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GETTING TECHNICAL: How does having in-house residential technical expertise help add value and strengthen deliverability?

Delivering the homes the nation needs is a well-documented challenge. The Letwin review calls for housebuilders to look at more innovative ways of delivering, but that’s easier said than done. While the number of new build completions may be headline-grabbing, a pure focus on numbers does a disservice to the myriad of technical challenges, toils and risks housebuilders must take in order to deliver.

We realised quickly that, as a Master Developer, having an in-house technical team would help smooth the path for the housebuilders we work with. By bringing a skilled team to the table on complex mixed-use projects we can speed up the process and in turn the delivery of new housing.

IM Land’s in-house technical team is charged with two things – a) making sure at every step that a site meets the needs of a housebuilder and b) de-risking the whole process by addressing issues at an early stage that could affect delivery. Underpinning this is the drive for quality environments that add to and do not detract from the surrounding area.

The day to day job is to input into the creation of the masterplan, thinking 5 steps ahead to reduce later conflicts in deliverability; inputting into the site design guides; assessing utility arrangements and comprehensive drainage strategies, that usually seem to get overlooked in detail at outline stage; and reviewing what highways agreements and infrastructure improvements that need to be in place. Critically, to help speed up delivery of housing there may be a need to progress further detailed design work that could prevent or delay immediate site starts.

Adding value to housebuilders

Central to a good in-house technical team is understanding the end product and making sure the housebuilder has little risk when bringing forward a site – removing the risk of expensive delays is key.

It’s a part strategic, part detailed approach. Our team help balance the tightrope between local aspirations for new communities, with a constant eye on keeping a site affordable and deliverable. They consider phasing and delivery, pinpointing how local benefits can be unlocked early, to support the sale of sites and land parcels.

Crucially, this offer leads to cohesively planned communities that are real assets both for those developing and those who live or want to live in those locations.

It’s all about having scrutiny over an opportunity. We’re constantly assessing how technical issues affect a site’s deliverability. Our cost assessments look at how to achieve large, open community spaces without impeding on value, while the quality assessments and technical engagement throughout the planning stage give local authorities confidence in the end product they’re consenting.

Expediting delivery of new homes

Ultimately, we think that de-risking can speed up delivery. Providing a skilled team that can identify and resolve the sources of the delays, before they become an issue, is often invaluable to housebuilders. As is addressing those legal and technical issues that often detract housebuilders from the main objective – building and selling homes!

To speak to a member of our residential technical team email enquiries@imland.co.uk