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2013 - East of England Freehold Strategic Land A comprehensive guide to the how, what, why and when to purchase Freehold Strategic Land in the UK and South Essex Thames Gateway, one of the top choices in East of England. Recent dramatic revisions to the UK’s Green Belt Planning Laws have opened up unrivalled purchasing opportunities in the face of a rapidly growing and ageing population. This publication is targeted at Business and Private Investors and aims to clarify the hard facts, rather than a sales pitch. We hope you enjoy reading about the new opportunities the UK has to offer. Background: Wick Park Estate, Wickford, Essex


2013- East of England CONTENTS 1. WICKFORD PARK






3.1 Background to The Thames Gateway





9.1 Wickford 9.2 Wickford Park 10. COMMUTER BELT FOR LONDON






10.1 Lakeside 10.2 Stansted Airport

5.1 East of England European Funding

10.4 Southend

5.2 East of England Labour Market


5.3 Research and Technological Development 6. THAMES GATEWAY SOUTH ESSEX

10.3 Stratford

11.1 East of England Regional Housing Strategy 7

11.2 East of England Implementation Plan

6.1 Mix of Business and Pleasure

11.3 East of England Plan Regional Spatial Strategy

6.2 Contributions to Regional Economy


6.3 Room for Growth

11.4 The East of England Regional Assembly

6.4 Development Milestones


6.5 Local Institutions 7. KEY OPPORTUNITY AREAS – ‘URBAN CENTRES’: THURROCK 7.1 Land Use Clusters and Zones


12.1 South Essex Housing Priorities 12.2 Growing Housing Demand 9

12.3 Strategic Opportunity 12.4 Thames Gateway Housing Completions


12.5 Planning Targets

16.12 Wickford Park in Close Proximity

12.6 Regional Employment Growth

16.13 Local Planning Made Easier

12.7 Connections to the UK and Europe 12.8 Improving Gateway Transport 12.9 Olympic Opportunities 13. GREEN BELT LAND


13.1 Green Belt Housing Provision





18.1 Wickford Park Market Opportunity 18.2 The Need for Strategic Land 18.3 Housing Demand Driving Up Land Values

13.2 Green Belt Sustainability

18.4 Increasing UK House Building


18.5 What is Strategic Land?

14.1 Strands of Basildon’s Regeneration

18.6 Changing the Planning System

14.2 Basildon Enterprise Corridor A127

18.7 Planning and Economic Growth

14.3 Basildon Transport Improvements

18.8 The Economics of Land Development

14.4 Basildon Business Group

18.9 Why New Homes Are Needed



15.1 Basildon Sub-Regional Housing Strategy 15.2 Basildon ‘Task and Finish Groups’ 16. SECTION 3 – WICKFORD PARK WICKFORD CONTEXT


18.10 The Benefits of Investing in Land 18.11 How can I Purchase Land at Wickford Park? 19. Q&As FOR WICKFORD PARK




16.1 Site Location Analysis

20.1 Regional Context

16.2 Wickford Housing Growth

20.2 Land in East England is a Sound Investment

16.3 Wickford Town Centre Masterplan

20.3 Wickford Park – Ready to Purchase

16.4 Masterplan Objectives 16.5 Baseline Environmental Data Topics and Themes 16.6 Wickford Town Centre Key Trends 16.7 Housing Development Concept 16.8 Wickford House Price Growth 16.9 Creating Mixed and Inclusive Communities 16.10 More Land Needed 16.11 Wickford Town Centre Free Parking






Strategic Land Purchasing strategic Land is an attractive, popular, and highly credible addition to any investment portfolio. Between 1986 and 2006 residential land values in the UK rose at almost double the rate of residential house prices – residential house prices have risen by 410% whereas land values rose by 764% (Source: Housing Statistics Briefing, English Partnerships, September 2006). Based on figures produced by the Valuation Office, in England and Wales (excluding London) residential land had an average value of over £1m per acre (£1,052,205). And in the South East of England, residential land values at that time averaged over £1.3m per acre. The rising value of undeveloped land reflects a buoyant housing market, the shortage of housing and strong economic growth. Naturally these values vary depending on numerous factors, including location, existing infrastructure, and residential appeal.

land for any lawful purpose subject to planning consent and decide what happens to your land. After completion, you have control over the day to day management of your individual plot of land. Target have no further involvement in any part of the management of your plot, the land will be yours, 100% freehold. By purchasing land without planning permission the potential value can increase as much as tenfold if and when planning permission for development is granted. This is where the highest profits of land purchasing can be made (Source: The Independent, 6th December, 2005). Local councils are sensitive about changing the status of greenbelt land. However, in order to meet government plans for new housing, and to fulfil market need due to the lack of affordable homes and general housing stock, more land will have to be identified for new development.

sub-divided into smaller and more affordable individual plots for sale, therefore allowing private investors to benefit from any future development gains on any plot they purchase without the need to buy large acreages. These plots of land are very tangible; you will own the freehold, have vacant possession and retain complete day-to-day control of the management of your individual plot investment.


| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

Spotting the huge potential for land development in the Thames Gateway regeneration zone (further reading on page 18-24) a long tract of land (40 miles long x 23 miles wide) stretching from the capital out to Shoeburyness, in Essex, East of England. We bring investors a unique land sale offer in a strategic location at Wickford Park in Essex on the outskirts of London near the M25.

Buying land in the UK is far simpler and quicker than buying property, and choosing to buy plots of When an investor is looking for land to purchase, land at Wickford Park has been made simple and there are a number of ways that they can get this secure. The simplicity and transparency of done. They can look for investments themselves, purchasing land has gained many followers, there which is usually what most people initially try to do. are no complicated concepts that purchasers need However, the main problem with this method is that to understand. The purchase of prime the average person knows next to nothing about strategic land at Wickford Park being a purchasing land and then it can become a big good, highly visible example of our problem quickly if they try to go looking for good results based approach. investments themselves.

Why Choose Wickford Park?

Another option is to look for freehold land through a estate agent. Whilst this may be a better option The rewards from purchasing land used to be than going it alone, once again real estate reaped mainly by large development companies, agents are not that great an option because farmers, and wealthy individuals. We market individual freehold strategic land plots for sale, thus they are not specifically interested in land investments. By definition, estate Due to this continued rise in value, land investment potentially bringing rewards to companies and agents deal in property rather than can offer steady, medium-to-long term capital growth. private individuals. land and for that reason they Unlike many other investments, land is a tangible don’t have the first-hand, inWe purchase large sites that are typically close to asset. The freehold plots we sell come with vacant depth experience needed existing development and in areas of housing need possession with your name registered as the legal owner at Land Registry. You can choose to use your with a good existing infrastructure. The land is then in this situation.

The advantages of Freehold Plots

The Wickford Park Opportunity

2. FOREWARD “It’s prime time to start building more affordable homes for the UK’s rapidly increasing population. Green Belt land is now socially viable land.” This summarises the sentiment expressed by global real estate service provider Savills during the UK BBC TV screening of ‘Countryfile’: Developments in Green Belt Land Use. Savills’ latest land value assessment shows greenfield residential development land rising 3.6% in the third quarter of 2009 with urban land values growing 0.2%. Small, fully serviced urban plots are showing increasing investor demand (25 October 2009). “Small, oven-ready sites are vastly preferred to large, infrastructure-intensive ones. Investors want plots that they can start, build and finish within a year, without recourse to expensive and difficult-to-obtain debt finance,” states Yolande Barnes, Head of Savills Residential Research. It gives us great pleasure to introduce this extended report to demonstrate to the Business and Private Investor why Freehold Strategic Land at Wickford Park, Essex is an good purchase. Providing a comprehensive analysis of land use, planning issues, new Green Belt provision, current house building projects and new homes targets across Thames Gateway South Essex in East England, this publication is an informative business aid aiming to clarify the hard facts, rather than a sales pitch. It provides investors with the most up-to-date land purchase opportunities in strategic conurbations across Essex: Basildon, Thurrock, Southend and Wickford. Wickford, a central theme of the report, shares its borders and main road connections with an area of land at Wickford Park. Investors will read how Wickford Park, Wickford and Essex are contributing to current land use and house building targets, see case studies of new local housing developments and review Town Masterplans with their forward planning proposals and projects. The report highlights the Wickford Park strategic land sale offer and gives investors a single source, insider’s guide to this strategic land opportunity. We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we have researching and writing it. With kind regards

Greenfield land attracting increasing investor demand. Aerial view of Wickford Park clearly showing its prime location Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


3. INTRODUCTION More than any other country in Europe, land values in the UK have continued to appreciate in terms of choice of locations, capital investment and, equally importantly, international kudos. “The Thames Gateway is a massive development and the important thing is we’re making use of land that is presently derelict and that will also help us to ease the housing problem we have here in the south of England.” Tony Blair, Former UK Prime Minister (1) Prime location for land development in the East of England is the Thames Gateway, ‘Gateway to Europe’, with towns in the county of Essex including Basildon, Wickford and Thurrock set to grow and prosper from a multitude of multi-million pound physical, economic and social regeneration initiatives. Its sheer scale and advantageous location mean that the Thames Gateway will offer a unique opportunity to achieve sustainable community development. It can accommodate major housing and employment growth up to 2016, and has the potential for substantial further development if the right supporting infrastructure is put in place. It provides the opportunity for exemplary practice in sustainable design and construction, including combined heat and power and the use of 3

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

renewable energy sources. Its development is critical to the Government’s desire to achieve major growth in the east and wider South East of England. (2)

2.1 Background to The Thames Gateway The Thames Gateway is an area of land which stretches 40 miles east from London along the River Thames, River Medway and the Thames Estuary as far as Southend-on Sea, encompassing almost 250,000 acres. It includes parts of three Government Office Regions and is divided accordingly into Thames Gateway London, Thames Gateway North Kent and Thames Gateway South Essex, and is the largest single regeneration initiative in North West Europe with the largest area

Aerial view of the Thames Gateway

of brownfield land in the South of England. It occupies a strategically important sub-region between Central London, the East of England and continental Europe, and is home to around 1.4 million people. (3) Thames Gateway was first recognised as a major planning concept in the 1980s and has increased in importance over the years until it was identified as a major housing growth area in the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan in 2003. The initial target for 120,000 homes in the Gateway between Aerial view of the QE2 bridge over the Thames Gateway 2001 and 2016 was raised in 2006 to 160,000 new homes over the same period, 35% of which are land and redundant workers saw the area fall into intended to be of affordable “sub-market” tenure. deprivation. It is the need to regenerate the Thames Gateway coupled with the supply of land it offers in Following the decline of the area’s industries – regions where there is a large mismatch between power generation and large amounts of derelict the demand and supply for housing that has prompted the Government to target the area for a substantial level of investment and development over the next two decades at least. The unrivalled development potential of the Gateway lies in two related opportunities. First, it contains 3,000 hectares of brownfield land, much of it former dock, warehousing, industrial and quarrying uses. Second, it is located next to the economic heart of London and on the route to the increasingly accessible markets of North West Europe. The Gateway is in easy reach of North West Europe and the UK-Continent link in which the Gateway sits is of first importance for the development of Europe’s most dynamic region. (4)

4. WICKFORD PARK RATIONALE TIMESONLINE “Thames Gateway: in short, the next place to make money from property.” The Times, 28 July 2006

Change of Use does not happen quickly as the process of obtaining planning is on many levels involving many departments and with many consultants. However as the planning system is continually speeding up and communications technologies facilitate easier and quicker access to land planning documents, keen purchasers can be first in line for plots of freehold land near London.

In the current economic environment by acquiring an interest in land in such close proximity to Thames Gateway (the Thames Gateway borders Wickford Park 200 metres to the South), it may be Gains in value can be effectively measured using the underlying value of the land before the possible to achieve significant returns with a low planning consent stage as a ‘base line’ followed risk within a medium timeframe. by a re-evaluation of the land value in a ‘Change This strategic plot of land first came up for sale in of Use’ application. The precise timing of divestment is a function of maximizing profit. the summer of 2006, we are now in the early Purchasing now could allow you to benefit from 2011 and before this report has even been finished many plots of land have been either sold any future development gains or rising land or reserved. So far the largest interest is for plots values. 52-67, after professional consultation, it’s already A key factor of owning any strategic land site in been decided to offer this land to a leading the East of England is its accessibility to Central developer with an option. The chosen developer London. Wickford Park is just 2 miles from will be promoting the land through the planning Basildon, and less than 45 minutes from the process for a "Change of Use", subject to Olympic City London Stratford by British Rail. approval it will go to planning and then for Liverpool Street Station is situated in the heart of developing. London for the City and West End, and consequently Wickford Park is located in prime The planning work will be for plots 52-67, but it commuter belt. may be possible for you as a neighbouring landowner to benefit from the Change of Use. So if you are looking to purchase strategic land for Basildon District lies in the southern part of an investment, the purchase of land plots makes Essex, 30 miles East of London. Covering some good sense. 42.5 square miles, the District includes the towns

of Basildon, Billericay and Wickford. With excellent road and rail links to London, the rest of the county and East England, Basildon has much to offer.

existing infrastructure can clearly be seen on all photos in this report and below.

Wickford Park offers many geographical, physical and commercial benefits: • • • • • • • • • • •

Housing on the North and South borders This site is 200 metres off the main A127 road Excellent existing infrastructure Less than 2 miles to Wickford train station The Thames Gateway borders 200 metres to the South 8 miles east of the M25 motorway 45 minutes train journey to London 25 miles from London Direct rail link from Wickford into Southend, Chelmsford and London Southend London airport is 8 miles 6 main shopping centres within 10 mile radius, including Lakeside at Thurrock.

Wickford Park has been divided into affordable Freehold Plots, priced from as little as £12,800 each.

Bordering Wickford Park land on the North is Wick Country Park and the main LondonSouthend A127 road is just 200m away on part of the border with the Thames Gateway. Laid out in the East of England Plan is policy TG/SE6: dwelling provision, set to provide over 43,800 dwellings in this region covering Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend and Thurrock by 2021. The land at Wickford Park is very well-positioned, the existing housing and the location of the Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


5. SECTION 1 EAST OF ENGLAND REGIONAL CONTEXT Population and Migration The East of England has one of the fastest growing populations in the UK and is projected to continue growing at a faster rate than the UK as a whole. Total population was 5.7 million in 2007, 9 per cent of the UK’s entire population. The region had the second highest percentage increase in population between 2001 and 2007 of all regions and countries in the UK at 4.8 per cent compared with the UK average of 3.1 per cent.

It is projected the region will have 6.8 million residents by 2026 – 20 per cent more than in 2006. This is the second largest projected increase of the English regions after the East Midlands and is higher than the projected UK increase of 14 per cent. In 2007, the region had the highest total net migration rate of all English regions at 88 per 10,000 residents with nearly two thirds of this due to international migration. Net migration from outside the UK was higher, relative to the region’s population, than for any other English region except London at 54 per

Population density of East of England: by local or unitary authority, 2007

10,000 residents in 2007. The East of England Plan has increased the overall regional housing total by 27,500 new homes, up from 478,000 to 505,000 in 2001-2021 with Essex receiving 1,100 of this net increase. Essex housing provision is recommended to be increased to 124,500 new homes (2001-2021) with a proposed indicative phasing of this provision with 6,380 new homes per year between 2006 and 2021. Population density of 300 residents per square kilometre is above the UK average of 250. Home to around 5.5 million people, the region provides first class quality of life when compared with other regions: most people enjoy longer and healthier lives, some of the lowest crime levels in the UK, and an employment rate that is among the highest in the UK. Households in the East spend the most on recreation and culture of any region in the UK. (5)

5.1 East of England European Funding A grant total of £310 million has been allocated to the East of England under the European Union’s Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Objective 2 programme for economic regeneration to revitalise industrial, rural, urban and marine areas facing structural difficulties. The region also benefits from £8.42 million of Objective 2 European Social Funding awarded to 41 projects with a further 22 Objective 2 projects undertaken in 2005 to enhance 5

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

adaptability and entrepreneurship into new export markets, meet learning targets and update skills to enable firms to compete globally. Over £920,000 has

been allocated to widen participation in lifelong learning by 600 employees of 400 Small-Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to improve employability and skills, focussing upon international marketing, communication and strategies for new markets worldwide. Key European Structural Fund (ESF) projects in the East of England include over £7.5 million for Southend Seafront, High Street and Pier enhancement along with £3.5 million for Southend’s Business Innovation Incubator Centre. (6)

“East of England: Transforming lives, transforming places – creating sustainable communities” Government Office for the East of England

5.2 East of England Labour Market Employment Employment

East of England cent England Youth Unemployment East of England England


Average Funding Per Pupil East of England England % of 11yr olds achieving required standard in English East of England England % of 15yr olds achieving 5 or more GCSEs A-C (or equivalent) East of England England


Recorded Crime for Six Key Offences East of England Domestic Burglary East of England Police Officers East of England England


Nurses East of England Strategic Health A. East of England Strategic Health A.

5.3 Research and Technological Development

Jan 2008/ Mar 08 2,666,283

Jan 2009/ Mar 09 2,678,579

23,652,971 May 2008 2,800 33,470

% Change

According to Barbara Follett MP, Regional Minister for the East of England: “The East of England is lucky to have a combination of qualities that, put together, make it quite unique: world famous research centres and universities; business excellence in 21st century sectors like IT and renewable energy; bustling cities full of retail and leisure outlets; cutting edge agricultural development; and some of the most beautiful scenery, heritage and architecture in the UK. Rural or urban, coastal or land-locked, young or old: our region and our people have a richness and a diversity.”

May 2008

May 2009

% Change

+ 0.5 per cent

Claimant Unemployment East of England



+ 106.8 per

23,398,015 May 2009 5,475 65,290

- 1.1 per cent % Change + 95.5 per cent + 95.1 per cent

England Long-term Unemployment East of England England

693,870 May 2008 6,895 87,690

1,311,683 May 2009 8,425 107,155

+ 89.0 per cent % Change + 22.2 per cent + 22.2 per cent

2004/ 05(£) 4,120 4,270 Sep 2006/ Aug 07(%) 80 80 Sep 2006/ Aug 07(%) 61 61

2005/ 06(£) 4,290 4,480 Sep 2007/ Aug 08(%) 81 81 Sep 2007/ Aug 08(%) 64 65

% Change + 4.1 per cent + 4.9 per cent Change

Number of Teachers East of England England % of 11yr olds achieving required standard in Maths East of England England

Jan 2007 48,100 435,200 Sep 2006/ Aug 07 77 77

Jan 2008 47,900 434,900 Sep 007/ Aug 08 78 79

% Change - 0.4 per cent - 0.1 per cent % Change + 1.3 per cent + 2.6 per cent

The East of England is a UK leader in commercial Research and Development investment. Its knowledge driven economy is rated amongst the best in the world with global companies choosing to locate in the region to benefit from its heritage of excellence and enviable business reputation.

Apr 2006/ Mar 07 170,142 Apr 2006/ Mar 07 21,098 Sep 2007 11,067 N/A

Apr 2007/ Mar 08 157,002 Apr 2007/ Mar 2008 22,071 Sep 2008 11,181 N/A

% Change

Apr 2006/ Mar 07 East of England 5,127 Theft of and from a Apr 2006/ Motor Vehicle Mar 07 East of England 58,065 Community Support Officers Sep 2007 East of England 1,350 England 14,703

Apr 2007/ Mar 08 4,450 Apr 2007/ Mar 08 52,212 Sep 2008 1,399 15,062

% Change

Sep 2006 27,668 27,668

Sep 2008 28,194 28,194

% Change + 1.9 per cent + 1.9 per cent

The area is widely recognised as a hotbed of discovery and innovation: Aerospace – Boeing, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Meggitt Automotive – Ford, General Motors, Lotus and Nissan have their R&D operations in the region Biotechnology – Over half the entire UK biotech industry is here Energy & Environmental Services – It has the highest possible research ranking as a Centre of Excellence Food and Drink – Worth over £7 billion annually, with over 48,000 employees ICT – British Telecom has the largest telecommunications park in Europe (7)

+ 1.3 per cent + 1.3 per cent Change + 5.7 per cent + 6.6 per cent

- 7.7 per cent % Change + 4.6 per cent % Change + 1.0 per cent N/A


- 13.2 per cent % Change - 10.1 per cent % Change + 3.6 per cent + 2.4 per cent

Source: Office for National Statistics, 26 June 2009

Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


6. THAMES GATEWAY SOUTH ESSEX as well as Castle Point, Rochford and forms the largest urban area in the East of England. Its mix of urban and natural environments represent a unique challenge for urban regeneration. According to the 2001 census, its population of over 635,000 represented 12% of the regional total and it’s projected that around 31,575 new homes will be needed in Thames Gateway South Essex by 2016.

‘playground’ which has long provided recreation for Londoners, locals and tourists alike, offering an attractive coast line, distinctive estuarial wetlands, popular resorts and open countryside. Over 6 million day visitors a year visit Southend - 2.2 million 6.1 Mix of Business and Pleasure The Thames Gateway South Essex sub-region is more than Bournemouth. one of a number that make up the Eastern Region, The Lakeside retail basin is South Essex fulfils two broad roles in relation to covering broadly the area east of the M25, the largest aggregation of bounded to the south by the River Thames and to London, the wider region and the UK. First, it is an retail floorspace in western economic powerhouse, producing energy, the north by the A13 as far as Basildon, then the Europe and attracts 30 manufacturing goods, importing goods from abroad A127 as far as Southend. It comprises the five million visitors annually. authorities of Basildon, Thurrock, Southend-on-Sea and distributing them across the UK. Second, it is a There are many sites of cultural and ecological interest, protected wildlife areas and internationally recognised wetlands. “South Essex is one of the country’s key development areas; the opportunities are almost limitless.” – Mark Pragnell, new Executive Director, Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership, 8 June 2009

Artist’s impression of the Lakeside Basin in 2021

6.2 Contributions to Regional Economy Today South Essex provides 70 per cent of London’s port capacity, manufactures 10 per cent of UK transport fuel, invests approximately £300m per annum in the research and development of Ford’s mid-range cars and is a critical component supplier to Boeing. The sub-region has a strong, and expanding, healthcare sector. Currently there are over 230,000 people employed in the Thames 7

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

Gateway South Essex economy, with an ambitious target of 55,000 additional jobs to be created by 2012. Around 55,000 people commute to London every day while over 70,000 commute into the area to work. Employment rates are high and the area is NUMBER OF HOMES NEEDED 2001-2016 London: North Kent: South Essex:

59,000 (minimum) 43,000 26,500



Stanford-le-Hope Centre (The Inn on the Green) - The area is rich in history

aiming to implement and manage development in the medium-long term. In 2006, former Minister for Housing and Planning, Yvette Cooper said: “The Thames Gateway is a long-term programme of investment, including some £6 billion going into improving local infrastructure. We are in no doubt that this is a long-term vision because there is huge potential in this location, which is within easy reach of London but without the pressures of being within London.” (8)

home to global brands including Unilever, Olympus 6.4 Development Milestones and Ford, as well as locally grown companies. All are characterised by a commitment to innovation and continuous improvement with new opportunities Among others, the Local Authority District Councils existing in medical devices, automotive and aviation of Basildon, Thurrock and Southend are working engineering, environmental technologies and with public and private sector organisations to logistics. realise the promised and well-documented potential of land development and business start-up in the 6.3 Room for Growth region. With around 31,575 new homes to be built in South Essex and around 42,500 jobs created, this South Essex has been designated a growth area under the Sustainable Communities Plan promoted scale of growth requires intervention in inward by former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, investment, business retention and skills

development, as well as transport. The development of Thames Gateway is seen as environmentally friendly for building will be on brownfield rather than greenfield sites and is one of four priority target regions for housing growth in the South over the next 15 to 30 years under the Sustainable Communities Plan. The Essex Gateway covers approximately 55,000 square metres in area scheduled for hotel, conference facilities, health spa and major leisure outlets while Thurrock, Basildon, Southend, Wickford are areas earmarked for major residential and retail redevelopment. (9)

Essex University is home to one of the UK’s leading academic institutions. Founded in 1964, it has grown in both reputation and size, developing a worldwide reputation for top quality teaching and research with more than 9,000 students studying at three campuses across Essex. Academic departments span the humanities, social sciences, science and engineering, and law and management. Essex is the UK’s most internationally diverse campus university with students drawn from 130 countries. (10), (11)

6.5 Local Institutions The Essex Thames Gateway Information Group is a non-political organisation welcoming all points of view on the effects of regional developments including major road developments and the cycle of more jobs creating more local migration, while the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership aim to deliver a better quality of life for all those who live and work in the area to affect current and future improvements.

Essex being close to London is a good place to live Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


7. KEY OPPORTUNITY AREAS – ‘URBAN CENTRES’: THURROCK Traditionally an area of heavy industrial and suburban development and a major employment location for over a hundred years, Thurrock is one of the key opportunity areas identified in the Thames Gateway planning framework. Substantial areas of development land potential are a hallmark of the local economy, ripe for industrial and commercial development and physical, social and economic regeneration. Commercial, retail and leisure uses at Lakeside and housing at Chafford Hundred have brought economic and environmental benefits to the area, helping to improve the Borough’s image and making it a more

attractive place to live and work. (12) The closure of industrial operations, in particular in the oil refining and storage industries, has opened up further opportunities for the redevelopment of land and economic regeneration. Major new developments in the 1990s complement development land near the M25 and at Tilbury, and as a strategic site on the River Thames close to major communication networks and London, the development potential for the area is considerable, including an additional major development opportunity at Shell Haven. The April 2009 Draft

Regional Spatial Strategy Single Issue Review describes Thurrock as a ‘Key Centre for Development and Change’, with Derrick Ashley, Chair of the Regional Planning Panel at the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) commenting: “This draft policy is a first, major step to addressing the issues in this area and giving the people living there the opportunities to fulfil this potential.” (13) EERA’s partnership approach in working with Thurrock Council, Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Essex County Council, East of England Development Agency and the Government Office for the East of England recognises the transformational change that Thurrock and the Thames Gateway can provide, with challenging targets for housing and jobs growth to 2021 and beyond. One such challenge and opportunity is the regeneration of Lakeside Basin in West Thurrock, where the expected growth in population is catered for, as well as providing better services for existing residents with considered improvements in the town centre type functions enjoyed elsewhere in the region to be made available within Thurrock. (14)

Working from north to south, existing land use concentrations are apparent in the form of Green Belt, leisure, retail, evening economy, residential, logistics, warehousing and heavy industry, river and marshes. In redeveloping industrial sites to provide a range of housing for new and existing residents, the design principles for West Thurrock residential zones include expansion of residential areas to provide a diversity of housing types via a mixture of flats and houses to meet a variety of housing needs and markets. Added value through the creation of new jobs requiring new housing and schools and supporting facilities will further stimulate local regeneration. The Lakeside and West Thurrock Masterplan November 2008 makes provision for at least 3,500

7.1 Land Use Clusters and Zones The 2004 ‘Growth and Regeneration in the Thames Gateway’ report by the Regional Planning Bodies sees Lakeside and West Thurrock dominated by strong concentrations of land uses. 9

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

Aerial view of Lakeside Shopping Centre

new family homes and apartments. It is anticipated that the retail and leisure expansion of the Lakeside Basin will help generate growth in other sectors. The creation of additional jobs, the provision of cohesive and interconnected land uses and the improved accessibility and movement into and from the Masterplan area will attract further investment. The proposed residential zone will connect South Stifford with West Thurrock with a continuous band of new homes. This will provide a variety of house types complementary to the existing housing market and attractive to potential employees with ease of

Lakeside Shopping Centre, one of the biggest in the UK

access to employment. (15) Adding new capacity and higher levels of efficiency, a recent leap for Thurrock’s technological base has seen the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (TTGDC) using next generation internet connectivity from ntl:Telewest Business, part of the Virgin Media group, to help deliver and communicate its major regeneration projects. TTGDC is using the highspeed service to provide remote working capabilities for its 50 staff, to host its web site and share complex project information with the public and its developer partners. In driving forward the regeneration and development of Thurrock, the local authority is creating the right environment for sustainable housing and economic growth. TTGDC wanted to host its own website and gain greater network resilience, so needed a flexible, robust service. ntl:Telewest Business was chosen due to its advanced fibre optic next generation network, customer-focused approach and scalable internet service. The three-year Managed Internet Access contract means that TTGDC can increase bandwidth as business needs evolve, ensuring the highest levels of service to the public. “We have a major responsibility to ensure the highest levels of service, through both our web site and the provision of reliable access to planning information,” said Jason Oliver, Chief Information Officer for Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation. “The ntl:Telewest Business fibre optic network provides a robust, high-speed platform for our communications. It underpins our entire operations and provides us with the capabilities to continue meeting our statutory mandate.” (16)

QE2 bridge over the Thames Gateway at Thurrock Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


8. ‘KEY SERVICE CENTRES’: BASILDON Basildon is a District Authority in the county of Essex in East of England, forming a strategic part of the Greater London commuter belt. In 1801, Basildon’s total population was 3,786. In 1901 it was 6,825 and today boasts a bustling population of some 165,888 people. (17) Well-linked with easy access to the M25 from which all London airports can be accessed, and

located 36 miles east of London covering an area of 3,165 ha (7,818 acres), Basildon was designated as a New Town on 4 January 1949 and is celebrating 60 years of New Town status this year. The district is identified as a key service centre with a broad, thriving industrial base and prestigious shopping centre. It is a hub for business and employment growth in the Thames Gateway South Essex regeneration zone and is a

priority area for development, manifesting itself in the development of a 20-hectare Gateway Business Park including a Business Development Centre. (18) Close to the A13, A127 and to the M25 London Orbital Motorway, Basildon is conveniently located for road and rail connections to Stansted and London City airports, the rail link running between Basildon and Fenchurch Street Station for the City of London. Its three principal train stations are Basildon, Laindon and Pitsea connecting to London and Southend.

Automotive Research and Development in Essex and is home to local industries including engineering, avionics, automotive, distribution and data processing, brewing and electronics. It boasts major companies including Ford’s research and development centre, Fiat, New Holland Tractors, Michelin Tyres, BAE Systems and Commercial Union’s UK administrative centre. Basildon Council and English Partnerships are championing the area’s interests and acting as a conduit for funding

Basildon shares its borders to the north with the Borough of Chelmsford, to the east with the District of Rochford, to the south east with the Borough of Castle Point and to the west with the Borough of Brentwood. To the south Basildon shares its boundary with the unitary authority of Thurrock. It is a key population centre and has two main surrounding villages, Billericay and Wickford, with several smaller settlements such as Laindon and Pitsea making it a continuous urban area. The remaining land, approximately half of the District, is designated as Green Belt and has several Sites of Special Scientific Interest. There are also wildlife areas of varying sizes around most of the District. Basildon has also established itself as the centre of 11

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

The South West Essex NHS Trust sits in Basildon

and investment. The district is also becoming an attractive location for the office market with its superb communications network. (19) In Wickford, Basildon in Essex, the 52 ha (128 acre) Gardiners Lane South site lies south of the A127 and English Partnerships is working with the Council to bring forward the redevelopment of the site. While a predominantly residential scheme is considered to be the best solution to create a vibrant and sustainable community, bodies are jointly considering the best way to deliver a sustainable housing scheme in an area of high demand.

All the large retailers are well represented in Basildon

A new Sporting Village and improvements to playing pitches and sports facilities throughout the District make Basildon the centre for Sport in South Essex. The Sporting Village is expected in 2010 and is being highly sought after as an Olympic training base for top international teams, including the Russians. Its combined benefits of having top facilities so close to London – including one of the few Olympic-size pools (50m) in the UK will make it a true asset to whichever teams use it. (20)

• New community facilities • Public realm improvements throughout the town centre Once the tender is submitted, and subject to its approval, the development partner could be appointed by October. There will then be extensive public consultation as part of detailed master planning.

Basildon On The Up

Councillor Stephen Horgan, Deputy Leader of the Council, says: “This is a very important project for

It was announced on 30 July 2009 that Plans to rejuvenate Basildon town centre have taken a step forward as the Council's Cabinet have approved the go ahead to the next stage of the procurement process. Barratt Homes and Wilson Bowden will now be invited to submit their final tender for the £1billion project which will transform central Basildon, delivering much needed infrastructure and housing with: Basildon has an excellent transport network

Basildon and it reflects the confidence in our community and the hard work of the project team that it is still on track despite the recession. We have a great opportunity to transform Basildon Town Centre, with more and better shops and offices, better transport facilities and new homes.”

Gardiners Lane is a key element in achieving the aspirations of the Thames Gateway South Essex Initiative to create a major business hub. The scheme comprises a mix of residential and leisure use and the development is expected to create 400 new homes including affordable and key worker housing together with local shops, leisure facilities and a variety of public open spaces and areas of ecological interest.

• New shops and offices • New transport facilities

Councillor Tony Ball, Leader of the Council, says: “I am delighted that we have got to this stage of the project, and it is testament to the fact that Basildon is a good investment location and the private sector has confidence in the area. I look forward to the tender coming in and moving further forward with this exciting project.” (21)

Wickford Park How to find more online... Updated regulary, more and more information is available for customers looking to purchase their own UK Strategic Land. Basildon Council looks after its community well Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


Wick Park estate runs alongside Wickford Park 13

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

9. ‘URBAN FRINGE’: WICKFORD AND WICKFORD PARK The rural-urban fringes of Wickford and Wickford Park are strategically located on the outskirts of Basildon and can be described as the “landscape interface between town and country”, the transition zone where urban and rural land uses mix.

by the London Liverpool Street train line providing access to London, Southend-on-Sea and Southminster, and is designated as a Principal Town Centre in the Basildon District Local Plan. The town centre’s physical characteristics are dominated by its linear High Street, around which the majority of 9.1 Wickford retail and commercial activity is focused. Its train line traverses the town centre at an elevated height, Wickford town has existed since before 975 with its bisecting the High Street in the middle and served name coming from Saxon origin. In 1870, John by the Jubilee Way A132 Bypass. The River Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Crouch, which meanders through the centre from Wales described Wickford as a village, a parish, and south-west to north-east, is another important a sub-district, in Billericay district, Essex. The village feature. (22) stands on the River Crouch, 4 miles North by East of Pitsea railway station.” 9.2 Wickford Park Located at the north-eastern edge of Basildon District, Wickford now has its own railway station and the intervening 140 years have seen it develop into a town centre with a population of approximately 32,500 which has grown rapidly in recent years due to successive housing developments. As a location on the urban fringe approximately 58 km from London (36 miles), Wickford is served

A strategic land site in the East of England, Wickford Park is highly accessible to Central London, just 2 miles from Basildon, less than 45 minutes from the Olympic City London Stratford by British Rail and conveniently situated in prime commuter belt for Liverpool Street Station in the heart of London.

Wickford Park is in an excellent location

Running along Wickford Park is Wick Country Park which comprises 50 acres (200,000 m2) of former agricultural land with over 2 km of easy access trails around the site. An oppotunity to purchase strategic land alongside the Essex Thames Gateway, Wickford Park is located on the outskirts of Wickford and at 13.56 acres in size, is sandwiched between the Wick Country Park and the A127/Thames Gateway. The Wickford Park land area and its surrounds are colloquially known as the “Fields of Gold” for the wealth flows they enjoy from the City of London and their high value potential and capital accumulation prospects. (23)

Even in these Credit Crunch times there is high building levels in Wickford Town Centre and around Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


10. COMMUTER BELT FOR LONDON Wickford and Wickford Park are well-connected to Basildon, Stratford and Liverpool Street stations leading to the London Underground and fit firmly within London’s commuter belt surrounding and running into Greater London with the county of Essex on its border. According to the 2001 census, the London Metropolitan Area formed the most significant part of the commuter belt with a population of 13,945,000, making it the 16th largest in the world. The East of England Plan (EEP) forecasts Thames Gateway improvements seeing an alignment between homes and workplaces, resulting in a reduction in the proportion, if not necessarily the number of the resident Essex Thames Gateway workforce who commute to London. As transport options improve and affordable housing moves further away from London, Essex residents and businesses are wellplaced to benefit. (24), (25)

10.1 Lakeside Lakeside in Thurrock, Essex is an established regional centre playing an important role in the East of England Regional Spatial Strategy. Connected to the M25 and A13, it is firmly established on the UK’s retail map for its groundbreaking Shopping Centre, opened in October

Thurrock Lakeside is one of the major retail parks in the UK


| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

1990. With over 250 stores including Apple, Next and Marks & Spencer, it is one of the largest shopping areas and leisure destinations in a single location in Europe with 2,600,000 square feet (240,000 m2) of retail space on a site of 200 acres (0.81 km2). Lakeside supports some 6,500 jobs with an additional 1,650 seasonal Stansted Airport is a top UK airport staff and while 70% of employees live within minutes drive south of the airport with journey time Thurrock, a sizeable number commute to jobs in to central London around 70 minutes. A former the City and central areas of London. (26) USA Air Force bomber base during World War Two, Stansted Airport’s success took off during the Lakeside has undergone major refurbishments to package holiday explosion in the 60s and has the tune of £30 million, including new Italian grown to become London’s third major airport, the porcelain flooring, new lighting, a new ceiling and new glass roofs allowing more natural light into the UK’s fourth largest airport, home to 41 airlines and one Terminal serving 22.8 million passengers a shopping centre. There are now also new faster year. “Opening up a world of opportunities” for its lifts and 4 more escalators along with automatic future, the approval of a second terminal and entrance doors. The refurbishment has also second runway at Stansted is expected to see its encouraged the refitting of many local shops to first flights in 2017, serving 68 million passengers a complement the new surroundings. (27) year and creating over 13,000 new jobs by 2030. (28)

10.2 Stansted Airport

Stansted is located on the M11 motorway at Junction 8 and connects with the M25 London Orbital Motorway at Junction 27, approximately 20

10.3 Stratford A strategic location since the great Roman Road from Colchester to London was diverted through Stratford, the town is cemented in the East of England’s history with its famous literary reference

in 14th century poet Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Stratford Regional Station is a key artery for incoming commuters from Essex to central London and will be one of the main gateways for spectators to get to the sporting action and cultural excitement in the Olympic Park. A £100 million upgrade has begun to treble capacity and boost accessibility. Eight rail lines will service the station, making it a major public transport interchange while the introduction of domestic train services along the international railway between Newham and Ashford in Kent is confidently expected to pull the area’s limits outwards in north easterly and south easterly directions, bringing even greater symmetry to the London commuter belt. (29), (30)

The Olympics is being constructed at London - Stratford for its 2012 showing

10.4 Southend Southend-on-Sea is situated within the Thames Gateway on the north side of the Thames Estuary 40 miles (65 km) from central London. Southend is famous for its pier measuring 2158 metres (1.34 miles) making it the world’s longest pleasure pier, and is well known for its seaside attractions and award winning beaches. Southend also hosts one of the largest free airshows in Europe staged by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, attracting more than 10 million visitors to Southend since the show began with three-quarters of a million visitors. The two-day event generates more than £10 million for the local economy every year and sustains 60 local jobs. (31) Southend’s aeronautic achievements are supported by Southend Airport, a long-established regional airport for South East Essex, the Eastern Gateway to London and a major asset of the Thames Gateway Regeneration Zone. A new airport railway station providing fast and frequent train services direct to Stratford (for Docklands and Canary Wharf) and to central London’s Liverpool Street Station will soon provide its passengers with faster door-to-door times inbound to London than most other London airports, and at lower costs. The airport is a major asset and employment location within Thames Gateway and is home to a wide range of aviation companies, airlines and operators with more than 1,300 employees. A multi-million development scheme including a new control tower, terminal building and high-quality hotel, is currently being progressed to extend the range of passenger services facilitated by the new

airport railway station. Selected as the main year round tourist destination by East of England Tourism, Southend-on-Sea is only 55 minutes travelling time from London’s Fenchurch Street Station for domestic and international tourists alike. (32)

Southend Airport is now owed by the Stobart Group

Part of Essex University, the Southend Campus ‘Gateway Building’ opened new high-tech facilities in 2007, presided over by an official representative from the Homes and Communities Agency. It is the first of a range of Southend Campus developments offering modern, state-of-the-art teaching and business environments in a busy town centre location. There are more teaching rooms, three more studio rehearsal rooms and office space, including two new lecture rooms each with capacity for 100 people, which are also available for community use. The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said: “This completes our first major project in Southend and signals our commitment to providing educational and training opportunities in south Essex. We are working closely with partners in Southend to raise aspirations and support economic regeneration.” (11)

Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


11. HOUSING NEEDS AT THIS SCALE 11.1 East of England Regional Housing Strategy

need for rural housing across market towns and need to be ‘affordable‘, i.e. benefiting from some form of subsidy to reduce their cost to the consumer villages recognises that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all‘ to significantly below the market price. On the basis solution that would permit a simple policy for setting subsidy levels from planning gain. of current practice, the volume of subsidy required The strategy states that: “The will certainly be much greater than what is likely to East of England is set to – Mark Pragnell, new experience a large growth in the be available from public expenditure. Therefore the Assessing this need in creating inclusive communities requires EERA to use the Housing Executive Director, Thames number of households resident RHS sets out an approach to meet this challenge through a series of measures aimed at: Gateway South Essex in the Region. This is partly due Housing investment sub-regions reducing land and construction costs, Partnership, 8 June 2009 to expansion within the existing population and reducing average subsidy requirements, and Housing investment sub-regions partly a result of in-migration. These pressures The Regional Housing Strategy for the East of maximising the public investment resources cannot be avoided and are considered necessary to England 2005-2010 sets out the strategic direction support the economic growth of the East of England available. Key among these are improvefor the delivery of housing across the East of ments in how the land-use planning system to ensure the sustainability of the Region’s England – helping to meet the challenges of growth communities. While the East of England Plan has is operated to help provide land and subsidy and regeneration in the Region, and more for different forms of affordable housing established the broad strategic location of where specifically to inform the recommendations for within sustainable new communities of the the new housing should be developed to 32600 public investment in affordable housing. The future.” accommodate the household growth, one of the strategy points out that 508,000 homes are needed purposes of this Regional Housing Strategy is to Given the need for 23,900 net additional by 2021 and is based on a vision of the region 21200 34000 provide clear guidance on the type of housing to be dwellings per year over the East of England where “everyone can live in a decent home which provided. The provision of new housing appears to Plan period 2001–2021, affordable housing 11800 meets their needs, at a price they can afford and in be the most pressing issue for the Region.” Of key need equates to 11,000 dwellings per year, locations that are sustainable” in addition to “more, consideration are additional housing balanced with EERA is considering all options for 82500 sustainable housing provision, in high quality protection of open countryside and the trade-off addressing identified housing needs, homes and environments, creating inclusive between the quality and quantity of new homes. including low-cost home ownership and communities.” The Regional Housing Forum have 54500 equity release products and other steered the development of the strategy with the 74100 The East of England Regional Housing Strategy accommodation needs including sites and EERA Housing and Sustainable Communities (EERHS) encompasses the Government’s five year includes an analysis of the need for Key Panel. Strategic delivery is in the hands of a large ‘Homes for All’ strategy announced in January 2005 Worker housing. This will determine the 123500 number of stakeholders operating in the housing and goes on to explain: “Over the coming years, it additional support that the Single Regional field across the region. (33) is estimated that the East of England will require on Housing Pot will need to complement the 43800 average an additional 23,900 homes to be provided Key Worker Living Programme and the First annually. Eleven thousand of these will probably Time Buyers’ Initiative. An analysis of the “South Essex is one of the country’s key development areas; the opportunities are almost limitless.”

Sources: Regional Housing Forum.


London Commuter Belt



Greater Norwich

Rural East Anglian

Haven Gateway

Thames Gateway

Borders are Crown copyright 2003.

Crown copyright material is reproduced

by the permission of the Controller of HMSO. HMSO click-use licence C02W0003601.

Yarmouth and Lowestoft


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“Whilst the Thames Gateway provides a unique opportunity to ease the acute housing shortage in London and the South East, build out rates are likely to fall short of Government targets.” Jim Ward - Director, Savills Research Needs Surveys following a standard methodology set out in Government guidance while the Local Housing Assessment Guide sets out the housing demands of those communities. The guide accompanied the consultation paper ‘Planning for Mixed Communities’ as part of the Government’s objectives to meet the housing requirements of the whole community and creating sustainable communities that offer a wide range of housing and are socially inclusive. (34)

With its focus on providing high quality homes and environments, the East of England Regional Housing Strategy takes as its baseline the achievement of the Government’s ‘Decent Homes Standard’ in the existing stock and to radically improve the general quality of new homes and residential areas with housing playing a key role in 11.2 East of England Implementation issues relating to social inclusion and community Plan cohesion in the region. The RHS stresses the importance of creating balanced communities, The East of England Implementation Plan sets out including mixed housing tenure. It proposes the how the region will deliver its long-term vision and development of policies and practices which, when ambitious targets for economic growth, housing and addressing housing issues, will also take account of health, accessibility and other factors which impact affordable homes, employment, skills, the on residents’ quality of life. (33) environment and more efficient use of resources. The 12-week consultation period on the draft 11.3 East of England Plan Regional Implementation Plan concluded at midnight on 3 July 2009. Spatial Strategy Review In March 2009, the Government allocated £58 million of funding to eight transport projects in the East of England to support the development of new housing as part of a £170m package of national funding from the Community Infrastructure Fund managed on behalf of the Government by the Homes and Communities Agency. The substantial funding package will unlock the potential in the

highlighted in its ‘East of England wish-list for 2009’ a focus on tackling housing need with co-ordinated policies and action including Government guarantees for mortgage repayments, tax free savings accounts for first time buyers and investment in new housing schemes. (38)

region for delivering the new homes that will help to ease long-term housing need from first time buyers and families on waiting lists. Commenting on the new funding, Housing Minister Margaret Beckett said: “This funding will help to deliver new homes that the East of England desperately needs. We know that good transport links are vital to successful communities and by investing today in tomorrow’s infrastructure, we are helping to ensure the foundations are in place to support economic recovery, while also creating and safeguarding jobs right now.” (35)

A review of the East of England Plan Regional Spatial Strategy was published on 12 May 2008 and was the first region-wide review to be completed. It embeds within the statutory planning system a sustainable long term vision for development in a region with particularly strong growth pressures and is a big step forward to

deliver more affordable housing, better transport plans and the environmental controls the region needs, while representing a 15-20 year vision to address housing shortages and strengthen the region’s economy. (36) Regarding the region’s provision for affordable housing specifically, the National Housing Federation East of England Regional Committee said of its 2009/2010 work plan during its March 2009 meeting: “We have always maintained that the regional spatial strategy should seek to meet housing need which is identified (at present the 35% target falls short of meeting the absolute numbers of homes which are needed in the affordable housing sector). However the reality is that despite improving performance over recent years, only around 19% of homes completed last year were affordable. This year and next look likely to see the 35% target exceeded.” (37) Supporting greater assistance for home buyers, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

One of the most respected and influential measures of the housing market, the RICS UK Housing Market Survey reported new buyer enquiries increasing at a faster rate in May 2009 and the fifth consecutive rise in sales to stock ratio suggesting that the pricing environment is improving. The survey details new buyer enquiries increasing for seven months in a row with the net balance of surveyors seeing an increase rather than a decrease in buyer interest (compared with the preceding month), climbing to its best level since August 1999. Additionally, newly agreed sales measured on a net balance basis remained comfortably in positive territory for the third consecutive month, showing a further rise in the average number of sales per surveyor. (39)

11.4 The East of England Regional Assembly The region’s strategic partnership made recommendations to the Government on how money from the Single Regional Housing Pot (SRHP) should be spent over the three years from April 2008 until March 2011, stating that “affordable housing should be the top priority in a region where average house prices are now over £200,000. The cost of housing is increasing faster than people’s earnings and we need more Government help to ensure all residents of the East of England have an affordable place to live.” (34) Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


Wickford Park

Aerial view of the Thames Gateway over London and the surrounding area including Essex 19

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

12. THAMES GATEWAY HOUSING NEED The Thames Gateway was first recognised as a major planning concept in the 1980s and has increased in importance over the years until it was identified as a major housing growth area in the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan in 2003. The initial target for 120,000 homes in the Gateway between 2001 and 2016 was raised in 2006 to 160,000 new homes over the same period, 35% of which are intended to be of affordable “submarket” tenure. (3) The Thames Gateway South Essex Sub-Regional Housing Strategy 2005-2008 covers Basildon District Council, Thurrock Borough Council, as well as Castle Point Borough Council, Rochford District Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. By 2021 an additional 43,800 homes are planned for South Essex, with a 5% increase in the population. Critical to the success of new housing will be design and how it integrates with existing communities. The Essex Design Initiative, developed by the public and private sector, and work currently being undertaken by the Partnership with the regional design agency, Inspire East, offers a fantastic opportunity to ensure that delivering challenging targets does not preclude the quality of design which residents deserve. The South Essex housing market has a lot to offer for

those who seek urban or rural living, a first time buy or an executive home – South Essex can meet this need and is more affordable than much of the south-east. A wide mix of housing for sale – in all price ranges, both large and small, and higher and lower densities – is seen as essential to the creation of sustainable communities. Quality of design is also key to ensuring their long-term visibility. Given the rising population within the Thames Gateway South Essex sub-region, the strategic vision for accommodating incoming residents is: “To deliver quality housing that contributes to sustainable communities and a balanced housing market.” (40), (41)

12.1 South Essex Housing Priorities • Maximise Thames Gateway’s key employment and residential sites to present an opportunity to create exemplar mixed communities. • Ensure transport and social infrastructure is planned and focussed to open up new development sites to deliver housing growth. • Maximise the housing development potential of the Thames riverfront, whilst enhancing its recreational use and protecting its bio-diversity. • Encourage inward migration of skilled worker and enhance the skills of the wider workforce, Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


12.2 Growing Housing Demand According to industry respected research from Savills global real estate, Thames Gateway is now beginning to reap the rewards as a designated major growth area and the focus for investment. Employment levels have risen dramatically, many new homes have been built and house prices have outperformed surrounding areas, with employment growth set to outperform national projections over the next 10 years. However, just a quarter of the 160,000 new homes earmarked for the Thames Gateway have been completed with output needing to increase significantly over the next decade. The challenge will be to pull in sufficient demand for new homes as volumes rise, otherwise

rates of sale and completions will fall short of target. Demand will rest on the level of investment in infrastructure and will include high quality schools, shops, leisure facilities and public space. Amongst other transport improvements, the use of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link for domestic services will significantly reduce journey times to Central London and open up new areas to those considering a move out of London. The geographical extent of the Growth Area in Essex Thames Gateway should be more tightly defined to core urban areas within which major urban growth and regeneration will be focussed ie. Southend, Castle Point, Basildon New Town and Thurrock Urban Area. Northern rural parts of Thurrock and the northern part of Basildon district covering Billericay and Wickford are part of the generic policies for the region. (3)

The Thames Gateway presents a unique opportunity to ease the acute housing shortages in London and the South East whilst regenerating large areas of derelict land. However, the area is already falling short of targets. Developers and investors will be able to successfully increase output and provide the necessary infrastructure for the region. Central to this is the impact that | Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

Regional average




0% S Essex TG

N Kent TG

London TG

Source: HM Land Registry / Savills Research

12.3 Strategic Opportunity


Thames Gateway area 100%

2001-2006 total house price growth

ensuring that housing growth meets their diverse needs. • Ensure Thames Gateway planned population growth benefits all residents not just newcomers by developing the local skills base to maximise take-up of new jobs. • Ensure programmes are in place to improve Community Safety and guarantee good housing management for the Gateway’s housing stock both public and private. • Ensure that addressing health inequalities is mainstreamed in the planning of infrastructure and through a design code for future developments. (3)

increased volumes of supply will have on pricing. House prices across the Thames Gateway are, on average, lower than the surrounding regions with residential values in Thames Gateway South Essex having the second highest average value in 2006 at £183,000. With values rising and investment beginning to flow into the area, the Thames Gateway is showing signs of catching up. Overall house price growth since 2001 in each part of the Gateway outperformed growth at a regional level. Highest growth (over 15% per annum) has been seen in Basildon, Southend, Woolwich, Dagenham, Grays, Purfleet and Queensborough. Some of these are key areas of regeneration. Other areas of large scale development or anticipated regeneration have also seen above average growth, i.e., Chatham and the area around Ebbsfleet

International Station. The area around the 2012 Olympics site at Stratford has also seen high growth over the last five years. (3)

12.4 Thames Gateway Housing Completions

Flats 100%

Proportion of new sales




0% 2000

London TG

Actual and projected net additions to stock





0 01/02 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 Source: Local Authority Annual Monitoring Reports, based on data at Local Authority level

Monitoring Reports show that supply growth has been highest in the Local Authority District of Basildon and in the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Havering. Based on housing trajectories published in the reports, annual net completions across the area are set to increase by a further 50% by 2010/11. (3)


South Essex Source: Savills Research

N Kent TG



New housing completion rates across the Thames Gateway have increased by 50% between 2001/02 and 2005/06, with rates in the London Boroughs rising by 66%. Savills’ Annual

S Essex TG

12.5 Planning Targets

Shift in supply of new private units



North Kent




Latest targets for the Thames Gateway are for an additional 160,000 new homes between 2001 and 2016. Over the period from 2001 to 2006 just 24% of homes required in the Local Authorities and London Boroughs which fall into the Thames Gateway were completed, with three quarters of the target still to be built during the next 10 years. The map compares recent completions with the latest targets from the emerging Regional Spatial Strategies at a Local Authority level. Of all this supply, around 70% will be located within the Thames Gateway boundary.

Whilst supply has increased across the Thames Gateway in recent years, there has been a shift in the type of housing delivered to the market for The chart highlights how the rate of construction private sale. In 2000 just under half (48%) of new needs to be drastically stepped up in each subprivate units sold were flats whereas this had risen to 80% by 2006. This move, which is apparent across the UK, has been driven by planning targets for high density development of brownfield land with developers seeking to maintain development viability by increasing gross sales values underpinned by off-plan sales to investors. Research for the Greater London Authority suggests that 70% of purchasers of new homes in the London Gateway in the year to June 2006 were by investors. This has had some impact on price growth with prices of new build flats rising by an average of 4% per annum over the last 5 years compared with 9% for new houses and 11% for all residential property.

region with London showing the greatest requirement to increase output in order to reach targets. Annual supply needs to increase by 67% over the next ten years compared with the last five. A factor which can go some way to explaining the delays in reaching targets is the dominance in the Gateway of large sites. Savills estimate that some 127,000 new residential units across the Thames Gateway are to be located on development sites of more than 1000 units. This is 80% of the overall target. Some of these schemes are already well underway and others are progressing well through the planning process. Whilst there may be almost inevitable planning delays on sites of this scale, it is highly likely that rates of new supply will be raised in the short to medium term, with reaching targets the key driver for action. (3)

Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


12.6 Regional Employment Growth Employment growth is a key driver of demand for housing and, conversely, if housing is in short supply, it can restrict economic growth. Targets for Thames Gateway are for an additional 180,000 new jobs between 2001 and 2016 and the region has indeed seen considerable growth over the last decade with total employment rising by 22% compared to 12% nationally. This has been at a time when the structure of the employment market has continued to change away from the traditional industries of the past towards the service sector. Employment growth across the Gateway is set to rise over the next 10 years by 7%, outperforming national projections of 5% growth. Savills’ assumptions are relatively conservative and there is the potential to outperform these projections, given the increased volume of investment in the Gateway and the potential to attract skilled workers into the region. The correct provision and mix of high quality and affordably priced market housing will be a major influence on prospective workers. A large proportion of future employment growth across the Gateway will continue to come from the service sector, with financial and business services expanding the most significantly. The focus of growth and investment in the Gateway means that jobs in construction will see the second largest expansion over the next decade, with large scale development set to add around 23m sq ft of office space as well as other retail, leisure and community uses. 23

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

12.7 Improving Gateway Transport Transport improvements across the Thames Gateway 1

Channel tunnel rail link - international Opened November 2007 Channel tunnel rail link - domestic Opening 2009 2 Kent Express - link into CTRL Opening 2009 3 Ebbsfleet International Station Opened November 2007 4 Stratford International Station Opening 2009 5 DLR three car upgrade Completion 2010 6 DLR Extension to Woolwich Opening 2009 7 DLR Stratford International Ext Completion 2010 8 DLR Ext to Barking Riverside and Dagenham Dock Proposed 9 East London line extension Under construction 10 East London Transit Approved 11 Greenwich Waterfront Transit Opening 2009 12 Crossrail Proposed 13 Thames Gateway Bridge Proposed 14 Kent Thameside Fastrack Launched On-going 15 M2 improvements to Junction 5 Proposed 16 Improvements to A13/A130 Sadlers Farm Junction Proposed 17 South Essex Rapid Transit Proposed Transport improvements across the Thames Gateway

The level of infrastructure investment, particularly on transport initiatives, is fundamental to the successful development of sites in the Thames Gateway. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link will provide a massive boost to the region, particularly with the opening up of the line for domestic services. This will significantly reduce journey times to central London and provide a further influence on buyers considering moving out from London. Smaller transport measures linking to local centres of employment are equally important in supporting and facilitating growth and will be crucial if the Thames Gateway is to achieve its housing and employment targets. (3)

12.8 Connections to the UK and Europe As the natural hub of the East of England region, Thames Gateway Essex is well-placed directly to the north of London and well-connected to other UK regions, as well as to key European locations and destinations. This “Gateway to London, Gateway to Europe” offers businesses looking to locate to the Thames Gateway a wealth of things to do within the region’s 40 mile radius. Formerly known as the high speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link, now called High Speed 1 (HS1), the UK arm of the Eurostar international train service continues to contribute significantly to the regeneration of inner London and the Thames

Ebbsfleet International Station near Dartford, Kent

Gateway. Departing from the “truly world class” St Pancras International, the 50.5 kilometre (31.4 miles) undersea rail tunnel links Folkestone in Kent with Coquelles near Calais in northern France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. HS1 operator London & Continental Railways plays a crucial leading role with responsibility for the multi-billion-pound regeneration of land around HS1 stations in partnership with developers and in

The high speed rail link goes through Essex into Kent

close co-ordination with Government agencies, local authorities and communities. With 81% of respondents to a March 2008 Ipsos MORI survey saying St Pancras International had “met or exceeded” their expectations (no one said they were ‘disappointed’), LCR now have the transport infrastructure in place to support the regeneration of King’s Cross, Stratford and the Thames Gateway, with HS1 having a positive economic impact on the sub-region. (29)

Village will include facilities such as an Olympicsized swimming pool, athletics track, grandstand and Gymnastics Centre, all forming a community hub offering a wealth of affordable and accessible activities and services for local people.

12.9 Olympic Opportunities

The Olympic’s effect has already been felt with residential prices around Stratford and the Olympic Games site rising by an average of 15% per annum over the last five years, outperforming other parts of London. Current plans suggest that around 9,000 residential units will be built in and around the Olympic Park area with 4,500 of these initially for athletes’ accommodation. The Games, however, will provide a catalyst for the regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley which could

The 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games are eagerly awaited, giving Thames Gateway South Essex a unique opportunity to create a lasting legacy for sport and young people undoubtedly providing a boost to regeneration across the Lower Lea Valley through increased investment, economic development, employment and tourism growth. A Thames Gateway Olympic Legacy action plan is in production and planning and development has already begun for several sports related regeneration projects across South Essex which have already shown their potential with their inclusion in the London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camp Guide. Projects include the Basildon Sporting Village, a landmark development that will play a significant and exciting role in the regeneration of Basildon town centre. The Sporting

The Olympics has come to Gloucester Park in Basildon

Basildon Sporting Village will host Olympics competitions

accommodate up to 35,000 new homes over 1,500 acres. Developers of residential units in the immediate area (both in the years leading up to and post the Olympics) should be able to benefit

from the rebranding of the area and positive impact of investment. With the number of units planned post-2012, developers and investors are taking into account the issues of building into high supply markets. The Games have put Stratford on the map and the long-term regeneration that is planned has the potential to transform an area previously cut off from central London by fragmented, scarred, industrial land and the River Lea into an attractive, well-connected, mixed use urban community. Many visitors to the Games will travel into Stratford from the new rail station at Ebbsfleet, raising greater local awareness of the new service. (43)

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13. GREEN BELT LAND Designated Green Belt land has protected fields and open space around towns and cities for decades, but they should be abolished according to think-tank, the Policy Exchange. They recommend scrapping the 70-year-old rules to provide space to develop greener, “safer, cleaner, more comfortable and more environmentally friendly towns”. Around 13% of land in England is currently designated as Green Belt. Their report highlighted how this artificial reduction in the amount of land available for development has severe consequences for society, the environment and the economy.

Dr Keith Porter of English Nature remarked that: “Low density developments with gardens and public open spaces would provide more favourable habitats for species than the giant pesticide treated cereal fields that dominate much of the countryside now and the different plant species grown in a typical garden enable a wide variety of insects to flourish.” This is backed-up by Adam Smith Institute research showing how, in turn, this supports a complex network of birds and other small animals, so housing development can actually promote biodiversity while development on Green Belt land would at worst have a neutral impact on levels of

Green Belt land in the right location could with professional advice go into an application for planning


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biodiversity. Liberalising the planning laws would open up new development land so there would be less pressure to try to build on more sensitive areas. The Institute sees a risk that small communities located within and around the Green Belt are going into decline because they are not allowed to expand – a potentially expensive and damaging situation as commuters’ train and car journeys cause considerable pollution. Green Belt boundaries can be altered from time to time in response to the needs and pressures for development, and Local Plans do apply to some policy interpretations to reflect local circumstances. The Secretary of State’s proposed changes to the East of England Regional Spatial Strategy, which was under consultation until March 2007, calls for revisions to Green Belt boundaries to accommodate housing in the Hertfordshire and Essex Metropolitan Green Belt. Green Belt boundaries are also being reviewed in and around the Upper Lee Valley, Thurrock and Thames Gateway South Essex growth area. Across South Essex, significant environmental enhancement projects including new country parks and the restoration of Rayleigh Windmill have been completed and new potential landscape and other ecological assets have been identified by the Land Restoration Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, East of England Development Agency and

other partners to make sure that the regeneration of this area offers excellent quality of life and environmental sustainability. The Essex County Greenbelt Association also works for the creation of “greenbelts” consisting of river, trail and other natural corridors, coastal systems and visually intact landscapes. (45), (46)

13.1 Green Belt Housing Provision In 2007, committed to delivering socially responsible outcomes and a sustainable future for communities, Smart Future Consulting analysed the effects of Green Belt limitations of the Draft South of England Plan on land developments and housing building rates. They questioned whether the proposed housing provision for the sub-region is at the most appropriate level having regard to social, environmental and economic considerations. They concluded: “The Plan creates an uncertain planning context for the preparation of Local Development Documents through the inadequacies of its economic forecasting beyond 2016. The RSS forecasts that demand for labour will outstrip the resident supply of economically active population across the region by around 240,000 in 2026. The region's ability to deliver economic growth will be constrained by labour shortages, unless there are significant flows of in-commuting or

Smart Future’s review concluded: “Where there is review of the planning system, considered the most far-reaching study to date in favour of Green conflict between Green Belt and sustainable Belt expansion. The review highlights the vital role patterns of development and movement, strategic The pressure on land is a consequence of the reviews of Green Belt boundaries are, in our view, urban and regional planning can play to deliver existing constraints of Green Belt boundaries, sustainable economic development, particularly in wholly justifiable where there are opportunities to however, in querying whether the sustainability of create sustainable patterns of development and view of the pressures of a growing population in developing Green Belt land for a range of uses has the South East, raising incomes, an aging movement that are complementary to the Green been properly considered in the South of England, population, climate change and the increasing Belt.” (47) Smart Future believe that relying upon maintaining globalisation of the world economy. Barker also We expect the Examination in Public process the regional role of the Metropolitan Green Belt as argues that boundaries should be altered to allow to conclude that there is a requirement for a its key driver forces the sub-region to take a more building as increased property prices within significantly higher building rate, and, if as qualified approach to the challenge of meeting the belt reduces the amount of land required for seems likely, the eventual annual regional growth targets through its sub-regional strategy in ‘affordable’ housing. Barker led the review as a house-building target is closer to 36,000 per contrast to the approach taken in the East of former CBI Economist and a member of the Bank annum, this represents a near 25% increase England Plan. In the East of England the Secretary of England Monetary Policy Committee and also upon the current Plan.” Smart Future’s South of of State acknowledges there are “exceptional led a recent Government Review of Housing England sub-regional strategy is: "To support circumstances” arising from “the scale of the Supply. sustainable economic growth and meet as far region’s housing needs and the aim to achieve a as possible the pressing housing needs of the better balance between supply and demand in all sub-region, taking into account considerable areas, including in regard to the London Arc, where Metropolitan Green Belt and the area’s critical demand is particularly strong and affordability relationship to London." problems particularly acute.” Changes are proposed only in situations where “tightly drawn Green Belt boundaries, whilst assisting urban The region has been subject to pressure for concentration, have made it increasingly difficult to development with a local economy expanding at a meet development needs, particularly for housing, faster rate than the regional average throughout resulted in greater dispersal of development and the 1990s. In response there have been occasional thereby contributed to unsustainable travel ad hoc Green Belt releases for development. patterns.” Smart Future claim it would be better for future releases to be based on sustainable criteria since 13.2 Green Belt Sustainability this pressure might reasonably be expected to continue in an area close to London’s airports, and The sustainability of developing Green Belt land for given the sub-region’s inherent economic strength. a range of uses has not been properly considered For these reasons, they submit that the policy while the adverse environmental and economic framework as proposed is inadequate and unlikely impact of an over-simplistic application of Green Green Belt land in the right location could with professional advice go into an application for planning to meet the challenge over the next 20 years. This Belt policies were analysed in Kate Barker’s 2006 more houses are built. The January 2005 public consultation on spatial options rightly proposed to build more houses to reduce the gap but a build level of 28,900 houses per annum will be unsustainable, with either a failure to hit the economic growth rate or very significant increases in incommuting.

concern would be reinforced if the overall housing distribution is increased.

Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


14. SECTION 2 BASILDON DISTRICT CENTRE CONTEXT In February 2007, Thames Gateway Chief Executive Judith Armitt took a walk around Basildon talking to BBC Essex about regeneration and new housing opportunities for the local economy. Her enthusiastic vision for the area’s future can be summed up in her statement: “Just looking at Basildon one can see that the Thames Gateway is all about starting to really think about place making and really sustainable communities. If we have new homes and new jobs, people living in these communities will really want to have them. It’s about providing people with the opportunities to

Basildon is a place people like to live


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make sure that they can buy that new house and get that new job, and it’s about providing for new people moving in too, giving quality of life to everyone. Basildon town centre is a great focal point and a place around which you can bring thousands of new jobs to Basildon, as well as new housing. This is the largest regeneration area in the whole of western Europe, a really exciting place to be living. Hopefully in twenty years’ time, people will be looking back with pride at how the Thames Gateway has been transformed and changed our country as a result.” (48)

possession of a strong economy, contributing significantly and increasingly to the skilled labour market of the area and London, Basildon is very much the business hub of South Essex within the Thames Gateway: the national priority area for economic regeneration. The focus is already being placed on this area and is set to grow. The plans to transform Basildon and expand its economy are set in commercial reality.” (49)

Together with Basildon District Council, Basildon Renaissance Partnership is coordinating all Thames Gateway regeneration projects for Basildon’s future. Set up in April 2002 to implement Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) at a district level, Basildon Renaissance Partnership (BRP) places economic, education and housing strategies at the top of their agenda, planning, managing and coordinating a programme of projects across the District, and working closely together with partners to drive projects forward while drawing on collective resources and experience to ensure that the aspirations of the partners, people and businesses of Basildon are realised.

The three strands of Basildon’s regeneration are:

The regeneration plans for Basildon District will be achieved with the Partnership referring to Basildon as a location “set to reach new heights utilising the existing solid commercial base and economy, its prime location, community support and the implementation of a bold rejuvenation strategy. In

PLACE – Creating the right place for people to live, where an active lifestyle can be lived locally but not far from London. Basildon is the economic hub with major capacity for business. Already the largest town centre shopping destination in South Essex, Basildon has set itself the target of

becoming a top 30 retail destination in England, and the number one in Essex. With the largest area of open space in Essex and some 10% of its countryside protected, the town confidently offers the best of both world’s for city workers with a yearning for rural pleasures on their doorstep.

14.1 Strands of Basildon’s Regeneration

ECONOMY – Basildon holds a strong position within the Thames Gateway and will drive this forward by keeping the business environment one step ahead of the competition with plans in hand to transform Basildon’s commercial areas. The A127 Enterprise Corridor runs for three miles along the main artery into the District with a detailed Masterplan and investment programme identifying key development opportunities. The biggest of these will see the creation of 140,000 square metres of high quality business floorspace.

Basildon University Hospital serves a wide area in Essex

COMMUNITY – A place that can grow naturally and be capable of change, with a housing mix that meets economic aspirations with health and education facilities to match. The Partnership feels it is vital that the town has the right housing to meet future economic demands. A strategic review of housing is a key component of Basildon’s community commitment, identifying the type, mix and tenure required to help support economic objectives whilst catering for the needs of the existing population. Supporting local businesses and new sector growth, Thurrock and Basildon

College is set to receive major funding for redevelopment while Basildon’s Gloucester Park will be home to a £35 million Sporting Village. In addition, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital, completed in 2007, provides a £60 million, 100 bed specialist cardiac centre service for residents’ health needs. Ongoing regeneration initiatives on Basildon’s Five Links Estate have seen renewed impetus in reviving the estate as part of the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan. A step closer to completion this year with the start of stage three of the estate’s regeneration, this latest stage involves selective demolition and the provision of 186 homes for affordable rent and private sale. It will also see the construction of a landmark building on site. Stages one and two of the Five Links Masterplan are already completed with 369 new homes built for rent and shared ownership. Both stages have registered high levels of resident satisfaction and reduced levels of crime. (49)

14.2 Basildon Enterprise Corridor A127 Ranking in the top 35 most competitive business locations in the UK, Basildon District benefits from a strong local economy. With its tradition of manufacturing excellence, there is a concentration of high value, high skilled jobs throughout the area. For these reasons, Basildon is home to some of the biggest global companies with Ford, Case New Holland, SELEX and Visteon all located along the three mile stretch of the A127, known as the Enterprise Corridor. The Enterprise Corridor covers 262 hectares and

contains 1.2 sq m of commercial floorspace, making it one of the largest employment opportunity areas in the Greater South East, with almost two-thirds of the 60,000 people working in Basildon based along the three mile strip. Targeted for further job creation as part of the East of England Regional Spatial Strategy, the Essex Thames Gateway should create 55,000 new jobs by 2021 and the A127 corridor will form part of the backbone to this scheme. Securing the area’s future as an employment zone is a key priority for the District. BRP is currently preparing a scoping study to ensure that the infrastructure meets modern business needs and that there are the skills within the district – and wider sub-region – to fill the jobs the area will create. This will be followed with a comprehensive action plan to examine the role and capacity of the corridor to consolidate the critical role it has in Basildon District’s economic future. This action plan will also explore the potential for a new urban business park, an innovation centre, a vocational training centre and engineering skills academy. Basildon Town Centre: • Maximise • 49,000 sq m net of retail and leisure floorspace • 55,000 sq m of office space • New Civic Centre • 3,650 new homes • New train station and public realm • Estimated end value of £900 million • 650 new homes with planning permission • British Land’s Eastgate Centre is the largest town centre based shopping centre in the

Thames Gateway • New buildings and public squares of the highest quality

services support internal supply chain economy • 30 minutes from London • 30 minutes from Stratford (50), (51)

A127 Enterprise Corridor: • Home to 40,000 jobs • 8,000 businesses • Spread over 650 hectares • Consent given for 140,000 sq m of high quality business floorspace within the corridor • Home to Visteon, Ford Motor Company, Selex Systems and Case New Holland

Basildon Enterprise Corridor has good quality connections to Basildon, Thurrock and Southend district centres, and beyond. In November 2008, Essex County Council bid for a £14.7 million package of schemes to improve the Corridor via a Community Infrastructure Fund package encompassing improvements along Cranes Farm Road, East Mayne and Noak Hill, with further work to the A127 Fariglen junction. New Basildon Environment Councillor, Malcolm Buckley, said: “The A127 enterprise corridor is one of the largest areas of employment not just in Basildon but in the whole Thames Gateway area. It is vital that traffic can flow as smoothly as possible to maintain those jobs and to attract further growth. In the current economic climate we need to ensure our already good transport links by road and rail continue to

Basildon Success: • 31st most competitive business location in UK • 1/8 of GDP output in Essex • 74,000 people work inside the District • 1,210,000 sq m commercial floorspace • 650 hectares industrial areas • 5 town centres; 220,000 sq m retail floorspace • An estimated 10,000 people employed in public

In Basildon there are large numbers of ongoing building projects for sale in 2009 onwards Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


function effectively and are not overwhelmed in the future.” (52)

14.3 Basildon Transport Improvements In February 2009, details of the suite of measures around the A127/A176 Upper Mayne junctions were published. These measures include: • Widening of the slip lanes from the A127 from a single lane to two lanes. • Automatic queue detection and advance warning signals on the slip lanes.

New Builds are ready and are being sold in 2009


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• A dedicated left turn lane into the A176 to Billericay from the northern roundabout. • Widening of the approaches to the roundabouts for the section of the A176 running beneath the A127. • Positive signage and improvements to the existing footpath and footbridge over A127. • Partial signalisation of the southern roundabout. • Facilitation of safer pedestrian movements north and south of the roundabout junctions.

Additional improvement measures include: • Dualling of the easternmost section of Cranes Farm Road (A1235) from west of Gardiners Lane South to East Mayne. • Widening of Cranes Farm Road to dual carriageway between the New Holland Tractor plant boundary and East Mayne (combination of widening to the south and north within existing highway boundaries). • Creation of a central reservation to offer segregation between opposing vehicle flows. • Improvements to the junction with Gardiners Lane South. • New freight routing strategy for vehicles wishing to access Cranes Farm Industrial Estate. • New toucan crossing west of the junction with East Mayne. • Enhancements to the existing footway/cycleway along the south side of Cranes Farm Road, from the junction with East Mayne to the existing crossing at Cranes Close. • Northbound capacity enhancement along East Mayne (A132) between Paycocke Road and Nevendon Interchange (A127). • Provision of a third lane in the northbound direction from Cranes Farm Road to Nevendon Interchange. • Movement of the existing bus stop on the northern approach to Nevendon Interchange. With additional associated works to be included as required, this extensive package of highway improvements “could be complete by the end of 2011,” according to Norman Hume, county councillor in charge of highways, adding that the scheme would “support the largest employment zone in south Essex, both now and in the future.” (53)

14.4 Basildon Business Group “Business is looking up” according to Basildon Business Group, the independent voice for businesses of all sizes and types in the District. At their mid-June 2009 meeting facilitated by Basildon Renaissance Partnership, 15 business representatives from the local area were asked by Noel Kelleway of accountants MGI Rickard Keen and Chairman of Basildon Action on Learning for their views on the recession, how it was affecting them, and when they believed it would end. Overall, it was felt that business would pick up over the next 6 months, and many were feeling confident about the upturn and business prospects in the future. Most reported that their market sectors had bottomed out and were looking to move forward now. The Essex Federation of Small Businesses reported increased confidence and resilience amongst its members. Paul Rolison, Chair of BBG said: “It was excellent to hear the positivity of Basildon’s business leaders representing diverse market sectors. The majority were saying that they have not been too badly hit and are confident of making up for any lost ground caused by the downturn. Whilst we know that jobs have been lost, Basildon does seem to have plenty of forward thinking and positive businesses and business leaders.” (54)

15. HOUSING NEED AT THIS SCALE Despite major national pressures from the Sustainable Communities Plan, the Barker Review and official household projections, overall target regional house building numbers are not meeting demand. Essex Council approved housing provision within the East of England region using 2003-based household projections to imply a total figure of 578,000 for the region between 2001 and 2021. They agreed 505,500 is the maximum that can be delivered particularly over the Plan’s early period given what is feasible and sustainable in each part of the region. (55)

representing a major shortfall against the RSS figure. Across the East of England region, there is an imbalance in the demand for and supply of housing. Whilst household numbers increased by 5.4% over 1996-2001, the stock of dwellings increased by just 4.6%. Coupled with housing completions at record low levels at just under 16,000 permanent dwellings built in 2001-02, the problem is compounded by widespread skill shortages throughout the house-building industry.

Housing to achieve a positive outcome from the reinspection in 2009 to secure access to £142 million of funding. In 2007/08 the percentage of nondecent homes increased to 47 per cent. It is uncertain that the Council will meet the government’s decent homes standard on time.” (56)

15.2 Basildon ‘Task and Finish Groups’

The Audit Commission explains that in 2008 Basildon’s ‘Task and Finish Groups’ became more This in part has contributed to Basildon Council effective, contributing to revisions to the housing managing to facilitate the building of only 244 allocations strategy (these groups comprise 15.1 Basildon Sub-Regional housing units per year since 2001. councillors, officers and, if externally focused, Housing Strategy According to the Audit Commission, “Basildon District Council is delivering against a number of its community representatives). The Commission concludes: “The Council is building on its track priority areas, however, outcomes in addressing In preparing its sub-regional housing strategy, record for estate renewal and physical housing need are mixed. Local residents are Basildon Council places great important in the regeneration and developing an ambitious vision wider strategic context to ensure that their strategy benefiting from an increased supply of affordable for the future. This is built around flagship projects homes. 268 affordable homes were delivered in complements and reflects local, regional and for the physical, social and economic regeneration 2007/2008. £1.5 million of Housing Corporation national priorities. Within the framework of the grant has been secured to support the provision of of the district including: the regeneration of Government’s long-term action programme Basildon, Wickford and Pitsea town centres; the “Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future”, affordable housing within the district. Building work Sporting Village; and the development and has begun on phase 3 of the Five Links estate addressing the housing shortage by accelerating diversification of the A127 employment corridor. regeneration project. St Georges Community the provision of housing and affordable housing This has already led to new housing development Housing, the ALMO (Arms Length Management within the Thames Gateway growth area is key Organisation) which manages the council housing with some local job creation.” (57) among Basildon’s local priorities. stock, received a one star “fair” rating with To achieve the Government’s target of bringing all According to the East of England Regional Spatial promising prospects for improvement in 2008. This social housing up to a decent standard by 2010, meant it did not receive the anticipated funding to and in order to meet its own commitment to this Strategy, 10,700 houses will be needed by 2021 progress its improvement programme. The Council objective, Basildon Council is also working with based on minimum build levels. On current build is working closely with St. Georges Community private landlords to renovate empty properties in trends, however, the figure will be about 4,800

the district to make them available for waiting tenants. Over the next two years, the council will receive a share of a regional government investment of £1.5 million to be used to pay for housing improvements. There are currently 416 empty private sector homes in Basildon District. This scheme will offer housing applicants a greater choice of properties to meet their housing needs. Expressing his approval that this project received formal approval from the Council in June 2009, Basildon Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Frank Tomlin commented: “People on the Council’s housing waiting list will benefit greatly from this Government investment. The Council is keen to be pro-active and improve accommodation standards to provide a greater range of available properties.” (58) The Council believes Basildon will be the right place where people want to live with a mix of balanced housing that meets the economic aspirations of existing and future residents. Getting the right balance of housing is a key priority for the future prosperity of the District and its community. Housing projects are already undergoing regeneration up to 2011 and future estates for renewal are being identified for housing growth through town centre regeneration. A strategic housing review has also been completed and is helping to inform future decisions about estate renewal schemes and potential new developments.

Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


Wick Park Estate alongside Cranfield Park Road, Wickford 31

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land


Wickford and Wickford Park are strategically located in the London, Southend, Thurrock, Lakeside commuter belt, on the urban fringes at the transition zone where urban and rural land uses mix. Both just 36 miles from London, Wickford Park is less than two miles from both Wickford and Basildon.

16.1 Site Location Analysis Wickford in Essex is a town in East England with a population of more than 32,500. It has grown rapidly in recent years due to successive housing

developments and has become a commuter town, serving the City of London through its direct connection to Liverpool Street through the Southend Victoria line and on to Southminster. The town takes its form from the A132 and A129 main roads which cross from north to south and east to west respectively, intersecting in the centre. These routes provide access to the surrounding towns of Basildon, Rayleigh, Southend-on-Sea, Billericay, Brentwood and Chelmsford, as well as a number of rural villages in the immediate catchment area such as Wickford Park, Runwell and Battlesbridge. Wickford is a prosperous and popular place to live, attracting high income earners from London with 44% of the population outwardly commuting mainly into the capital. The approved Masterplan for Wickford Town Centre is already delivering benefits for this busy commuter town, encouraging new investment into the town valued at £120 million.

Wickford is a busy Essex town with excellent transport connections

national planning and development agenda particularly relating to housing growth, mixed use and sustainable communities issues. All of these aspects strengthen the case for regeneration and diversification of the town. (22)

16.2 Wickford Housing Growth Recent excavations in the town suggest that Wickford’s early development dates back to Roman times, developing into a rural settlement in the 19th century when the population was concentrated largely in an area from Bridge House Farm on the London Road to what is now the cricket ground on Runwell Road, Southend Road. Around 1885 work began on the construction of the railway line which passed through village allotments and several buildings. In 1907 a reservoir was built that held over 2 million gallons of water, used by steam trains and located on the site of the existing car park north of Somerfield supermarket.

Wickford’s surrounding open fields were slowly replaced by housing developments and Wickford was presented to prospective purchasers as a Within National and Regional ‘popular residential centre’ with a busy weekly Policy Frameworks, Wickford market ten miles from Southend. Some High Street and Broadway buildings date back to the encapsulates the new Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


19th century but the majority of the housing stock has been replaced. In recent years there have been a number of major housing developments which have led to a significant growth in the population. By the end of the 20th century, Wickford had become a commuter town which has influenced its current form, structure and character. Improvements in transport and communications have contributed to this transition with the development of the train line and road improvements making Wickford accessible to a range of employment centres across Essex and London. During the 1960s/70s, the construction of a relief road, the A132 bypass, helped to alleviate traffic jams. By the beginning of the 21st century, the influx of people into Wickford has been considerable. The population increased from just over 600 in 1901 to over 20,000 in 1981 to approximately 32,500 today.

40 on Station Avenue in the Town Centre and a further 113 in the surrounding neighbourhoods with room for future housing. Larger allocations outside Wickford include Gardiners Lane, a 36ha site allocated for mixed use development and regarded as a key element in achieving the aspirations of the Thames Gateway South Essex Initiative to create a major business hub. Basildon Council’s policy emphasis is on achieving greater levels of affordable housing across the district – with a target of 1,100 per annum. It is currently achieving 350 per year. In Wickford the priority is affordable housing for families and there is an excess of provision for the elderly. Planning policy indicates that affordable housing should account for 30% of all new development across the District. Market Avenue in the town centre is a key priority.

The Council is proposing to demolish existing homes and replace with affordable housing for Housing allocations planned for Wickford include families and private homes for sale. There are a number of potential Housing Tenure in Wickford development opportunities within the town centre which could have a huge impact on the appearance of the town from key gateways and entrances. These include current planning applications for residential uses in Runwell Road and Irvon Hill Road and the station car park allocated for housing in the Local Plan.


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Wickford Town Centre is undergoing major redevelopment

Wickford can play a key role in the housing growth planned across the South East and East of England regions as part of the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan by accommodating some of the planned expansion within the region. At present Wickford’s household tenure is essentially comprised of owner occupation which is higher than the national average when compared to the rented sector and is a good indicator for local housing demand. The dominant dwelling type is a house (including bungalow) which comprise 93% of all Wickford housing. (59), (60)

16.3 Wickford Town Centre Masterplan Approved by Wickford Council in February 2006, the ambitious scheme sets out the vision for Wickford’s regeneration, making provision for 650 new homes including new riverside living, a new

swimming pool and fitness centre, a community centre, healthcare complex, library and a public sector quarter. The value of development exceeds £110 million and private investment has already been forthcoming. To date, 50 homes have been completed, 200 more have planning consent with further applications pending. To lead the comprehensive modernisation and redevelopment of Wickford Town Centre, Basildon Council is in the process of searching for a Strategic Development Partner to deliver this exciting regeneration programme

Wickford Town Centre Regeneration comprises: • • • • • • • • • • •

A new gateway to the town 650 new jobs 500 new homes 2,600 square metres of retail space 1,000 square metres of mixed commercial units New public squares and public service centre 50 homes completed plus 200 with planning permission New public squares New health centre New swimming pool New library and community centre

lengthy procurement process and I am looking forward to a conversation with the people of Wickford about detailed plans for the complete rejuvenation of the town centre.” (61) On 8 July 2009, according to Rab Fallon, Head of Housing Strategy and Artist’s impression of the new Wickford Shopping Centre, a key investment area Client Services at Basildon Council: “We are still going over the next 10 years. The partner was due to be through the procurement process but are now in announced in spring 2009 and the ongoing the final stages with the final bidder, Community project is to involve more public consultation on Solutions for Regeneration. It is anticipated that their proposals for the regeneration of the Town the process will be completed during August and Centre. public consultation around a detailed update of the Masterplan for Wickford Town Centre will In April 2009, the Council agreed to the next commence shortly after that. That process will stage of the masterplanning process by inviting result in detailed planning applications leading to the only developer bidding for the project, work starting.” (62) Community Solutions for Regeneration, to submit The last Basildon Council Environment and a final tender. Stephen Horgan, councillor Regeneration Scrutiny Committee meeting was responsible for regeneration, said: “We have the on 9 June 2009 during which Members were opportunity to improve Wickford town centre and updated on the “Engage Essex” initiative, a to provide much-needed public infrastructure. We website in production to be used as a shared see this project as vital for the future prosperity of approach to community engagement. In support Wickford, and transformational for the town. It is a of “Engage Essex”, representatives of all Essex testament to the vitality of Wickford and the Councils agreed to produce a countywide strength of this project it is still moving forward consultation and toolkit, and that this would despite the recession.” Deputy council leader remain on the list of outstanding actions until Tony Ball, a Wickford Tory councillor, added: “The confirmation had been received that the toolkit Wickford Masterplan has enabled us to take an and website were active. (63) overview of the town centre. It has attracted the investment interest Wickford needs. I am In order to attract Government investment, delighted we are coming towards the end of a Wickford’s regeneration must be developed in the

context of Basildon Renaissance Partnership’s Regeneration Framework, a key prospectus for growth area investment. An Environmental Report for the Wickford Town Centre Masterplan was prepared for Basildon District Council by Essex County Council’s Environmental Strategy Team in 2005, its purpose was to promote sustainable development through better integration of sustainability considerations in the preparation and adoption of land use plans. The Masterplan for Wickford town centre addresses key issues including its urban form and local environment particularly for pedestrians. The main areas of concern were the town’s image and identity, access and movement, public realm, mix uses, townscape and development opportunities. The market and site analyses through stakeholder consultations suggest a clear potential for regeneration of the town centre area. (64)

links and improving availability of bus information along the High Street 3. Improve permeability of the site for pedestrians and cyclists and improve cycle parking provision throughout the town centre 4. Create a pleasant and safe public realm on and around the High Street which is accessible to all including disabled and elderly people, and improve linkages with surrounding neighbourhoods 5. Locate public buildings around public spaces to strengthen their identity and mark them as a focus for civic life 6. Bring more residents into the centre through key development providing a combination of high value and affordable new homes 7. Encourage natural surveillance of the area 8. Promote and maximise Wickford’s regeneration potential with ideas derived from stakeholder consultations.

16.4 Masterplan Objectives Social 1. Redesign the station and improve integration with the town centre and the surrounding retail and residential areas 2. Make public transport more attractive to potential users by improving interchange facilities between bus and rail services, improving bus

The Willow Centre is a well used area even in the Credit Crunch Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |



14. Reinvent Wickford as a ‘lifestyle’ centre, with 9. Provide development of compatible mixed uses a high quality, vibrant urban environment which to maximise opportunities for higher densities and embraces the growth of ‘urban living’ 15. Build confidence amongst prospective intensive activity and improve the town’s image investors and the community through use of good 10. Promote higher density commercial and urban design mixed-use developments, civic buildings and 16. Paying attention to the detailing and the developments located within close walking quality of signage of shop fronts and building distance of public transport entrances. 11. Make public transport more attractive to potential users by improving interchange facilities between bus and rail services, improving bus Environmental links and improving availability of bus information 17. Improve urban design and create attractive along the High Street public spaces that allow for different uses, and 12. Concentrate the most active uses on main different uses at different times routes and around focal points which will 18. Create usable, attractive spaces for contribute to the vitality of the place pedestrians by setting buildings back from the 13. Locate buildings on busy street corners that common building line are designed to accommodate shops, restaurants 19. New buildings should be in keeping with local and other similar activities contributing to local character and enrich the townscape economic activity 20. Introduce a ‘street’ character with a mix of uses and active frontages 21. Design public transport as an integral part of the street layout and design streets as public spaces not just in response to vehicular requirements 22. Manage car parking facilities in the town centre, control traffic along the High Street and provide rear-servicing access wherever possible 23. Provide office premises close to new housing developments and integrate local services and facilities which will provide Wickford Park Road has excellent access 35

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

the civic focal point of the town 24. Create an improved pedestrian environment with improved safety, conviviality and improved connectivity to surrounding neighbourhoods 25. Enhance the pedestrian realm along the High Street and adopt ‘pedestrian priority’ by controlling traffic volume, speed and vehicle size along the High Street, widening the pavements Wickford is a convenient place to shop, well served by retail outlets and improving pedestrian 16.5 Wickford Town Centre crossings 26. Support intensification around transport nodes Masterplan: Baseline Environmental and re-use of urban land to resist further urban Data Topics and Themes dispersal 27. Control how parked vehicles are physically • Housing Quality permitted to dominate space and limit the • Air Quality inconvenience they can cause to pedestrians and • Road Traffic and Access cyclists by means of landscape design • Landscape and Townscape 28. Make public transport more attractive to • Urban Morphology potential users by improving interchange facilities • Land use between bus and rail services, improving bus • Permeability links and improving availability of bus information • Cultural Heritage and Material Assets along the High Street. • Biodiversity Fauna and Flora The outcomes of the Sustainability Appraisal Process to conform to the European Strategic Environmental Assessment considered the preparation of land use plans and their supporting documents, concluding: “The Wickford Town Centre Masterplan performed well in terms of

sustainability criteria and the plan’s objectives, including enhancing Wickford’s image and identity, improving access and movement within the area, improving the public realm by creating meeting points and public spaces. The Masterplan will also create new development opportunities through the introduction of new facilities and services aimed at enhancing the town character and local environment while acknowledging the importance of the efficient use of natural resources and sustainable construction. (22)

16.6 Wickford Town Centre Key Trends • Changing shopping patterns • Growth in leisure/recreation • Changing socio-economic structure • Changing focus of Urban Policy Core factors aiding the clear potential for regeneration of the town centre area include direct

access by train to London Liverpool Street, the buoyant housing market, a number of key development opportunities and a series of key trends have been identified which are likely to shape future development, repositioning Wickford to meet the challenges created by these trends. One of the key socio-economic objectives, criteria, indicators and targets of the Sustainability Appraisal Process was to secure an appropriate mix of dwelling size, type and affordability based on a 3050 housing density ratio per hectare. Wickford residential density is 3 times greater than Basildon and 5 times greater than the average for England. Information is gathered using Ward level data to calculate room occupancy from Census data, to ensure that population density conforms to housing density figures. Remedial action should be taken when Wickford’s housing density increases considerably beyond existing figures. Another key objective was promoting accessibility to jobs, shopping, leisure facilities and services by public transport, walking and cycling, using Pedestrian Flow, Traffic Flow and Composition data from their View Essex initiative to increase the quantity of commercial floor space activity and increase the quantity of public transport and cycling.

The Abacus school is well known and just off Cranfield Park Road

The Wickford Town Centre Masterplan showcases the increased market interest in Wickford shown by the

Urban Pulse housing scheme and enquiries about other town centre sites. It describes the scheme as a good example of a combined redevelopment adjacent to a train station and within the heart of the town centre, encouraging the use of retail and services in the centre. With its convenient Wickford location equally good for commuters and investors, the high-specification kitchens with stainless steel integrated appliances, The Wick Estate is one of Wickford’s premier areas elegant white bathroom embracing the shift in focus of shopping into a suites and between 475 and 88 square foot of leisure activity. It involves the growth of ‘urban space was considered a real bargain for such a living’ brought about by significant and high quality well-connected location with prices starting at housing developments and foresees a complete £125,000 for one-bedroom apartments and £150,000 for two-bedroom designs. The Masterplan transformation in the environment with high quality urban design creating a distinctive and attractive estimates the potential scope for three to four location. It foresees Wickford reinvented as a similar schemes offering around 100 units over a medium term period of four to five years, subject to ‘lifestyle’ centre with a vibrant urban environment and a distinctive offer. Urban living will provide the the availability of suitable sites. Further catalyst for the vision with new housing development capacity could emerge beyond that development transforming the physical, economic period depending on the success of the overall and social characteristics of the Town Centre. Key regeneration strategy. development sites will accommodate a combination of high value and affordable new homes, bringing 16.7 Housing Development Concept more residents into the centre, creating additional demand for shops and services and generating an The Masterplan acknowledges the need to atmosphere of vitality and vibrancy. The high quality reposition Wickford Town Centre to meet the challenges created by current and future social and environment created will attract small life-style businesses, potentially those serving a variety of lifestyle trends. It foresees a diversification and improvement in the function and offer of the Centre, professional and creative niches benefiting from Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


close access to London. ‘Livework’ will be integral to the urban living concept with office premises being provided close to new housing developments. In the town centre housing can provide customers for shops, make use of empty space on upper floors and generate activity when shops are closed. A key part in delivering this vision is the need for rationalisation and reorganisation of land uses in the Town Centre. This will involve relocating unfriendly uses, bringing a greater level of coherency to the structure of the centre, unlocking the potential of key development sites and creating new opportunity zones. The Masterplan creates better presence and linkages to the east of the town centre by redeveloping the car park into a multistorey development with residential and live-work uses and a new housing scheme to the east of Wickford Bypass. The Masterplan has an important role to play in helping to improve community infrastructure because the scale of new housing will

lead to population growth in the town centre which will in turn exert greater pressures on local services such as schools and doctors’ surgeries. The Masterplan assumes an element of affordable housing in all residential development. Approximately 25% of residential development is for affordable purposes: 50% affordable sales; 50% rented affordable accommodation. Land values are adjusted to take such a condition into account and the value of land identified for affordable sites is calculated on 75% of open market value.

16.8 Wickford House Price Growth House price growth in Wickford compares favourably with other benchmark areas. Wickford has enjoyed significant house price growth in the last five years particularly, in which it has exceeded all

benchmarked areas except Billericay. This rapid growth in house prices in recent years is not only indicative of the growing appeal of Wickford as a place to live and work, but is already stimulating interest from developers keen to maximise returns from housing developments in the future.

16.9 Creating Mixed and Inclusive Communities The Masterplan aims to encourage mixed development within Wickford Town centre, providing a combination of affordable new housing as well as developing a broad range of leisure and recreational activities. The Masterplan will provide the opportunity to co-locate services which will represent a sustainable urban form, as residents will be in close proximity to services and potential employment opportunities. Furthermore sustainable urban development encourages the

use of vacant buildings, unused and underused land property. The Masterplan emphasises the importance in enhancing pedestrian and cyclist permeability into the site, and restricting traffic within the site. The development of affordable new housing as an example of urban sustainable development is encouraged, as is the development of vacant and under-used buildings. (22) A new Chairman, Leader and Cabinet were elected at the Council’s Annual Meeting on 2 May 2009. Councillor Tony Ball was elected Leader, naming his Cabinet including Deputy Leader, Stephen Horgan who also retains responsibility for regeneration strategy; Frank Tomlin: Housing; Malcolm Buckley: Environment; Andrew Baggott: Community. (65) The Thames Estuary 2100 Plan Consultation by the Council’s Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee began on 9 June 2009, run by the Environment Agency and solely concerning the management of the River Thames. (66)

16.10 More Land Needed With a view to facilitating the regeneration of Wickford Town Centre and more specifically with a view to facilitating the comprehensive redevelopment of land at Lower Southend Road in Wickford, Basildon Council submitted a compulsory purchase order in September 2008 and in February 2009 a Rule 7 Statement of Case in Support of the CPO was made to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for confirmation. The land which Basildon Council 37

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

is seeking to compulsorily acquire comprises part of a larger area for which planning permission has been obtained for the provision of 173 one and two bedroom apartments together with offices, retail units and restaurants with car parking. (67)

16.11 Wickford Town Centre Free Parkingy Since February 2009, shoppers and visitors to Wickford have been parking for free at weekends in a move to boost trade for independent retailers. Weekend charges at all Council-owned car parks have been scrapped for at least a year in Basildon Council’s annual budget. Tina Joyce, coowner of the Oliver Branch local gift shop told ‘Total Essex News’: “This is fantastic news! It will definitely encourage more people to come to the town and any measure that does that can only be a positive thing and it’s a starting point.” Current

Wick Park Estate alongside Cranfield Park Road, Wickford

Council Environment Planner, Malcolm Buckley said the move was part of a package of measures to help the local economy and businesses survive during the current recession, saying: “The idea is to help people save a little bit of money during the current times, it represents a commitment of around £100,000 from us. Free weekend parking helps shoppers to save cash and stimulates consumer spending for High Street retailers.” (68)

16.12 Wickford Park in Close Proximity In the current economic environment by acquiring an interest in land in such close proximity to Thames Gateway, it may be possible to achieve significant returns with relatively low risk within a short-medium timeframe. Thames Gateway borders Wickford Park 200 metres to the South. This strategic land first came onto the market in

the summer of 2006. Gains can be effectively valued using the underlying value of the land before the planning consent stage as a ‘base line’ followed by a reevaluation of the land value in a ‘Change of Use’ application. The precise timing of divestment is a function of maximizing profit. Plots at Wickford Park offer early entry to a market which is seeing its Take a look at the Google Earth view of Wickford Park share of investment rise against other assets. 16.13 Local Planning Made Easier Purchasing now could allow you to benefit from any future development gains and rising land In January 2009, the Prime Minister Gordon values. Brown gave Local Authorities powers to sweep aside planning controls in villages and market A key factor of owning a strategic land site in the towns to allow the biggest rural house building East of England is its accessibility to Central programme for a generation, adopting a more London. Wickford Park is approximately 2 miles relaxed approach to the building of new homes in from Basildon, and less than 45 minutes from the areas where planning permission has traditionally Olympic City London Stratford by British Rail. been refused. The Government concluded that Liverpool Street Station is situated in the heart of protecting the environment should no longer be London for the City and West End, and the overriding consideration when decisions are consequently Wickford Park is located in prime made about whether to allow development in commuter belt. areas where locals are struggling to afford homes. Under the reforms, councils will be told to earmark new building sites in every village and hamlet where affordable housing is needed; use sweeping powers to overrule normal planning curbs in protected areas; provide incentives for farmers to sell land to developers; and create a generation of new communities on the outskirts of market towns. (69) Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


17. WICKFORD NEW HOUSING CASE STUDY In July 2009, demand for homes on the popular Integra development in Wickford underlines national indications that the new homes market is picking up momentum, according to leading house builder Taylor Wimpey. The new development has enjoyed strong early summer sales, selling six homes in just three weeks through Wimpey’s Sales Centre on London Road, Wickford. One-bedroom ‘Focus’ apartments are available from £99,995 while some of the most sought-after-homes are the two-bedroom ‘Finesse’ apartments for couples, small families and individuals, available from £129,995. Investors can benefit from special deals to help build up their portfolio in Wickford.

The Integra - Wickford


| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

Wickford Station is only 700 yards from the development, opening up the opportunity to spend leisurely days at Southend-on-Sea or shopping in London within 40 minutes. The A127, A130 and M25 are within easy reach for drivers, Basildon is just 10 minutes by road and Stansted Airport only an hour away. The ‘Finesse’ apartments feature a light and airy living room/open-plan kitchen with attractive Juliet balcony providing a unique personal space in which to relax and unwind. The accommodation is completed by two good-sized bedrooms, one with ensuite, a family bathroom and hallway store. Each home is finished to a high standard specification including central heating, double glazing and a fitted kitchen complete with oven hob and hood. Allocated parking for each apartment lies within the secure grounds and the four-storey apartment building is served by an elevator in addition to stairways.

the Wickford area, said: “Many experts are now saying this is the very best time to buy a new home and at Integra customers can find superb properties at realistic prices and a range of incentives to help them move into their dream home.” Enjoying a great location, the development lies within a short stroll of the Willows Centre and its big name stores, individual boutiques, delis and great places to eat. Closer still, brand new retail units will form an attractive, street-level ‘boulevard’ of appropriate shops and outlets as part of the new apartment buildings.

that builders are going ahead with 173 new homes being built in Lower Southend Road, Wickford for completion as planned by Bradgate Developments. Glen Charters, Director of Bradgate Developments, said: “Phase one is virtually completed and we are continuing to regenerate Wickford with the Riverside Place project that is supported by the council and it will be delivered.” The flats form part of the council’s plans to regenerate the town centre to help the council meet its targets. (71) In February 2009, plans to build 200 homes on land at Barn Hall, Wickford were given the goahead by Basildon Council. The original planning application by developer Gleeson Homes was initially rejected by the Council but that decision was overturned by the Secretary of State. Matt Richardson, Gleeson’s strategic land manager leading the Barn Hall development, said: “We are naturally delighted with the decision of the court.

For families, a choice of schools and nurseries, a doctor’s surgery and dental practices are within walking distance of the development, in addition to supermarkets and convenience stores catering for everyday needs. There’s also a gym around the corner, and for those who want to cut back on their car-use, the development is served by several bus routes while Integra residents will receive vouchers for free bus transport within the local Tina Dedman, Regional travel zone. (70) Sales and Marketing Director A separate May “The future is here”... all over Wickford and the surrounds for Taylor Wimpey covering 2009 report noted

It confirms our view that the site is a very sustainable and logical one which can deliver much needed affordable and open market housing. We now look forward to working with the Council to bring forward a scheme on the site.” The Secretary of State’s decision to challenge the planning application’s rejection in the High Court was applauded by land sellers, developers and promoters as confirmation of the Government’s commitment to urgently increase house building in the East of England and the south east if the housing target of 10,800 extra homes by 2011 is to be met. (72)

will take the form of unallocated on-street spaces and courtyard car parks. Sufficient space will be allocated to accommodate one space per town house and some visitor parking. Traditional materials like brick and render with contemporary detailing will be used. Roofs will generally be pitched Units in close proximity to the industrial zone will be treated with appropriate landscaping to reduce any possible sound and visual impact.

Non-Residential Land Non-residential uses including retail and A3/A4 to serve the local community will be proposed along London Road to activate frontages with apartments and townhouses above. Mix of residential types will be driven by market demand. These amenities will also be accessible by car along London Road and will be able to serve the wider community.

Modern Town Houses The town house development adopts an urban form that creates strong street edges and enclosed semi-private residential courtyards. Storey heights will be between 2 to 3 storeys to create variety in height and to address level changes created by raising road levels to overcome potential flood risk issues. Each town house will be generously sized with three or four bedrooms with areas of above 120 square metres or more. The average width of a house will be 6m with a typical depth of 9m. Each house will be set back from the street by 2m to allow for small front gardens. Private rear gardens, typically 6m x 9m, will be provided. Town houses will be accessed by front doors directly from the street to activate the street frontages and encourage neighbourhood security. Car parking

Wickford Park How to find more online... Updated regulary, more and more information is available for customers looking to purchase their own UK Strategic Land. Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


Aerial view of Wickford Park... a great location 41

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

18. SECTION 4 PURCHASING UK LAND In taking stock of the UK residential development land market in terms of falls in value to date, where and when it is likely to bottom out and the shape of market recovery, Savills’ June 2009 report summarises the current position and their view of the future. Despite the average value of UK greenfield development land falling from since its September 2007 peak, Savills see activity starting to pick up as vendor and purchaser expectations align around the new lower price levels. This is analogous to the residential property market, where transaction levels have started to increase at price levels generally 25% less than peak, led by cash rich buyers. In the South East, market values will move according to the relative weights of demand and supply in the market at any one time. In mortgage

“We are seeing a slow and steady recovery in residential transactions led by cash buyers, including a slow and steady increase in mortgage availability and mortgage approvals. We anticipate that this will continue through 2009 and 2010.” Savills Residential Research, June 2009 dependent markets, that points to house price growth in 2011/2012, led by the higher value markets in the South of England. (73)

18.1 Wickford Park Market Opportunity Those who have the foresight to recognise the short, medium and long term market opportunity at the site, and can work on the raw material now will be well placed to take advantage of land use options and values. Through this sale offer, they will be a better position to capture industry demand associated with economic recovery. The site at Wickford Park is both strategically placed and physically located to benefit those progressive investors. Savills’ latest housing starts

data suggest that new residential development activity is starting to stabilise and will continue to stabilise this year, reaching around 70,000 starts in England by the end of 2009. As residential turnover continues to build, they expect starts to pick up in 2010 in anticipation of more significant market recovery in 2011. Market values of the easier and better sites are likely to pick up alongside this increased development activity, pointing to a turning point in the land market at some point in 2010. (73)

18.2 The Need for Strategic Land Experts in investing in UK land point to the facts that increased life expectancy and the influx of new immigrants have given the United Kingdom a growing population resulting in an unprecedented demand for new homes. The need for housing is compounded by the reduction in the size of households (families living together). In particular, the high demand for homes in the East of England and the South East has led to spiralling house prices and to an acute affordability issue for key workers such as teachers, nurses, the police force and other public sector employees. Demand for housing in the UK is outstripping the current supply and to improve this situation the “Availability of land is very restricted, which helps to push prices up.” Source: Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


Government is setting new, higher house building targets for local authorities. There is agreement across the housing sector that the lag between supply and demand remains dramatic. John Slaughter, director of external affairs at private sector trade body, the House Builders Federation, said: “There still remains a shortfall of 50,000 homes per year, a problem which if not addressed will only exacerbate the current affordability crisis.” Sarah Webb, director of policy and practice at housing professionals’ body, the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “Yes, we are building more housing, but we are not building enough to cover the backlog from underinvestment in previous years, and not enough to keep up with today’s demand.” (44), (74)

18.3 Housing Demand Driving Up Land Values

• •

The graphs on the right here show the number of households in 2003 versus the projected number of households in 2026 and the pace of change in Adam Smith, one of the great economists annual household projections over the last 10 famously said, “Land is the basis for all wealth”. years. To provide the required 4.2 million homes over the next 20 years, more land will have to be made available for housing. To achieve this, local The case for more housing is driven by underlying authorities have been set new targets by central economic and demographic trends. The rapid Government. When land is re-zoned for future growth in the number of households in England, up residential development there is a dramatic almost 2 million in ten years, is projected by the increase in its value and until the demand for Government to increase from 20.9 million in 2003 housing is matched by the supply, the value of to 25.7 million by 2026, 1.5 million of these will be land will continue to increase. (75) needed due to immigration. Factor in the option of buy-to-let which means more people own multiple 18.4 Increasing UK House Building homes, effectively reducing the stock of available homes for sale. Other factors creating this demand Experts point out that to counter the current seem unlikely to diminish over time, making land housing crisis it is necessary to build 200 homes investment ever more attractive: every day for the next 20 years, equivalent to • Longevity – Life expectancy in the UK at birth is 19km/sq. in area – a nationwide level that’s “hardly 43

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

One challenge facing Britain is how to respond to rising demand for houses, now outstripping supply by such an extent that many low earners are struggling to get onto the market. Ordinarily, a market could resolve this, but supply is being artificially restricted.” (76)

now 76.6 years (male) and 81.0 years (female), thus further increasing housing demand Young people settling down later are all driving up housing demand and hiking prices Rising divorce numbers – Annual divorce rates in the UK consistently pass 150,000, thus creating single occupancy households and further increasing housing demand Social aspirations – Increases in consumer wealth and aspirations fuel demand for better quality housing yet much of the UK housing stock is old and of poor quality Environmental concerns – There is growing awareness of the need for ecologically-sound housing provision as older houses have a negative impact on the environment.

18.5 What is Strategic Land? By definition, land that is well sited for future development is strategic land and according to a BBC report: “The value of residential land across the UK has increased by 808% over the last 20 years - with house prices rising 306%. Availability of land is very restricted, which helps to push prices up,” says the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Coupled with a concern to deliver the right housing in the right place, at the right time, the Government recognised that a major ‘overhaul’ of the planning system was required to speed up the process to ensure housing targets are met.

concreting across the country.” According to the influential Adam Smith Institute: “We do not have enough houses and our present housing developments are inefficient and wasteful. We continue to protect a degraded countryside which benefits comparatively few people in a way that prevents thousands from getting onto the housing ladder.” The Institute blames low house building supply levels, saying: “Rising Housing Demand

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act became operational in September 2004, repealing certain parts of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. The new Regional Spatial Strategy has introduced a simpler, more flexible planning system at regional and local level. At the regional level, each region will have its own Spatial Strategy with housing allocations for a 20 year period to be settled at this strategic level. Local Development Framework: During the launch of the new Act, the Government stated that the legislation is intended to deliver a new system to “make better plans and make better planning

decisions more quickly”. At local level, the new style development plan comprises a series of separate documents that can be reviewed individually as the need arises, dependent upon each local planning authority’s priorities and objectives. Once this is defined, a specific site can be put forward for housing promotion to the Local Planning Authority. The new Act enables development

plan documents such as housing or site allocations to be reviewed and updated at more regular intervals, if it can be demonstrated that the required housing numbers within a district are not being delivered. One of the main objectives of the new Act is to speed up the decision-making process particularly in respect of delivering housing. The old system was not responsive and housing was being

Strategic Land could be an infill between houses, shown here in colour

delayed because of the cumbersome and lengthy process involved in adopting the plan. (77)

18.6 Changing the Planning System Over the last 30 years, the Government has identified that the number of households in England has increased by 30%, yet the rate of house building has fallen by 50%. Numerous questions asked include: • Is there sufficient local demand for housing over the next 5-7 years? • Does the local authority need to re-zone land to meet demand? • What is the current Local Development Plan? • Does the site have good access to services? • Does the local area have good transport links? • What are the local facilities, e.g. hospitals, colleges and shops like? According to Savills: “Planners will be forced to allow the building of a third more new homes every year, with the building taking place in the parts of the country where house prices are the highest. The Government has enacted a number of wider reforms in recent years aimed at securing the objective of a transparent, flexible, predictable, efficient and effective planning system. These include reforms of local and regional plans through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act in order to

increase the transparency and flexibility of the system; the introduction of extra funding linked to delivery targets to increase capacity within the system and speed up the decision making process; and increased take-up of e-planning to improve customer service. These reforms have already begun to deliver with 55% of local authorities now meeting their target for determining major applications within 13 weeks, up from around 20% in 2003 with progress made with the new flexible Local Development Frameworks and Regional Spatial Strategies. There is also evidence of the planning system effectively balancing its economic, social and environmental objectives in terms of business needs – for example, over 150,000 applications are processed each year of which over 80% are approved. (73)

18.7 Planning and Economic Growth Land values increase considerably with planning gain, with many fold returns possible. Between Spring 1986 and January 2006 land values rose at Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


almost double the rate of property with residential house prices rising by 410% whereas land values rose by 764%. The Barker Review of Land Use Planning in December 2006 set out a number of recommendations to simplify and streamline the planning system in the UK focussing on the link between planning and economic growth. In particular the review assessed: • Ways of further improving the efficiency and speed of the system • Ways of increasing the flexibility, transparency and predictability that enterprise requires • The relationship between planning and productivity, and how the outcomes of the planning system can better deliver its sustainable economic objectives • The relationship between economic and other sustainable development goals in the delivery of sustainable communities. (78)

18.8 The Economics of Land Development UK Land Advisor puts the UK position in the European context as the second most densely populated in Europe after Holland. Demand for housing continues to increase year on year with no apparent end in sight, meaning house prices continue to rise as demand far outstrips supply. The Government forecast in 2006 that the number of UK households in England would increase from 20.9 million in 2003 to 25.7 million by 2026. This massive home building programme puts pressure on developers to find available land either by redeveloping existing sites ie. brownfield 45

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“A rising population would be enough on its own to fuel more demand for houses but other social changes haveexacerbated the problem. Rising levels of income have meant that more young people want to live on their own rather than flatshare or live at home. In addition, life expectancy is increasing and older people are more likely to live on their own: so there is increased demand for housing from that end of the age spectrum too.” Adam Smith Institute (76)

• Old and poor quality housing stock • Social aspirations (80)

subject to changes in consumer trends over time – as growing housing demand repeatedly shows.

18.10 The Benefits of Purchasing Land

18.11 How can I Purchase Land at Wickford Park?

Even in these Credit-Crunch times Land performance has consistently out-performed all other types of investment since the early 1980s. Factors including finite land resources and ever increasing demand demonstrate that its value increases over time.

developments or by using new land such as redundant farmland. This leads to base land price increases as well as increases in the price of land with planning permission, where land prices have shown steady growth for many decades and strategically located plots in the most desirable areas and receive planning permission for development have seen huge growth. (79)

The land owner benefits from their freehold title making land bequeathable and sellable, with the freedom to use their plots for any lawful purpose.

18.9 Why New Homes Are Needed

Land is 100% tangible and has no competition or alternatives of comparative value. In addition, and unlike other forms of investment, land ownership is not

While housing demand increases and local authorities support house-building targets, surplus land assets exist. The Homes and Communities Agency is calling for an increase in the number of affordable homes being developed, bringing sites forward more quickly and ensuring that design and environmental performance meets housing policy objectives. • We are all living longer • Divorce rates are rising • More and more people prefer single occupancy houses • Mass immigration

The amount of money required to purchase smaller plots of land is considerably less than that required to purchase bricks and mortar, land investment has traditionally been at the core of wealth accumulation.

A simple and secure structure has been put in place for you to purchase your plot. Once your details are registered you will be able to log-on to select the plot of land that you wish to purchase by simply entering your details and paying your deposit by credit card, bank to bank transfer or by cheque. On our receipt of your deposit, we will contact you and confirm all details. Shortly thereafter you or your lawyer will receive the legal “Completion Pack” for you to sign off the documents and pay the remaining balance. The land is then transferred to you through the UK Land Registry office. The land will be owned by you Freehold, 100%.

Between 1994 and 2004 the Value of Land Increased by 370% 370%

Source: The Valuation Office Agency, Financial Times

19. Q&As FOR WICKFORD PARK Q What does a typical land purchase cost? A The land has been professionally costed out

per square metre, this places the smaller plots from £12,500, the larger plots upwards of £30,000. Entry prices to land purchase are much lower than for other forms of property purchase, like buy-to-let houses. This allows our clients to start small, and grow a portfolio quickly, without borrowing too highly.

Q Is Wickford Park on Green Belt land? A Yes it is. Green Belt used to be regarded as

sacrosanct, and unavailable for development. However, that attitude has changed, especially where small parcels of land in or close to existing residential property are concerned. Government plans for greatly increased numbers of new homes mean that some Green Belt land is likely to be used for housing. Where we select sites on Green Belt land, we bear all of this in mind in deciding whether or not it might be redesignated for development purposes.

Q How can I finance a plot purchase? A You are purchasing freehold land, for which

you'll receive title deeds. It is like any other form of property purchase, you can buy from existing funds, or with a loan, probably a

mortgage. If you pay tax in the UK, one interesting possibility is to invest in land through, a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). This is a tax-efficient way to invest in land and you should discuss it with your financial adviser if it is applicable to you.

Q Do I face any costs apart from the purchase price?

A The price you see for the land is the price you pay. Our legal team have carried out all the searches and finalised the legal paperwork. Our Conveyancing Department conveys the land to you on receipt of your deposit. If you wish you can use your own Solicitor, though this will be at your cost.

Q Can I use the land, whilst all the plots are being sold and after this period too?

A Yes. Within the existing planning category for the land you can use it how you wish. Its existing planning category may impose limitations on what you can do with the land.

Q What is involved in getting planning permission?

A In essence the process is simple, but in reality it can be very complex. When Freeholders want to apply for permission themselves, they are best advised to use a planning or

architectural specialist who understands the planning process. There is no reason why our customers can't use the same architects and planners, but for regulatory reasons in the UK we are unable to submit a joint application with our customers or collectively on their behalf.

Q What security do I have if I buy land? A Purchasing is straightforward and you receive

full ownership of that piece of land. When the purchase goes through, it is notified to the Land Registry which provides you with title deeds proving your ownership. From that point on, you are the registered owner of that plot of land, and it is yours to do with as you wish, subject only to the conditions (covenants) which are included in the terms of sale, and to local planning, zoning and usage conditions.

Q Payment, how do I pay and when? A A simple and secure structure has been put in place for you to purchase your plot of land.

Once your personal details are registered you will be able to log-on to select the plot of land that you wish to purchase by simply entering your details and paying your deposit by credit card, bank transfer or cheque. On the receipt of your 10% Reservation Fee, you will be contacted to confirm all details. Shortly thereafter you will receive the legal “Completion Pack” for you to sign off the documents and then pay the remaining balance. The land is then transferred to you through the UK Land Registry office.

Q Is there any Tax to pay to the UK Government?

A As of January 2009, there is no land tax for

land or properties under £125,000 or £250,000 for first time buyers. Visit the very informative HM Revenue & Customs site for more information:

Wickford Park How to find more online... Updated regulary, more and more information is available for customers looking to purchase their own UK Strategic Land. Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


20. CONCLUSIONS The Valuation Office at HM Revenue & Customs report that since 1983, land in England has increased from an average of £174,000 per hectare to an average of £2.5 million per hectare. Latest Government housing targets have been set at 209,000 homes per year for the next 20 years – that’s 4.2 million homes to be built. “Buying land with development potential isn’t a new concept. Large property developers have been doing it for decades. It’s just that until now they have been the only ones who could afford to.” – Brian Smith, former Strategic Land Director at former UK Land Investments company. (81) According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ UK Construction Market Survey of 26 May 2009 and their outlook twelve months forward, construction work expectations are set to improve to reach the highest level since mid-2008. Figures released in June 2009 show the South East of England bucking the recession with strong inward investment and trade results and exports in the South East remaining strong despite the economic downturn. The South East England Development Agency and UK Trade & Investment South East reports figures for 2008/09 with encouraging regional results. The region enjoyed a 17% increase in the number of investors locating to the area and 90 investors within target industries locating to the East, creating or safeguarding 3,846 jobs over the next three years. (74)


| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

20.1 Regional Context This regional framework has the East of England and South Essex Thames Gateway at the heart of the investment area. In August 2009 within the wider context of land investment, the South East England Partnership Board developed a regional approach to Employment Land Reviews, recognising that the area’s vast expanses of land are prime locations for economic development and employment growth to provide planning authorities with effective tools with which to assess the demand for and supply of land for employment. (82), (83)

advantage of this opportunity. More and more investors are acting on advice from specialist land companies to buy land that may be granted planning permission.

priced housing due to demand increasing by around 30% over the last 30 years while house building over the same period has dropped in excess of 50%.

Large amounts of farmland, Green Belt and Brownfield land are becoming available over the coming years to address the acute housing shortage in the UK. While land for sale in the UK offers a momentous purchase opportunity, it is land for sale in the South and East of England that could offer the biggest potential returns for buyers as it here that the housing shortage is most acute.

This huge disparity in demand and supply has seen land performance grow on average 764% in 20 years, resulting in land for sale in the South and East of England being bought and sold for great gains as London and the commuter towns to and around the Channel Tunnel route see spreading urbanisation. (85)

Factors fuelling the South and East of England land boom include the facts The Reviews particularly look at sites allocated for that the UK is already one of the employment needed to reflect the changing most densely populated countries requirements of businesses and local economies, with a fast rising population fuelled safeguarding the best sites in the face of by mass immigration. The East is competition from other higher value uses. the main transport gateway and Employment land is as important a planning landing point of choice for classification as strategic land given its attraction to people seeking a better life in investors and purchasers looking for wealth the UK as they travel by road, 3 creation from increasingly valuable, visible and rail, sea and air from tangible assets. (84) mainland Europe and beyond. Other factors 20.2 Land in East of England and the include the UK’s current South East is a Sound Investment housing stock. With some of the oldest housing in Both UK and overseas investors are looking to buy Europe, there is a land for sale in East England to make above momentous shortfall in average gains and they don’t have to be rich to take the supply of affordable and mid-

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It offers freehold plots of land for sale with a view to future increases in its value based on its potential to be re-zoned for future residential development. Wickford Park is situated adjacent to key network connections across London and the South East is now ready to be purchased.


Interested in Buying Land at Wickford Park? With the advances of the Internet our Business and Private clients are to be found Worldwide. To serve our Clients as locally and as professorially as we possible can, Target Land have experienced Property Agents in Europe, the Middle East and beyond, they are experts in their field. To contact your nearest personnel to discuss your land requirements further, please make your first contact here: Email: View the website:

“The depth of information, advice and level of service from Wickford Park, coupled with the attractive land purchase offer at Wickford Park, makes this one of the most exciting East of England developments Essex can be proud of.” Alastair Green, London FOOTNOTE: According to the £50 million Bank of Essex set up by Essex County Council to finance loans to local businesses: “Confidence in the Essex property market is increasing, as is the viability of our town centres. We’re protecting and supporting new businesses and this has helped us overcome the recession more easily.” BBC London News, ‘Life After Lehman Brothers’, 15 September 2009.

Wickford Park How to find more online... Updated regulary, more and more information is available for customers looking to purchase their own UK Strategic Land. Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


22. INDEX OF REFERENCE SOURCES (1) ‘The Future Today – Thames Gateway’, BBC News Reel 1957, Thames Gateway Business Club,

(12) Thames Gateway: The Region, Invest Thames Gateway,

(2) ‘The Thames Gateway: Business without Boundaries’, Jones Lang LaSalle, March 2009,

(13) Thurrock Council Unitary Development Plan, (date unspecified),

(3) Savills Thames Gateway Research, Residential Development, Summer 2007, Thames%20Gateway.pdf

(14) Growth and Regeneration in the Thames Gateway’, Regional Planning Bodies, 2004,

(4) Government Offices for the English Regions, East of England, (5) East of England National Statistics, 24 June 2009, (6) UK Trade & Investment Export, East of England International, (7) East of England International Knowledge Centre, (8) Thurrock Council Thames Gateway South Essex Sub-Regional Strategy 2005-2008,

(15) Lakeside and West Thurrock Masterplan, November 2008, (16) ‘Hi-speed internet connectivity helps deliver major Thames Gateway regeneration project’,, 4 Jun 2009, (17) Basildon Census 2001, National Statistics Office, (18) English Partnerships Basildon Profile, (19) Basildon Profile, Wikipedia,

(9) East of East of England Plan (Regional Spatial Strategy) Single Issue Review: Thurrock Key Centre for Development and Change, Draft Policy, April 2009, page 4, (20) English Partnerships Gardiners Lane South, Basildon, (10) Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership, (11) Essex University Southend Campus, 6 February 2009, and 49

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

(21) ‘Basildon town centre regeneration on the up’, Basildon District Council, 30 July 2009, C3?OpenDocument (22) Basildon Council Wickford Town Centre Masterplan Version 3, November 2005,

(23) Wickford Park Investment Land,

(24) London Commuter Belt,,

(35) Government Office for the East of England news ‘Government delivers £58 million transport funding for new housing in the East of England’, 27 March 2009,

(25) East of East of England Plan Regional Spatial Strategy Single Issue Review: Thurrock Key Centre for Development and Change, Draft Policy, April 2009, page 8

(36) Government Office for the East of England Regional Planning news, (date unspecified),

(26) East of England Plan Regional Spatial Strategy Single Issue Review: Thurrock Key Centre for Development and Change, Comparison of Lakeside Basin and Basildon Centre Volume 1: Lakeside, June 2009

(37) National Housing Federation ‘News from the East of England’, April 2009, April%202009.doc (38) RICS Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ‘East of England wish-list for 2009’, 8 January 2009,

(27) Lakeside Shopping Centre Facts,

(39) RICS Housing Market Survey May 2009, published 9 June 2009,

(28) BAA Stansted Airport: Second Runway,

(40) Thames Gateway South Essex Environment,

(29) Channel Tunnel High Speed 1, London & Continental Railways,

(41) Thames Gateway South Essex Communities,

(30) Stratford Regional Station, London 2012,

(42) East of England Plan – Government’s Proposed Changes, South Area Forum, 31 January 2007,

(31) Southend-on-Sea, Government Office for the East of England,

(43) Thames Gateway South Essex Olympics,

(32) London Southend Airport – Serving the Thames Gateway,

(44) ‘Are we building enough new homes?’, FactCheck for Channel 4, 8 June 2006

(33) Regional Housing Strategy for the East of England: 2005–2010, Executive Summary, AGUAfAB8ADAAfAA1


(34) East of England Regional Assembly (EERA), ‘Assembly calls on Government to bridge housing gap’, 27 June 2007,

(46) Essex County Greenbelt Association, Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


(47) Smart Future ‘Housing and Green Belt’ DRAFT SOUTH OF ENGLAND PLAN, 18 January 2007, (48) BBC Essex, 13 February 2007, Thames Gateway Chief Executive, Judith Armitt on Basildon regeneration opportunities, archive_feature.shtml and C0C0C0&nbram=1 (49) Basildon Renaissance Partnership Final Prospectus, (50) Basildon Enterprise Corridor A127 case study, Communities and Local Government, (51) Basildon Enterprise Corridor A127, Basildon Council news, ‘Multi million pound bid to improve major highway’, 28 November 2008, 2E?OpenDocument (52) Basildon Enterprise Corridor A127 highway improvements pre-planning notice, Contract Journal, 28 February 2009, (53) Basildon Enterprise Corridor A127, Echo News, ‘£14m bid to ease misery on our roads’, 5 September 2008, (54) Basildon Business Group, 18 June 2009, (55) Essex Planning, Environment & Commerce Policy Development Group, 7 September 2006, (56) Basildon Council Housing, 51

| Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land

(57) Basildon District Council Annual Audit and Inspection Letter, Audit 2007-2008, published 24 June 2009, (58) Basildon Council Housing News, ‘New social housing initiative’, 29 June 2009, F?OpenDocument (59) Wickford House Prices, Proviser, October-December 2008, (60) Wickford House Price Trend, Proviser, (61) Echo News, ‘Basildon Council accepts sole bidder for Wickford Masterplan tender’, 23 April 2009, (62) Wickford Town Centre Masterplan Update, 8 July 2009 (63) Basildon Council Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee, Agenda and Minutes, 9 June 2009, (64) Wickford Town Centre Masterplan – Environmental Report (DRAFT), July 2005 (65) Basildon News, ‘New Council Leader’, 22 May 2009, BF5?OpenDocument (66) Basildon Council Thames Estuary Plan Consultation 2100, Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee, 9 June 2009,$EATE2100repor

(67) Basildon Council Compulsory Purchase Order 2008, Lower Southend Road, Wickford, February 2009, (68) Basildon Council, Wickford free parking, 25 February 2009, (69) ‘Gordon Brown to bulldoze rural housing curbs’, 9 January 2009, and (70) Essex Property News, ‘Strong sales at Wickford’s Integra’, 12 June 2009, (71) Total Essex, Wickford: ‘Builders vow flats plan will go ahead’, 12 May 2009, (72) Total Essex, Wickford: ‘Residents’ fury at go-ahead for houses ‘nobody’ wants’, 24 February 2009,

(76) Adam Smith Institute, (77) UK Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, (78) Barker Review of Land Use Planning, HM Treasury, (79) UK Land Advisor, (80) Homes and Communities Agency, ‘Surplus public sector land’, 26 June 2009, (81) UK Valuation Office, (82) Draft East of England Implementation Plan, July 2009,

(73) UK Residential Development Land Market, ‘Taking Stock’, Savills Research, June 2009, (83) Employment Land Review Consultation, South East England Partnership Board, earch%20-%20UK%20Residential%20Development%20Land%20Market.pdf

(74) RICS UK Construction Market Survey Q1 2009, 26 May 2009, (84) Employment Land Reviews: Guidance Note, Communities and Local Government, 1 December 2004, (75) South East England Development Agency, SEEDA Media Report, 17 June 2009, (85) Land For Sale in South East England, 12 February 2009, 008_9.pdf Disclaimer and Copyrights

completion entirely with the purchaser.

Land put forward by Target Land (Target) are not designated for development and do not have any planning permission. Whilst care is taken in selecting investment sites, future redesignation and/or planning permissions and future price performance are not guaranteed.

If you proceed to buy a plot of land from Target or any third party whom it represents you will have the right to sell your plot at any time to whomever you choose via any agent you choose and at whatever price you choose.

Target sell individual plots with vacant possession upon completion, and from then on we have no role in the management of the property and/or pursuing planning permission. We leave day to day control after legal

Subject to any covenants that may apply to the land, you will have the right to use your plot of land for any lawful purpose, to seek re-designation of the land by participating in the relevant Local Development Framework and to apply to the relevant local authority for planning permission.

All maps, layouts and images are for illustration purposes only. Target does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions and they do not constitute an offer or contract. Individual plot sizes are approximate and are offered in good faith but Target cannot guarantee total accuracy. Purchasers should verify any detail of importance prior to viewing and purchase.

take independent legal advice during purchase (if you need specific advice, you should consult a suitably qualified professional). All information in this Report remains the copyright of Target Land. Any attempt to reproduce, edit, retransmit, disseminate, sell, distribute, publish, broadcast commercially or to exploit this information will result in legal action.

In the UK Target is not regulated by the FSA and therefore is not qualified to give financial advice. Furthermore, it insists that all prospective clients Wickford Park... a superb opportunity to acquire strategic land |


How to find more online... Updated regulary, more and more information is available for customers looking to purchase Freehold Investment Land in the UK.


Updated for 2013. The official report on WickfordPark near London, considered to be the best 2013 Land Investment, 56 pages, UK version.