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Big planning changes in order if Coventry to embrace unprecedented development opportunities


Unprecedented opportunities for Coventry and its surrounding areas to accommodate and exploit inward investment, growth and business opportunities, risk being missed unless employment land allocations are significantly expanded, according to local experts speaking at an event for the region’s property professionals.

Tom Bromwich and David Penn, partners of chartered surveyors and commercial property advisors Bromwich Hardy, were speaking at this year’s annual Property Seminar, hosted by Lodders.

They gave an overview of the Coventry and Warwickshire Commercial Property market, a summary of the employment land shortage in the region, and the need for Government, Local Authorities and other stakeholders to promote and release more land for commercial development in order to stimulate growth and drive the economy.

Lack of supply

As part of this overview of the current property market and lack of supply of land to meet industrial, retail and residential property and development demands in Coventry and Warwickshire, they voiced their concerns and frustrations about what is holding back the area’s growth:

“The current market opportunities in Coventry and its surrounding area are unprecedented,” said David Penn, “but with rising construction costs, high land values, planning bureaucracy, and the severe lack of employment land currently allocated, there is real doubt whether these will ever be addressed or realised.

“Changes including boundary reallocations, releasing land for development, scrapping certain areas of greenbelt, and giving schemes such as the much-needed gateway and expansion at Ansty the green light, will collectively revolutionise the area and help make the potential a reality.”


Joining them on the event’s expert speaker panel that explored the current and projected state of the West Midlands’ residential and commercial property sectors and its key and emerging areas across the region, was Mark Lee, Chief Executive of Calthorpe Estates in Edgbaston, one of Birmingham’s longest established land owning and estate management companies.

He said that momentum in interest in Birmingham from national and international investors and organisations that see it as a place from which to do business, is unlikely to slow ‘anytime soon’.

Birmingham is attracting significant interest from investors outside of the region, he said, and business confidence and optimism levels amongst Birmingham’s business and real estate sectors is now higher than in other major cities across the UK.

“Investment opportunities and activity in the property and real estate sectors always operates on a cycle,” explained Mark Lee, keynote speaker at the event, “and whilst residential land prices are coming off recent peaks and office investment activity across the UK has dipped this year, demand for business and commercial premises across Calthorpe remains high, and we expect to see significant new office lease commitments in Birmingham between now and mid-2017.”

Calthorpe Estates is a 300-year-old family-owned company with a primary focus on creating thriving communities within its 1600-acre mixed use estate, with clusters in healthcare, life sciences and communities – the Edgbaston Medical Quarter, Edgbaston Village and Edgbaston Commercial area.

In 2012, the Medical Quarter accounted for 14% of its portfolio, and the aim is to grow this to 20% by 2021, explained Mark, when it will become a ‘real alternative’ to London’s medical district in Harley Street.

Over 100 property developers, housebuilders, land and real estate professionals attended the 2016 Lodders Property Seminar, which is one of the region’s longest-running and most popular property events.

Now in its tenth year, the 2016 event represented ‘an illustrious cross section of the West Midlands’ property sector’, according to Lodders’ non-executive chairman, George Campion, in his welcome speech at the event.

Lodders’ head of Real Estate Paul Mourton, delivered an overview of the highlights for the team over the last 12-months, and its significant growth since 2013, to a 32-strong real estate practice, made-up of eight partners, 22 fee earners and support staff.


Lodders’ partners Alastair Frew, a commercial property specialist, and Jane Senior, a property dispute resolution expert, provided a round-up of recent milestone land and real estate cases from across the UK.

This year’s seminar was held at Henley in Arden Golf Club in Warwickshire.


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Get in touch

To find out more about this event and Lodders’ Real Estate services, contact Paul Mourton on 01242 229083 or by email.