Despite the current economic downturn, co-founder and director of Great Marlborough Estates, Dean Clifford, argues that London’s opportunity and rich culture will continue to draw wealthy buyers from across the world, making prime London property a simple play to see you through this crisis and beyond.
Covid-19 has accelerated the existing trend towards more agile working and developers should follow suit, says director and co-founder, Grant Lipton, on the need for highly innovative designs which physically separate workspaces from the parts of the home associated with down-time for higher health and wellbeing during the lockdown.
Grant Lipton, also co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, which concentrates particularly on central London, says that as people work more from home, factors such as improving health, wellbeing and connectivity become more important in housing. “It’s something we were already trying to master before this all broke out, but this is now definitely an area that needs a lot more focus and attention,” he says.
Grant Lipton, co-founder of London-focused developer Great Marlborough Estates, said the news was welcome but that further measures were needed to help the industry recover. He said: “The housing market re-starting is obviously positive news, but it will need more than a press release to give buyers and sellers confidence and so the government needs to look at a range of measures to kick-start activity including a stamp duty holiday.”
How big an impact the freeze will have on residential developers remains to be seen, but Great Marlborough Estates co-founder Dean Clifford argues that the advice was “extreme”.
While the business recently won planning permission for its Vauxhall Cross Island scheme, many developments across the UK have stalled and the effects of the lockdown are likely to be felt for some time yet.
Two skyscrapers set to be built at the centre of Vauxhall’s notorious gyratory system have been given the final go-ahead after a long planning battle.
The towers form part of the £600 million Vauxhall Cross Island scheme from developers Great Marlborough Estates. It also includes a public square, restaurants, offices and a new bus station.
Great Marlborough Estates co-founder Dean Clifford is sceptical about whether politicians, who are more concerned with re-election than long-term strategy, will support the creation of an independent body.
“Politicians look at life in political cycles: there are numerous reshuffles, changes of parliament and of political parties. Nobody wants to create something permanent – a long-term body they can’t control.”
Dean Clifford, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, a leading central London luxury property developer, says the surcharge is likely to “turn the Boris bounce into a belly flop” — referring to the recent surge in market demand after Johnson was elected prime minister in December.
Dean Clifford, co-founder of London-focused developer Great Marlborough Estates, said London’s economy would be damaged by the “punitive” new tax. “The capital has the most globalised housing market of any UK city and while there has been a lot of criticism of ‘off-plan’ sales to overseas investors, the fact is they provide a crucial source of development finance.”
Last month the government published the results of its Housing Delivery Test, which aims to hold local authorities to account for providing new homes, and the headline figure was positive. About 247,000 homes were built in England during 2019, 9% more than was recommended by the government.
Construction starts for private sale homes fell by 3% last year, according to the National House Building Council.
Overall housing starts and completions were virtually flat in 2019 compared with the previous year. It saw 161,022 starts, a rise of 1%, and 150,436 completions, an increase of 0.5%.
Fast-tracking planning for more beautiful buildings will do “little to tackle the housing crisis”, according to Dean Clifford, co-founder of developer Great Marlborough Estates.
A report commissioned by government into how the quality of house-building might be improved has recommended that beautiful buildings get fast-tracked through the planning process.
However, Dean Clifford, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, said there were dangers in the state dictating any sort of definition for beauty
Housing industry welcomes Queen’s speech but fears repeat of Starter Homes failure. Dean Clifford, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, said that keeping the 30% discount in perpetuity, as outlined yesterday, would help overcome some of the objections from mortgage lenders around house valuation that undermined the Starter Homes initiative.
Dean Clifford, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, said: “Planning application fees can run as high as £300,000 for very large schemes. Any initiative which increases accountability on local authorities to deliver their part on time is to be welcomed.”
Dean Clifford, co-founder at Great Marlborough Estates, says: “There’s no doubt higher- quality, better-designed homes would help overcome opposition on the ground of new housing. However, it is important that the new design code doesn’t act as a cover for Nimbyism or add yet more complexity to the planning process.”
Dean Clifford, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, discusses recent initiatives to bring back beauty in housebuilding.
The time it takes to sell a home has stopped slowing, while asking prices across the capital are levelling out.
Housing secretary James Brokenshire wants to stop all leasehold houses being sold through the Help to Buy scheme, according to an interview in The Times.
A national audit of new-built housing is launching this summer to examine how design quality has changed in the past decade.
Live like royalty on the edge of Regent’s Park, in the only grade I listed
new-build homes in the capital. Historic England has awarded its highest
rating to Regent’s Crescent.
Transport for London’s partnership with private landlord Grainger is a model that could be followed outside the capital, writes Dean Clifford.
Great Marlborough Estates’ Dean Clifford said: “While some office to resi schemes have been of questionable quality, the majority have delivered decent homes at a faster rate and in a more sustainable way than new-build development.”
From Great Marlborough Estates comes 38 Langham Street, a development of one- and two-bedroom flats with retail or restaurant use on the ground floor in a listed red-brick mansion block. Prices range from £950,000 to £3.5 million. Call Knight Frank on 020 3826 0673 or Savills on 020 7409 8756.
Great Marlborough Estates director and co-founder, Grant Lipton takes BBC London down into the Georgian icehouse discovered beneath the Regent’s Crescent scheme. Also featuring David Sorapure, from the Museum of London Archeology.
Grant Lipton makes the case for preserving Britain’s heritage architecture, and how we can enlist modern technology to preserve our future.
Start-ups are leading a generation of change across London, creating new areas, lifestyles and design ideas for future cities, says Anna White
Grant Lipton, director of Great Marlborough Estates, said: “We always knew that Regent’s Crescent, given its existing historical status, would be an incredibly important development for us. Little did we know that we would discover one of the finest examples of a Georgian ice house in the country.”
This week sees world leaders, civil society and the finest climate scientists descend on Katowice, the coal capital of Poland, for COP24, the United Nation’s climate conference.
Luxury housebuilders and estate agents on Tuesday attacked new plans to stop mega-mansions being built in the West End.
From Theresa May’s Conservative Party conference promise to scrap council borrowing caps, to plans to increase stamp duty for overseas buyers and an analysis of the results of the Letwin Review, the expectations were high for residential property in Budget 2018.
The government has extended its Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme until March 2023 but is limiting it to first time buyers and introducing regional caps, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in today’s Budget.
Dean Clifford, director of house-builder Great Marlborough Estates, said: “Burdening (foreign investment) with an additional tax is not going to fix the housing crisis. In all likelihood, it will exacerbate the problem.”
Dean Clifford, Co-founder, Great Marlborough Estates
“There’s a reason why British businesses fear a Corbyn-led government, with promises of hikes in corporation tax and nationalisation sparking real concern that the party could derail private sector investment. Above all, the implications for the UK property sector could be the most debilitating threat for the nation’s economy.
“For the prime residential market, investment from abroad is vital to the country’s long-term economic growth. Yet the radical economic plans put forward within Labour’s manifesto could scare off foreign investment and signal a drop in stability at the higher end of the market.
“Ultimately, the housing crisis cannot simply be solved through the Corbyn mantra of nationalisation and re-nationalisation. It requires a combined effort between the public and private sector.”
Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, added: “UK property remains highly sought after for many international investors which is something we as a country should be proud of. It underlines our attractiveness as a place to live and work, and also our legal system which is seen as transparent and fair.”
“Overseas investment is crucial to the long-term economic growth of this country and hitting it with additional stamp duty certainly won’t fix the housing crisis, it will probably make it worse. If the Prime Minister is serious about tackling the housing market, greater focus should be placed on increasing supply through streamlining the planning process which is no longer fit for purpose.”
Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates: “Buyers look for more storage space, quality interior features and thoughtful design. Developers must put the living experience first and think about the buyers’ wellbeing, encouraging multi- generational living through amenity spaces and interior design. We also find that buyers need simplicity and a smooth moving in process. Developers can make things easy to use and as intuitive as possible from the carpark to the kitchen and security devices, while adapting to the latest technology and responding to the needs of all generations.”
Dean Clifford, co-founder, Great Marlborough Estates: “The revised National Planning Policy Framework published today shows a greater focus on good design for housing. This is welcome news and represents an assurance that developers aim to deliver quality homes which will be supported by local authorities. What we deliver must be contextually sensitive, reflective of the fabric of the local community and mindful of architectural heritage. For too long planning policy has encouraged quantity – let us hope that the revised NPPF will see beauty brought back in housing design and delivery.”
Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, said: “Investment in modernising our construction industry is vital to deliver housing and infrastructure at pace and alleviate the housing crisis.”
He said the deal is “certainly a good plan to future-proof our construction sector, with investment being targeted specifically at improving delivery methods”.
“Adding more capacity to this troubled industry can finally see more homes built faster, making it easier for developers to create quality housing.”
Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates: “The instability caused by the constant swapping-and-changing at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has caused much uncertainty for the industry, and we need firm steer on the government’s plans to help deliver the homes – of all types – that Britain desperately needs.”
Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, agrees: “The proposals in this report offer a clear and succinct planning system. It’s better than our current system, which has come about through ambiguous piecemeal changes.”
The number of small changes to the system and the ambiguity they create are also the focus of the report. It notes that there have been four different “plan frameworks” in the past 15 years. The result is planning that is “not well integrated” and where the devolution of control – to 340 local planning authorities and 2,200 neighbourhood plans and separate powers for London – has created a system that “can charitably be described as a mosaic”.
The name Great Marlborough Estates conjures up images of a company steeped in history – one of the great estates, perhaps. In fact, it turns out that the developer – founded by Dean Clifford and Grant Lipton, son of Sir Stuart – is just 10 years old.
Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates: “The delivery of homes requires strong leadership and consistent leadership. But, it also requires innovation. By having flexibility in leadership we can cycle new ideas and bring forward the homes that are required. This can be through new delivery models across developers, architects and contractors; through technological innovation and public-private dialogue.”