Commercial Property Register
June - October 2018www.compropregister.com
The continuing development of
roads and housebuilding across
the three counties is bringing
increased pressure on resources
as well as protests from local
At the same time commercial
developers are finding it increasingly
difficult to access land for developments,
particularly industrial schemes. This
applies strongly along the south coast.
The problem goes back decades
to the time when governments
starting putting pressure on the local
authorities to increase the amount of
housebuilding in rural areas, a policy
identified with former Secretary of
State John Prescott.
The latest battle is on a site in
Lancing where New Monks Farm
Development, a subsidiary of Brighton
and Hove Football Club, wants to
build an IKEA store and 600 homes.
The site, close to Shoreham
Airport, is zoned for development in
the Adur local plan and it generated
considerable controversy when it
was included. Even so, the number of
people registering their support for
an IKEA is larger than the opponents,
whose organisation is called Adur
Residents Environmental Action (AREA).
Its Chair, Barb O’Kelly, said:
“There is a growing awareness of
the congestion and pollution
problems that would be generated
by the additional two million extra
journeys a year from IKEA alone”.
This congestion problem now applies
right along the south coast and is a
hindrance to commercial development.
Local authorities are under
considerable pressure to increase
the rate of housebuilding they
allow throughout the south east.
One example is Arun which is
required to construct 20,000 new
homes over a 20 year period.
That often means employment
land being used for housing, notably
the large horticultural complexes in
the three counties. Large numbers of
greenhouses have been demolished
to make way for housing and some
villages such as Angmering have
become small suburban towns.
Meanwhile, agents complain about
the shortage of land for industrial
development, particularly for logistics
use to cater for the increased amount
of on line shopping, which is also
bringing changes to the retail scene.
IKEA and the Monks Farm development
will be a test of all this.
As fierce as the debate is about
property development, whether it
be lack of industrial or too much
residential, the fact is that the
construction industry is having a
Blane Perrotton of Naismiths said:
“Despite the low interest rates
environment and abundance of
finance available, developers are
increasingly doubling down,
concentrating on completing existing
projects rather than commissioning
new ones. There is likely to be more
pain to come and there is little sign
of an end to the limbo which is
prompting investors in London and
the south east to sit on their hands”.
In his view the slump in output is
the worst for six years, having been
hit by low confidence, softening
investor demand and rising input costs.
The question is to what extent
Brexit has damaged confidence among
developers and brought a long term
decline in output. Yet the majority of
the agents in Kent, Surrey and Sussex
point to a healthy demand for
industrial property, as they do further
west in Southampton and Portsmouth.
One sector enjoying growth is
hotels which remain popular with
investors as well as existing operators.
An example of a typical deal is
the sale of Stanhill Court Hotel in
Horley, Surrey through Christie & Co
for £4.8 million.
It ticks all the boxes in being a
popular wedding venue as well as
conference centre set in 35 acres with
a five acre amphitheatre overlooking
the South Downs National Park. It has
34 bedrooms as well as 10
conference rooms and can
accommodate up to 360 guests.
It has been sold to an existing
hotel operator in Kent who plans to
invest substantial capital in the
business. Andrew Moore of Christie
said: “This is a significant property in
an enviable location which we sold
on behalf of Mr and Mrs Antonio
Colas, who are now retiring”.
3,615 sq.metres (39,811sq.ft
.) Conqueror Court in Sittingbourne has
been recently sold to London & County, the property investment and
development group who, unlike many landlords, have adopted a flexible
approach to leasing as well as selling both vacant and fully let units on the
12 office park as investments.
TOUGH SUMMER FOR
Stanhill Court Hotel
A 2,415 sq.metres (26,000sq.ft.
warehouse in Bexhill has been
let through SHW to Skinners
David Martin of SHW said:
“Buildings of this size with a yard
are rarely available which was
borne out by the number of
enquiries which were from a wide
range of different users attracted
principally by the extensive yard”.
According to SHW, this size of
warehouse is in most demand
among occupiers in the