Our work - 26/10/2021

Bicester Eco Town, Oxfordshire

Providing valuation, development and agency advice to Thames Valley Police (TVP).

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  • Cherwell Council has designated an 800+ acre area to the north-west of Bicester town centre for an urban extension comprising residential-led mixed-use development. The growth area is also designated to be a genuine Eco Town scheme. The Master Plan comprises 6000 new homes and associated public infrastructure, amenity areas, local retail facilities and a district centre which will provide local services.
  • We have been appointed by Thames Valley Police (TVP), which owns a strategic property holding comprising 70 acres within the Master Plan area. Our advice extends to valuation, development, and agency services where TVP is willing to consider the disposal of surplus land, providing it doesn’t adversely impact on current and continuing operational requirements. 

Our Approach

  • The services we are providing to TVP include financial modelling; delivery option analysis; residential market advice; valuation advice; OJEU procurement of development partners; and, strategic property services. 
  • We are currently leading on negotiations with Oxfordshire County Council, which is seeking to acquire the land required to complete a key highway corridor (which will comprise the A4095 link road) and open up development opportunities across the wider Master Plan area. 
  • We are also advising on the selection of a JV partner which will provide promotion services and deliver to TVP a site which can attract feasible and viable residential development proposals. 
  • Financial Modelling – We appraised the original master plan scheme relating to the whole Eco Town, prepared by A2D, including a sensitivity analysis with cost and value inputs to allow TVP to better understand the challenges with delivering a comprehensive Master Plan. We have also provided valuation advice on the potential value of a phased development of that part of the wider Master Plan comprising the land to the south of the railway line which is capable of becoming a second phase of the scheme. 
  • Delivery Option Analysis – We considered TVP’s options for the delivery and development on its non-operational land, including outright sale, promotion and JV. 
  • Market Testing – We have undertaken an assessment of alternative delivery options to enable a robust assessment of the opportunity, highlighting the challenges and benefits of risk sharing, mindful that the LPA is primarily concerned with providing public services. 
  • Procurement of Development Partners – We have been alert to TVP having to comply with procurement, best value and value for money in its land transactions, liaising with solicitors and technical team to ensure the agreed strategy is robust and meets both current as well as foreseeable operational considerations. With planning consent in place, we will advise TVP on the disposal of the non-operational areas suitable for development in order to secure maximum capital value. 
  • Land Transactions – We are currently acting on the disposal of land earmarked for strategic infrastructure works, which will create a net developable site, utilising local market knowledge and prior relationships with residential developers active in the area. 
  • Valuation – We are providing valuation and options analysis advice, including for the purposes of satisfying the client’s best consideration requirements under Section 123.

The Results

  • We continue to act for Thames Valley Police on this scheme. 

Bicester Eco Town

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