The system of town planning which has emerged in the UK over the last 20 years, is an increasingly challenging environment in which to realise successful results.
Muller enjoys an enviable reputation in land strategy planning. Success has been achieved through identifying land with future development potential, resolving site assembly, access, planning and technical issues in order to deliver land with development opportunity.
Often on sites considered too difficult or even impossible by others, the Group has produced significant results by achieving land allocations and planning approvals for employment, housing and community infrastructure.
Muller is constantly seeking new areas of land with potential for residential or commercial development and is efficient and skilled in the appraisal of greenfield opportunities, however ambitious or futuristic landowners believe their prospects may be.
It directly manages its own land promotion and representation work as part of the local and regional planning process, which is undertaken entirely at its own cost and risk.
As well as its own development programme, Muller also works in partnership with private landowners, national development organisations, local authorities and financial institutions to bring forward longer term development opportunities.
In-depth knowledge, expertise and long term partnerships enjoyed with industry professionals enables Muller to be recognised as a highly credible and reliable solution for realising the potential of land, through the securing of development land allocations, solving of technical issues and achievement of planning permissions.
Muller believes there is still significant demand for housing and employment land which cannot be met on brownfield sites and which will require the release of greenfield sites to meet such need.
Government and Local Authority ‘brownfield land first’ policies have been in place since the early 1990’s, and much of the historic, derelict and vacant land has come forward for development over the last 20 years.
The Government’s ‘National Planning Policy Framework’ published in 2012 set a new baseline for the promotion of sustainable development adjoining existing communities.
The Group continues to secure and promote an extensive portfolio of new areas of land, either by way of option agreements with landowners or in joint venture partnership, or through promotion agreements.
“At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision taking” Quote from NPPF.
Muller is highly skilled and proven in the navigation of the complex, costly and risky processes involved in the promotion of land through the planning system.
The Group undertakes the acquisition and assembly of land interests, design, masterplanning and promotion of strategic sites via the town planning system.
Population growth, longevity, divorce and the formation of smaller family units are the main drivers of the demand for new homes. To meet the increased needs for housing, it is predicted that the United Kingdom will need to have a total of 27.8 million houses by 2031, an increase of 4.4 million houses.
The ‘Localism Act’ empowers local communities to make decisions regarding development within the context of the requirement to meet local needs.
However, this brings with it a whole new regime for consultation with neighbouring residents which extends timescales for land promotion. As a result of the failure of some Local Authorities to allocate sufficient new development land, substantial latent demand for housing exists.
Muller is well positioned to identify and unlock significant areas of land for future development.
These factors will combine to provide an unprecedented opportunity for landowners to benefit from the overwhelming shortage of housing land. This will place pressure on Local Authorities who fail to progress and adopt local plans such that they will be forced to accept release of land on greenfield sites for housing.
Muller’s approach is fully aligned with the Government’s housing and employment delivery initiatives and its Localism Agenda.
Muller is ideally positioned to act as a leading platform in preparing and delivering land for new development The changes in industry over the last thirty years, with the decline of UK manufacturing with a move towards service and distribution, the use of new technology and increases in fuel energy costs have fundamentally altered the requirements for employment land.
Modern businesses now seek locations which provide efficient access to their markets and from their supply base, with a source of skilled labour close at hand.
The requirements for locating employment land have become more challenging since businesses wish to occupy strategic sites with railway or motorway connections. These are inevitably greenfield and outside recognised settlement boundaries and present a considerable challenge to establishing allocation through the planning process.
The key to realising development potential is to adopt an early, proactive and committed approach to the promotion of land through the plan making process
Muller builds long term partnerships with landowners, local authorities, property advisors and communities. It works with a range of landowners, including farmers, institutional owners and public bodies to assess the potential of individual sites and to understand the best way to promote land through the planning process.
The Group owns or controls a portfolio of strategic land and development sites across the UK, creating new development areas which are at varying stages of the planning promotion cycle.
Projects include a range of mixed-use, brownfield regeneration, along with strategic greenfield urban extensions ensuring the creation of sustainable, well-designed environments and communities.
Expert professional input is sought by its in-house development team who manage the considerable demands of the planning and promotion process.
Early commitment to environmental and technical work ensures that a vision is established and delivered. Technical issues need to be evaluated and solved at an early stage, particularly on the larger greenfield sites to ensure that these factors are reflected in the cost of bringing the land forward for development.
This means that informed discussions can be held with local authorities at an early stage in the promotion process to establish a shared, deliverable and viable scheme.
Muller acquires land or interests in land which have potential for sustainable, residential led development.
Sites are initially promoted through the planning system using its experienced team with skills in a range of areas including planning, engineering, development, project management and finance.
The Group is able to consider the outright purchase of development opportunities, but will also consider option arrangements, joint venture agreements or land promotion agreements.
“Muller is recognised as a highly credible, reliable and successful partner for realising the development potential of land.”