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Recommendations are generating an increasingly large percentage of our new business, and they're coming from a wide variety of sources. In this particular case, the surveyor acting for a local charity suggested that we had the necessary expertise to maximise the value of a key site in Central Croydon that was surplus to requirements.

Tom Luck began advising the charity back in 2016, and quickly established that price, rather than timing, was the key driver. The charity's own surveyor had confirmed an existing use value for the building that comprised ground floor retail space, a lower level bar and offices in the upper parts. Tom, however, highlighted the development potential of the site, and was confident of generating a considerable premium. The sellers had neither the funds nor appetite to promote the site for development, and as such we set about sourcing a local partner. Terms were agreed with a Croydon-based developer, and a process of consultation began with Croydon Council. Anyone in the industry will appreciate that no planning application is straightforward. In this case, the town centre location and key corner aspect drew even greater focus on the proposals. Suffice to say much work was undertaken between 2017 & 2019!!

Planning permission for a landmark scheme comprising 60 flats, new retail units and a purpose built basement music venue was approved at committee in early 2019. It took another 6 months to execute the Section 106 Legal Agreement that accompanies every major application nowadays; following which the charity set about procuring vacant possession. The sale successfully completed in early 2020 at a price considerably ahead of the existing use value. The moral of the story is that planning promotion is by no means easy, but with the right blend of expertise, time, money and effort invested, certain properties can achieve premium prices.

PROJECT ADDRESS: 5 - 9 Surrey Street, Croydon CR0 1RG

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