Custom Build Homes is bringing to market Osprey Close, a 32-plot site in March, Cambridgeshire, using a serviced-plot model with a Design Code and Plot Passports. Landowner Osprey Developments (March) Ltd is also acting as the enabling developer for this Brownfield site.
Fenland District Council has granted planning permission for the homes, covering a range of sizes up to three-storeys.
While open to the concept of self and custom build, the council requested the streetscape at Osprey Close be kept within the local vernacular.
Consequently, this will be considered in the Design Code and material palette available to plot purchasers.
Custom Build Homes and Osprey Developments are holding a consumer consultation event for Osprey Close on the 18th of November, to preview the March development and gauge local interest for what, and when, people would like to build.
This will also offer an opportunity to explain that customers have the option to engage with a series of recommended suppliers to create a turnkey home or pursue a self-build route from serviced plots at Golden Brick.
People will be able to reserve their plot with a fully refundable deposit at the event. This will give purchasers peace of mind that their preferred plot will not be snapped up by someone else once the site is officially launched in the spring of 2018.
Following the consultation event there will be a deliberate gap of roughly four months prior to bringing the plots to market.
This pause is to give the developer time to appropriately stage the site by installing some of the required infrastructure involved to create a serviced site and plot.
Custom Build Homes recognises that the site needs to be ‘active’ and staged to a condition where its experts are able to conduct professional-assisted plot viewings with potential purchasers.
BuildStore will also use this time to bring together a pre-agreed lending panel for the development.
“We’ve reviewed our process at BuildStore, as we’ve noticed many developers will benefit from having this period between initial public consultation and an official launch.
“This allows the various facets of a successful development to be brought together prior to the end user becoming ‘officially’ involved” said Tom Connor, Head of Land Services at BuildStore.
“More and more we’re seeing lenders requesting information on the development early on. This provides us with the opportunity, through the lender brief, to pre agree the lending on each site.
“Delivering this brief to each lender on our panel gives them the opportunity to reply and state their desire to be involved, together with the level of exposure they agree to undertake on any site.
“The upshot of this is that the development comes to market with the required provision already in place, subject to an individual’s affordability status.
“We have utilised this model on larger sites, most noticeably Graven Hill,, but it’s a model that works equally well on smaller ones like Osprey Close, as all developers want the reassurance that their development is appropriately catered for in respect of mortgages for the end user.”
Custom Build Homes has come up with a practical solution to bringing on sites for custom build. The public, and other stakeholders, need as much surety in the process as possible to keep the build going as smoothly.
Pre-reservations followed by a fixed delay for getting everything in place is a good way of managing this. It means the developer and financiers can get the necessary pre-requisites in place, and the consumer has a clear expectation of timelines. This brings confidence to the process.