New Homes Development – Croydon
London Borough of Croydon
Initially we were engaged to analyse of a portfolio of sites, which could assist the Council to deliver housing targets, secure capital receipts and impact on key Council objectives. Phase two of the instruction was a review of site opportunities in more detail, including development capacity, viability, deliverability and place-making impact. It considered how the Council should use its powers and resources, and an emerging Croydon Investment Fund, to progress development and market intervention opportunities.
We were subsequently retained to provide advice on the business case for setting up an arms’ length development company (Brick by Brick Limited), in which the Council would be the 100% shareholder. This advice also included technical, legal and planning due diligence on Council owned assets in readiness for development feasibility.
Arcadis has since been retained to provide pre and post contract multi-disciplinary consultancy including programme management, project management, cost consultancy, engineering and environmental services to deliver c, 1,000 housing units on 53 sites owned by the Council and transferred to Brick by Brick Limited for development purposes for delivery over a two year delivery period.
Our role is to provide full development services including;
- Development consultancy
- Programme and project management
- Cost consultancy
- Financial modelling
- Technical Due Diligence
- Engineering Services
- Environmental Services
- Principle Designer (CDMC)
The key challenges that we have addressed include:
- Providing sustainable and deliverable development options reflective of the mix of uses, planning requirements and technical due diligence findings.
- Optimising land value and profit while managing peak debt to provide revenue streams from the development company back to the Council.
- Providing viable development solutions which met the Council’s objective of providing 50% affordable housing.
- Optimising the batching of sites for contractors to make the small site solution as attractive as possible and delivering to a programme which sees units complete by Spring 2018.
The outcomes from this commission include:
- Developing a programme wide approach to affordable housing which optimises the quantum and percentage of affordable homes and gains an additional 120 units through improved viability.
- Working with the Council to understand the advantages and disadvantages of different delivery models for the setting up of a development company in a way which would provide the most advantageous benefits for the Council.
- Identifying the benefits of delivery through a development company that was completely separate from Council control and not having to follow OJEU processes.
- Working with the Council to define the mechanisms for the transfer of assets, finance and resources to ensure effective operation of the development company.
- Developing approaches to standardisation across the programme to ensure second tier supply chain efficiencies.
- Optimising the programme to generate c. £35m of land value and £34m profit on cost as Council returns from its investment. His has involved up to 70 Arcadis staff working on the commission in any one month.
- Incentivisation strategy for contractors to focus on programme completion dates.
May 2014 – to date
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