the Council’s ownership, the partnerships will help to support and sustain the growth and development of local communities by bringing new jobs, retail, housing and leisure facilities to the area, as well as generating funds that the Council can then reinvest in the local community and support the services it offers. GBSLF and the partnerships aim to achieve financial returns in conjunction with commitment to the social good of the development sites to bring about positive social change.
Regional and National Housebuilders are increasingly focusing their efforts on housing delivery rather than investing in strategic land for development because of the constraints on their equity resources and the need to increase operating margins. Housebuilders are being forced to adapt to a less capital intensive model, which means finding ways of engineering down building costs and focusing on selling houses. Finding more capital effective means of acquiring land ready for development is essential to them.
This has created a gap in the market where the GBSLF is ideally positioned to act as the leading platform in preparing and delivering land ready for construction.
GBSLF undertakes the acquisition, design, master planning and promotion of strategic sites through the planning process and then sells consented land on to the housebuilder and developer market. This approach is fully aligned with the government’s housing delivery initiatives and Localism agenda.
The key driver behind strategic land in the UK is demographics. Figures from the 2011 Census recently confirmed that the biggest ever growth in UK population has taken place over the last 10 years and that it is compounding the acknowledged problem of a shortage of housing in the UK. The Office of National Statistics expects the UK population to increases nearly 20% in the next 20 years. The UK Government is determined to increase the housing supply which is in turn increasing the demand for land with planning consent.
It is anticipated that the Government’s current efforts to encourage domestic economic growth in the UK by boosting housebuilding will impact as a further stimulus to the demand for strategic land over the next 5 or 6 years. The houses the Government wishes to see built cannot be built until first increasing demand for land with planning consent is met – exactly what the Fund delivers.