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Good place making can add substantial value to homes, according to new research by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The ‘Placemaking and Value’ report found that the key item for people is the concept of ‘neighbourhood’ with proximity to local facilities and shops also ranked highly.

Creating better places to live adds substantial value - by Andrew Carrington

Homes built in an effectively designed community including good schools, extensive public open spaces, parks and play spaces were considered ‘vital’ by new home buyers. The research found that good place making positively impacts the value and desirability of a home and helps to sustain premium values over a longer period of time.

The research includes five case studies within an hour’s commute of London, demonstrating the enhancement to the financial values of the dwellings of between 5% and 56%. Although good place making in areas of high value sees the most significant uplift, the commercial benefit of a better place to live was still evident in lower value areas of close to 20% uplift on other local new homes schemes. The increase in value was long-term rather than short-term in nature.

At Countryside, we know that using good place making techniques can enhance the value of the homes we create within our new and regenerated communities and we have over 25 years’ experience of ensuring our design and master planning detail is second to none.

It is also important to offer a range of homes to provide a greater sales rate – homebuyers want flexibility on style but one that is also sympathetic to the local demand profile. For example, Countryside’s Accordia development in Cambridge needed to offer something different to the already strong local market, in order to achieve premium values. Using innovative design solutions could have been a risk, however, the distinctive design saw homes sell for a 56% premium – the highest in the RICS research.

Conveying a vision for each of our developments, we use our place making skills to secure a planning consent that enables us to create places of character and quality where people aspire to live and where they feel a sense of belonging.

Here’s how we do it:

1 Use a landscape-led approach – Existing landscapes and historic features are important to local people and the local environment, therefore we put these at the heart of our master planning, evolving them sensitively to create a sense of place within our developments.

2 Apply the main principles of place making – All our developments are created with great attention to detail – it’s not just the homes themselves but the landscaping and infrastructure that is considered in our master planning. It is also our house building expertise that gives us a great understanding of what makes a successful place and the power of creating a cohesive community.

3 Use design skills – We use the local vernacular and the opportunity and constraints of each site to achieve a design solution that works sympathetically to the surroundings.

4 Deliver valuable infrastructure – We ensure the streetscape and landscape make an early impact and that planning obligations are delivered to maximise value. Take our Beaulieu development in Chelmsford. Ensuring the delivery of a neighbourhood centre early on in the lifetime of the new community will ensure residents have essential local facilities on their doorstep, including a Sainsbury’s Local store and other new shops, a day nursery, restaurant, community centre and health centre.

5 Work in partnership – At Countryside we realise the importance of working collaboratively with councils, statutory authorities and agencies across the all stages of planning and development and we work closely with existing communities to better understand their concerns and aspirations.

Countryside’s successful new communities prove our place making approach adds value. For example at Wickhurst Green in Broadbridge Heath sales prices achieved have exceeded existing local values and are now comparable to nearby Horsham; at Beaulieu sales have seen a strong uplift well above the local market conditions in Chelmsford, and the regeneration of Acton Gardens, in South Acton W3, has seen the pound per square foot sales value rise by 50% from March 2013 to June 2015.

It is essential to create the appropriate infrastructure for major new residential projects, including schools, community facilities and green open spaces, to ensure the existing and new community is supported and ensure a cohesive community develops. Countryside delivers added value for all the stakeholders involved and creates homes in communities we know that people want to live, work and relax in and that will stand the test of time.

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Andrew Carrington,
Managing Director - Strategic Land

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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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