Final go-ahead on deal to create green community

Irwin Mitchell’s Real Estate team has acted for Sheffield property company Hallam Land Management in sealing a deal which took 10 years to complete for the construction of a new eco-friendly community in Cranbrook, East Devon.

The first phase of the East Devon New Community involves the construction of 1,120 new homes and supporting infrastructure, including the eventual construction of a new school, community facilities and new railway station.

The New Community will be served by a environmentally-friendly district heating system comprising the construction of the UK’s largest combined heat and power plant (CHP), which is powered from locally-sourced, sustainable wood fuel.

The plant will serve the whole community at Cranbrook, eventually expanding to 2,900 homes over three phases, and would mean reduced energy bills and unlimited hot water for the residents.

Kevin Docherty, a partner in the Real Estate team at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The vision for Cranbrook is to create a low-carbon new community close to skilled employment opportunities, encouraging residents to use sustainable modes of transport.

“The team at Irwin Mitchell has been involved throughout the whole lifetime of this project, providing advice on all aspects of the transaction from site assembly through to negotiating a joint venture with a range of housebuilders. It is fantastic to see the hard work of Hallam Land and the Irwin Mitchell team come to fruition.”

Mr Docherty said this recent step marks the culmination of over 10 years’ work by Hallam Land Management, in conjunction with Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes. Hallam Land has also sold part of its landholding to Bovis Homes, who later this year will start building new homes on the first phase of the development.

Hallam Land Management director Nick Duckworth said: “This was a particularly complicated transaction involving Grant Agreements with the Homes and Communities Agency to assist in both Infrastructure Delivery and Affordable Housing procurement; Development Agreements with two Social Landlords; a loan agreement with the South West Regional Development Agency; in addition to a Joint Venture with Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes and a land sale to Bovis.

“The delivery of the whole package required significant staying power, a characteristic of Irwin Mitchell’s Real Estate team.”