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Acting on behalf of a private landowner, Barford + Co has concluded the sale of a nine acre site at Cambridge Road, Fenstanton to national housebuilder Kier Living. The site is believed to have connections with world famous landscape designer Capability Brown, who lived for a period of his life in Fenstanton. The trees on the periphery of the site are said to reflect his work.

Barford + Co was appointed by the owners to secure the allocation of the land for residential development in the emerging Huntingdonshire District Council Local Plan Review. The owners had decided that they did not wish to invest in the cost of making the necessary planning application and therefore Barford + Co was appointed to secure a purchaser who would submit the planning application at its own expense. Whilst the site was allocated, there was no guarantee that planning permission would definitely be granted. Indeed there were a range of technical and planning issues to be overcome. Following a comprehensive marketing exercise, four potential purchasers were shortlisted and Kier Living was selected as the preferred bidder. The contract was completed and Kier appointed Barford + Co to work with its in house planning team to prepare and submit the planning application.

“There were a range of complex issues which needed to be dealt with in order to secure the allocation of the land and ultimately planning permission” commented Martin Page, Director of Planning at Barford + Co. “These included the presence of Great Crested Newts, a significant archaeological find, a number of protected trees, the need to construct a new foul sewer under the A14 and minimising traffic noise from the A14. There was also the offer by the owners, to transfer land for the construction of a new village hall for Fenstanton. A community orchard is part of the scheme of development together with the usual requirement for 40% affordable homes. “By using a creative and flexible approach to the design of the scheme, we have been able to secure a planning permission which in turn has led to a very satisfactory outcome for the owners”, continued Mr Page.

Kier’s scheme will result in the construction of 86 homes, with generous open spaces created around the existing trees. These have been protected and retained to maintain the character of the site.

Phil Halmshaw, Director of Agency and Development at Barford + Co negotiated the terms of the conditional contract with Kier Living. “Kier were selected as they demonstrated not only an enthusiasm for dealing with what was an extremely complex and challenging project, but also for their open and transparent ways of dealing with the financial aspects of the transaction. This meant that despite an enormous range of abnormal costs which arose, they were able to maintain the purchase price offered at the outset. Whilst resolving all the issues took some time, our clients are delighted with the outcome which has been achieved on their behalf”.

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