Inhabit Homes has applied and had approved a change to the planning permission from Southwark Council for its Blenheim Grove scheme in Peckham, London. The amended plans give permission for two of the five terraced houses to be converted into custom build apartments for sale.
The move is in direct response to public feedback received since the terrace of houses came on the market. “The original permission in Blenheim Grove was for fairly large houses, but we were getting a lot of interest from people who didn’t necessarily have enough money to take on a project of this size. However, they were committed to the concept of having a home customised to their needs, but on a smaller scale,” says Gus Zogolovitch, Managing Director of Inhabit Homes.
One of the houses is currently under offer, with interest in the other two houses, and in two of the apartments. Inhabit hopes that the conversion to apartments will speed up sales and ensure an early completion for the project, without having to finish any of the homes as spec builds.
Work is due to commence shortly, with builds completed to shell in the event that purchasers aren’t found for early engagement. “While building to shell helps sales in that people can walk around the space,” says Zogolovitch, “it means that purchasers miss out on the savings offered by custom build that come with early engagement.”
Zogolovitch goes on to point out that timings represent a significant challenge for custom build purchasers: “Early engagement means that purchasers are exposed to delays that customers of a conventional spec build are shielded from, as they don’t get involved until most problems have been resolved.”
“To take advantage of the savings that custom build offers, such as CIL and Stamp Duty exemptions, the public has to get involved really early on, quite quickly after planning has been approved, but this can represent a long timeframe. It’s crucial that the public start to understand this.”