October 2015 - Giant William Meets Big Peter!...
There has certainly been some major action in a market town on the edge of the Wolds in the last six weeks!
Market Weighton, the home of Giant Bradley, famed for being 7 feet 9 inches tall, has a rival for being a “large” success in the town. Peter Ward Homes micro-site, Seward Close, a stones throw from the town centre where William Bradley lived, has only one plot left after opening for sale less than six weeks ago.
“We didn’t even have time to put the site sign up before they started to sell” said the company’s MD Peter Ward, “We have had sites in the town before and whilst they have been much bigger than Seward Close they have never had a rate of sale like this one”.
The development has a total of five plots, one 4 bed Hertford and two each of the 3 bed housetypes, the Farndale and the Wansford. It is the four 3 bed homes that are already reserved, with completion due for early Spring next year. Due to the size of the site the company have used local estate agents Hornsey’s to handle the selling. “On a site this small its not commercially viable to have a Site Sales Office so we went back to the traditional way and used a local agent” continued Peter “We have used Hornsey’s before and I have to say they have done a great job for us. The first reservation happened in a matter of days. The advantage they have is that they know the local market and often know who is looking for what. We are over the moon to be back in Market Weighton and obviously pleased that our brand and product are still so popular. I have to say I feel seven feet tall with this success!”.
Martin Swann, a partner at Hornsey’s is equally enthusiastic. “ As a local business we have worked with Peter Ward Homes on their bigger sites in Market Weighton in the past, including the 109 plot Weighton Wold development in the 90’s. It was great to partner up with the housebuilder again for this new site. They really do build a home that stands out from the rest. This combined with the location and the increase in demand for homes in the area, meant we had 80% of the site reserved before a brick has been laid. It proves that local knowledge, a great product and an improving economy really combine to bring success all round”.
However the development nearly didn’t take place. Peter Ward explains “This site has been in planning since late in 2013. It has taken nearly two years to go through. That’s because adjacent land has been identified for major development and because of this we have had to apply the same rules as for larger sites, this includes affordable housing, open spaces etc the list goes on. Initially permission to develop the site was turned down but through sheer perseverance we managed to get it through. The general public don’t realise how difficult government and the Local Authority have made things for developers. This is a five plot site that has taken more effort and cost to get open than a 50 plot site would!”.
Both Peter and Martin are worried that these planning delays will have a detrimental effect on the local market and that high demand for housing could reheat the market and bring about the gazumping days of the last century. “Land with all the consents needed to actually start for building isn’t coming through quickly enough” said the pair, “Local Authorities are taking too long to give planning permission and are asking too much of developers. This means that new homes, which come onto the market and take up some of the demand, are trickling through too slowly. This increases demand for existing homes that are for sale, pushing up prices to unsustainable levels and locking people out of owning property. Whilst the government and local councils say they are doing their bit they aren’t doing enough. If a site like Sewards Close can sell out in a matter of weeks it’s a good indicator that the demand is there and they need to respond before the situation gets out of control”.