Year in Review: Sam Elkington – A year of growth

2017 has been a strong year for our Lincoln operation. Now into the second year of ownership by Lambert Smith Hampton, growth and also an expansion of the services provided through the national brand and expertise has helped the business that has been carried out for existing and new clients.

We have seen some major developments start work this year which will be completed next year. In particular the relocation of Wirtgen to Winthorpe at Newark has generated in excess of £10 million worth of development work on the site for a new national distribution and servicing facility for them. From identifying the site, acquiring the same, and advising on the development process we have also been involved in the sale of their Lincoln and Leicester facilities which are relocating to this site.

In Lincoln we have seen the continued growth of Teal Park, the city’s premium employment park and it bodes well for next year with the securing of the planning consent for the new Jaguar Land Rover showroom facility which will become one of the main features at the entrance to the development. Work is scheduled to start in early 2018. Similarly here, negotiations on other frontage sites for developments are now also nearing their conclusion.

Other new employment schemes which have been developed are the Stirlin Business Park on Sadler Road and also the early phases of the Riverside Enterprise Park at Saxilby. A number of sales have been completed on these sites to medium-small businesses.

From the property investment perspective, the office has seen a number of major instructions during the year, not least the 25,000 sq ft office development let to Homelet Insurance in central Lincoln, which was sold in the early Autumn of this year. With an asking price of £4 million for this investment a sale price in excess of this was achieved. Also a sale of Boots in Market Place, Boston took place with an asking price of over £2.1 million. We have also completed a number of acquisitions for clients, the most prominent of which has been the rapidly growing Lincoln Property Syndicate which has made a number of acquisitions primarily based around convenience store operations throughout the country, the latest being in South Shields.

With the concluding of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan in April of this year, there has now become certainty in the residential development land supply market. With over 42,000 homes anticipated to be constructed over the next 25 years, with the various sites identified, there has been a large amount of activity in residential sites being made available. We have agreed terms for over 1,000 plots over the course of this year to be sold to local, regional and national developers and this shows the strong interest there is in the growth of the county.

The backbone of the Lincoln Office, its Property Management Department, has also prospered with a consolidation of its existing business as well as the growth through the offices’ national branding. Likewise with both the Valuation Team and the Lease Advisory Department these sides of the business have seen further growth which has consolidated the position of the office.

What then for 2018?

We have another very strong year in prospect. With deals contracted either legally or subject to planning, we will see a good start to 2018. In particular we will see a number of residential development schemes come forward throughout the county. We have sites as far south as The Deepings which are under offer in the south, to sites in Louth and Horncastle in the north and east of the county. These sites along with others in and around Lincoln will provide a good start for the year.

With work starting on Teal Park for the Jaguar Land Rover facility we will again see a good steady quality development of land in and around the city.

As the Riverside Enterprise Park at Saxilby nears maturity so the prospect is that the adjacent site, Enterprise West Lindsey, will start to come forward with the opening up of the first phase extending to some 10 acres.

Hopefully, with a Brexit settlement getting nearer, this will continue to provide the confidence that is returning into the Lincoln market. Lincoln and Lincolnshire never seems to get the peaks but also never seems to reach the troughs in a market and this has historically boded well for the county. We see this as continuing. However, it will be significantly aided by central government incentives such as the reconfirmation of the government’s involvement in the Midlands Engine in bringing forward ongoing and new developments. Also, the government’s drive to help housebuilders through the ‘Help to Buy’ arrangements will again be a strong driver for 2018. This year developers have said that up to 65% of their new home sales have been through the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme and it is anticipated that this will be the same for 2018.

From an office perspective we see the role of the Lincoln Office within the national Lambert Smith Hampton framework consolidating and then growing. With the national back-up that we now have for the local office we can provide a very specialised range of services from Commercial Property Agency, Residential and Commercial development, structured Valuation and Development Appraisal services, as well as a strong and dedicated Property Management and Lease Advisory Team.

With five directors based in the office it will be seen that there is an exceptional level of expertise under one roof.

Bring on 2018!