Marketing exercise fundamentally flawed given site valuations and advertising

The redevelopment of an employment site in Hampshire for 11 dwellings was dismissed in part due to an inappropriate asking price and poor marketing.

400-09-165 (Image Credit: East Hampshire District Council)
400-09-165 (Image Credit: East Hampshire District Council)

A valuation prepared by the appellant suggested that the existing yard was worth £450,000, a figure generally corroborated by a later estimate giving an upper value of £550,000. However the site was advertised for sale at £775,000, the inspector noted, and this was also considerably in excess of a figure of £400,000 given as the market value in an affordable housing viability report which accompanied the application. Another firm of surveyors claimed that these valuations should be disregarded but the inspector disagreed. They suggested that the site was worth approximately £450,000 and consequently the asking price was excessive giving rise to a marketing exercise which was fundamentally flawed.  He also expressed concern about how the site had been marketed as the details were vague. Seven expressions of interest were received over a period of just four months and while no offers were made it was not clear whether marketing continued thereafter. Consequently, the marketing efforts were not sufficiently comprehensive in scope.

Further information had been submitted by the appellant which sought to demonstrate that the refurbishment or redevelopment of the site for B1 purposes was not viable. The appraisals produced different results depending on the assumed yield, build costs and building type. Given the uptake in employment floorspace and the overall supply the inspector was not convinced that the loss of the site to housing was justified.

Inspector: Paul Freer; Written representations

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