Chartered Surveyor firm, Bruton Knowles, has been appointed to support Staffordshire-based housing association, Aspire Housing, as plans to regenerate a local high street begin to take shape.
A partnership has been struck between Aspire Housing, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council to conduct transformative works in the village of Knutton.
This focuses on Knutton High Street, and the revamp of four major sites, all within a one-mile radius of one another, including:
– Blackbank Road
– High Street/Acacia Avenue
– Former Clinic Site
– Lower Milehouse Lane/Serviceman’s Club Site
As part of programme of works, Bruton Knowles has been brought in to deliver independent valuation of the land required for the overall development.
A key priority for the firm will also be to run a one-day career mentoring workshop in the local area for anyone wishing to find out more about surveying and the wider construction sector. The aim of this is to help nurture the talent of the future, helping to upskill the region’s workforce, and boost the local economy.
Ian Mercer, Partner at Bruton Knowles, who is leading on the project, said: “Everyone at Bruton Knowles is delighted to be working with Aspire Housing on this exciting scheme. The team – based out of our Birmingham branch – are perfectly placed to provide the high-quality local market insight that this project requires to move it into the delivery phase.
“It also gives us great pleasure to be able to support local people with our career mentoring workshop. We know there is a competitive jobs market at present, yet with the significant skills shortage we are facing in the surveying and built environment sector, it is important we play our part in helping more people understand how rewarding a career in our industry can be.
“This is about sharing our knowledge and expertise with the local workforce and giving them the opportunity to find out more about a potentially unknown sector to boost the construction industry supply chain and attract a more diverse pool of talent in the future.”
Bruton Knowles’ latest bid win marks another success story in a run of continued growth for the firm. It also affirms the need for greater levels of social housing across the country, something which a recent study of data by the Regulator of Social Housing said should be a priority over the next 12 months.
According to the research, the social housing sector added over 31,000 homes between April 2021 and March 2022 to meet growing demand. The same study also found a rise in rent this year by 1.6% across the country. For Aspire Housing and the two local authorities, the Knutton High Street development represents an opportunity to breathe new life into the area and deliver homes that will meet future needs.
Bruton Knowles is already starting to advise the client, providing independent valuation of the land sales / partial transfer of land and embarking on negotiations between the respective parties.
Mercer added: “The initial plan is for residential, community land and unit valuations to be made, alongside consulting with landowners to re-evaluate their position and interest in each plot. Of course in doing this, we have to consider any uplift in land values caused by the development of the area and ensure recompense is fair and in line with the current market.”
The land is currently owned by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough and Staffordshire County Councils, who are both keen to work with Aspire Housing to breathe new life into the area.
With the prospect of fresh cash injections in Knutton as a result of Aspire Housing’s scheme, it is hoped that some of the housing shortages in the wider area can be tackled. Bringing more affordable options to the table for those who are particularly wanting to get on the property ladder but face continued challenges due to the cost-of-living crisis is a top priority at present for local and national policymakers.
Bruton Knowles offers a one-stop-shop for clients, with its four National Teams – Valuation, Commercial, Utilities & Infrastructure and Building Consultancy – providing a point of contact to deliver an entire project to the exacting standards required.
The firm has extensive expertise and in-depth market knowledge of local and national property markets throughout the UK. Using its team of motivated resourceful surveyors, the firm can provide the very best commercial property advice.