Ledbury residents are being encouraged to have their say on a new community-led development scheme before it is submitted for planning permission.
The scheme, known as Leadon Vale, is being developed by Midlands-based Deeley Group and the family-owned company is engaging with the local community through an online public consultation.
The new development will feature a community medical centre, locally-run children’s day nursery and a Lidl food store.
It is proposed to be built adjacent to the Old Wharf Industrial Estate, where Leadon Way meets Dymock Road.
There will be just under 200 car parking spaces at Leadon Vale, with the development offering a range of amenities and employment opportunities for existing and new residents in the south of Ledbury.
The energy-efficient buildings are designed to respond to the surrounding area with fitting design, including a green roof on the 23,412 sq ft Lidl store.
A public consultation was planned to take place in May however due to Covid-19 this will not be possible, so the event will be taking place online.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “The Deeley Group always make a priority of engaging with communities wherever we work to ensure we create a sustainable footprint on the local area.
“Leadon Vale is in a fantastic location to provide support to local people and is within walking and cycling distance of those who live on the south side of the town.
“We would like to hear feedback from residents on the proposed development and ensure it responds to the needs of the community before submitting for planning permission.”
Woodlands Nursery will be operating the day nursery and it will be the site of their third pre-school, with other sites at Hereford and Ross-on-Wye.
The nursery will offer at least 23 full and part-time jobs to qualified and apprenticeship staff, while also providing in-house training opportunities for local people who are interested in a career in early years.
Oliver Marshall, Director of Woodlands Nursery, added: “We are delighted to be able to take forward these plans for a new purpose-built nursery school at Leadon Vale.
“We have been searching for a site near Ledbury for a number of years, having been told by local people and businesses that they desperately need an early years facility like this in the town.
“Leadon Vale is a really well thought out proposal, and as a local business we are delighted to be involved. We believe it will be a credit to the area.”
To find out more about Leadon Vale and to provide feedback on the proposal visit www.deeley.co.uk/properties/our-developments/leadon-vale/
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, on how construction is adapting to a limited return to site working
There is no doubt that parts of the economy are beginning to show signs of life – but the tap is only being turned on very slowly.
I was on one of many recent video calls when someone said that as we end lockdown it will be a little like when you have had your boiler repaired. When you turn on tap it splutters as the pipes refill and takes a while for the flow to be resumed.
On the construction side of the Deeley Group, the announcement of lockdown and social distancing meant our tap was tightly turned off and we closed our 11 sites.
I fully appreciate that it is very difficult for Government to be clear and concise bearing in mind the myriad of unprecented measures they are bringing in at the moment but there was, at best, uncertainty as to what was essential working.
Also, the advice that work would continue also came with a heavy hint that there was little understanding as to how a site works and that did cause concern in the industry.
Slowly the sector got to grips with exactly how we could continue working to a level while strictly adhering to the social distancing rules. That has, inevitably, meant big changes in how we work.
For example, signing in is now by text rather than an electronic fingerprint system; canteens are closed; site times, break times and lunch times are staggered; we can only have 10-30 per cent of the number of people on site to allow for social distancing.
There have been struggles getting materials – especially plasterboard – and many of the builders’ merchants were closed until very recently. That is all easing and the supply of UK-produced goods is getting much better, but there will be times when we are held up by the absence of products such as lifts or air-conditioning units, which have to be imported.
Interestingly, in a world of sub-contractors, there has been a total regard for the health and wellbeing of staff, which has been refreshing to witness particularly when, at the same time, there were images from major construction projects where workers paying no attention to the guidance.
Sub-contractors are only coming back to sites where they are confident that social distancing can be maintained and, when it can’t, there is suitable PPE used by all.
But no-one should be under the impression that this means we are back to normal. Social distancing is likely to remain in place for many months to come and this means that the rate of construction is going to remain low because of the limited numbers on site.
As ever, industry is going to have to find a way to overcome the hurdle. We might need
to extend working hours as we have the longer evenings arriving, almost operating a two-shift system to maximise the number of working hours on site.
I think an increase in weekend working is almost inevitable, but that will not only allow us to maintain progress as much as possible but it will also allow sub-contractors to earn, which will very welcome after the last two months.
Equally inevitable will be increased costs because efficient sequencing of a build will not be possible given the restrictions in place and the equipment shortages.
There are also other more trivial, but still important, consequences. Spirit on a site is always important but with people working alone we simply cannot interact in the same way.
There is going to be part of our morale that is absent as we miss the joke that we don’t hear, and the catch up over a coffee during a break.
But that is a small price to pay.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, casts her eye over how the planning system is adjusting to life in lockdown
At a time when people have been panic buying shopping for toilet rolls, cutting their own hair and congregating for karaoke parties during the lockdown, it is refreshing – and indeed rare – to highlight the planning structure as a model of good sense.
Despite the tragic events which have crippled countries across the globe and robbed families of loved ones, other aspects of life have to try to operate as normal or at least adapt to the unique circumstances in which we find ourselves.
I think everyone has been pleasantly surprised, for example, how quickly people have adjusted to working from home and meeting virtually.
It would have been all too easy for development and construction to grind to a total halt. While many of the aspects of the profession have been rendered impossible through restrictions, the Government flexing planning regulations has allowed a great deal of work to continue when otherwise it would have been forced to cease.
The change has allowed more planning matters to be agreed under delegated powers which means that there continues to be a flow of applications being processed.
As with all aspects of business during the lockdown period, precise preparation and clear communication are vital in ensuring officers have as full a picture as possible allowing them to be comfortable they are able to make the right decisions.
The changes to planning regulations have also given council’s certain freedoms to decide the best ways to operate within guidelines.
Planning meetings can, for example, be held remotely with members logging in over the internet or on the telephone. The location of a meeting can now be defined digitally such as a web address or video conference call rather than a physical place.
As long as committee members, officers and applicants can hear and be heard then a meeting can go ahead. Contributions from the members of the public if they are allowed to speak can be registered in advantage.
I wonder how many times committees would like to have had a “mute facility” at their disposal in real meetings!
Public consultations are, by their very nature, far harder to carry out during lockdown yet the Local Government Association Planning Advisory Service has urged local authorities to press on employing social media, interactive maps and online information, and utilising virtual groups through channels such as Facebook.
These are still early days relative to public consultations and there are more formal and structured elements to the process which may not be able to be conducted remotely, and there is talk of guidance being flexed to make that possible should this situation continue.
There are elements which have proved trickier to overcome. Some smaller councils do not have it within their constitution to make decisions without a physical meeting while traffic counts – a key factor in planning applications and consents – are impossible to measure when we are restricted to essential journeys only.
Again, if lockdown continues then the system will have to adapt and research has shown that more than three quarters of councillors are behind the process continuing virtually until the crisis is behind us.
What this dreadful time has shown is that, when the pressure is on and needs must, the planning system, which at times seems massively inflexible, can be shaped and moulded to mutual benefit.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that spirit of understanding and mutual working continued long after this horrible period is over?
Deeley Properties’ investment portfolio continues to see great success.
Deeley Properties acquired a 20,000 sq. ft. industrial warehouse on an established estate in Dudley in 2016. The property was then let to ERIKS with two years remaining on its lease.
Deeley identified the opportunity to refurbish and re-let or sell the building, whilst receiving a return on cost of 8.5% until the end of the lease.
Earlier this year the property on Crackley Way was sold to Pipework Engineering Services securing a significant return for the company.
The investment at Harwell Science & Technology Campus in Oxfordshire continues to show a good return. Nuva is the current tenant at the property and Andrew Brazier, development consultant, secured an increase of over 30% in rent.
Andrew said: “The property at Harwell remains part of our core portfolio as an investment in a growing science park and we hope that following this increase we shall be negotiating a new longer lease in exchange for some improvement works to the property.”
The main figures behind a new Starbucks drive-thru in Birmingham have come together to celebrate its completion.
Deeley Properties, in partnership with Ziran Land, acquired the site adjoining the Maypole Roundabout earlier this year from a private landowner to create the new café/restaurant, which has a 15-year lease.
The investment on the property, built by Deeley Construction, was sold to Custodian REIT through David Allen, of Holt Commercial, on completion.
Pat Moroney, of Deeley Group, John Liggins, of Ziran Land, and David Allen, of Holt Commercial, were key figures in the deal that saw Starbucks open in September, creating 18 jobs.
Pat said: “We saw this opportunity to work in partnership with Ziran Land to create this new Starbucks. It has worked extremely well for all parties and because of that relationship we are already looking at other very similar developments.
“It is a project where we saw potential to create value and also a new café/restaurant for the local community and perfectly fits Deeley Group’s ‘end to end’ capabilities in the delivery of projects.”
John said: “It has been an excellent project all round and it is great to have achieved completion and hand over the final property.
“It is great to have worked in partnership in this way and to have seen such a positive result.”
David said: “There is strong growth in this sector and I envisage many more developments of this type both across the region and nationally.”
Wade Commercial acted for Custodian REIT.
Pictured (left to right): John Liggins, Pat Moroney, David Allen
A development of over 140 affordable, family homes in Leamington has reached completion.
Known as Union Park, the £29 million development of 147 homes sits on the former Soans’ motor dealership site in Sydenham. The names of classic Ford cars now mark the streets in and around the neighbourhood paying respect to the rich heritage of the site.
Matt Western, MP for Warwick and Leamington, welcomed the addition of new, affordable homes alongside housing group and developer Orbit and partners, Deeley Construction.
He said: “I would like to thank Orbit, Deeley Construction and Warwick District Council for working together to create this fantastic development. It is important to recognise the contribution Orbit has made to the local area with the Union Park development. I visited the site some months ago and I am deeply impressed with the high environmental and construction standards of these homes.
“As the former County Councillor for the area and now as the MP, I have long campaigned for more social and affordable housing so it is excellent to see this development contributing towards combating the housing crisis.”
Offering canal-side living, Union Park has brought 55 homes to the open market, as well as 39 homes available for shared ownership (part buy, part rent) and 53 for affordable rent. Following high demand, all properties have now been sold or rented – just 18 months after building began.
John Carleton, group property investment director at Orbit, said: “A successful regeneration, Union Park offers affordable, family living in an enviable location. From a family business, to what is quickly becoming a thriving community, we’re proud to add Union Park to our expanding development portfolio across the district.”
The development, delivered in partnership with Coventry-based Deeley Construction, offers a selection of two and three bedroom houses as well as one and two bedroom apartments.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, added: “It was lovely to see a sense of community already developing – with children heading off to school and people going out to work – and it reminds you that developments such as this are about more than bricks and mortar, but creating homes for people.
“Our role in the partnership to deliver Union Park was highlighted on the day and we are thrilled with the part we have played in bringing this scheme forward from start to finish.”
Orbit delivered over 2,000 new homes in the last financial year. Over the next 10 years the housing group has plans to build a further 20,000 new homes across the midlands, south and east of the country, contributing to the UK’s housing growth.
A special thanks to the following people for making the event a great success, bringing to life its rich heritage:
Mr Richard Soans – Ford Model A
Mr Michael Dye – Ford Corsair
Mr Adam Fox – Ford Granada
Mr Joseph Marcello – Ford Anglia
Mr Sid Shaw – Ford Orion
The Allen Ford Dealership, Leamington Spa – Ford Mustang
Pictured (left to right): John Carleton, Martin Gallagher, Matt Western MP
A Midlands property company has broken through 500 homes mark over the past four years and is on course to deliver hundreds more properties before the end of the decade.
The Deeley Group, based in Coventry, has delivered 552 units across Warwickshire since it worked with Bromford Housing on a development in Arley, North Warwickshire, in 2014.
Through its offering as both a developer, Deeley Properties, and a main contractor, Deeley Construction, it has worked in partnership with a range of housing groups and associations on projects valued at close to £75million.
The biggest scheme was 179 units for Orbit Homes at Queensway Court in Leamington – part of a major regeneration scheme – and Deeley has worked with the company on three further projects since 2015.
The group has a further 290 units lined-up between now and 2020 including in Southam, Warwick, Leamington and Coventry.
In addition, there are potentially 92 more homes across the region that are currently going through planning, while the company has secured a place on Homes England DPP3 framework and also the WM Housing Framework.
Pat Moroney, director of Deeley Properties, said: “It’s been a very positive few years for the Deeley Group and reflects our ability to deliver new homes schemes in partnership with housing groups and land owners.
“Our work, with those companies, has helped to deliver well over 500 new homes for communities in our area and will be pushing 1,000 should we be successful in achieving planning in some new schemes we have in the pipeline.
“As an SME contractor and developer, we have the agility and integrity to offer our clients an end-to-end and personal service that helps them to deliver high-quality, affordable living homes.
“We can secure the land, work with them on permissions and site preparation and then, through Deeley Construction, actually build the homes too.
“We are looking forward to the future with great confidence as we prepare to deliver even more homes for our region in partnership with our clients.”
A new Starbucks drive-thru restaurant is being created on a main road into Birmingham.
Deeley Properties, in partnership with Ziran Land, acquired the site adjoining the Maypole Roundabout earlier this year from a private landowner.
The companies identified a potential use for the land and have agreed terms with Starbucks on a 15 year lease to create a new restaurant.
Holt Commercial, chartered surveyors with offices in Birmingham and Coventry, concluded an investment sale for the completed property to Custodian REIT.
It is being built by Deeley Group’s contractor division, Deeley Construction, and it is anticipated it will be handed over to Starbucks in July.
Pat Moroney, a Director of Deeley Properties, said: “This is a development that shows the agility of the Deeley Group because we can bring several elements to the deal.
“We have been able to put together a package, in partnership with Ziran Land, which is attractive to Starbucks and, subsequently to an investor.
“The fact that Deeley Construction is now building the property shows another arm of the company and it is great to be part of a deal where all of the parties are satisfied with the conclusion.”
David Allen, a Director of Holt Commercial, said: “This is a market that continues to expand and we are pleased to have secured a suitable long term investor for the completed restaurant. We anticipate there will be further deals in this market over the coming months and years as the market matures.”
Wade Commercial acted for Custodian REIT.