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Overcoming the Hurdles: Taking Residential Developments from Viability to Reality

Buro Four hosted a roundtable at RESI to explore what new hurdles the development team faces and how they can be overcome.

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The residential property sector is, at its most basic, quite simple – it’s about providing places that people want to live in.

But it often feels like it is getting more complicated to get anything done. How can the industry keep pace with the increasing number of demands made on developments as they move from viability to reality?

As part of the RESI conference, Russell Doughty, Director and Head of Residential at Buro Four hosted a roundtable to explore what new hurdles the development team faces and how they can be overcome.

The lively discussion ranged from tackling early engagement with local authorities and the planning system, to how to complete a successful handover and engaging with contractors.

The attendees examined the use of permitted development rights, and how they have been useful to move developments along, with many calling for the government to extend rights beyond the current cut-off next year.

There was universal agreement that having land assembled early on in the process made life much easier, but the table was split on how to attract investors into the nascent private rented sector investment market, with a healthy debate between investors and developers as to what an appropriate margin might be.

Discussions around customer engagement concluded that talking to people has to be a central priority when developing a scheme in order to make sure problems are overcome quickly and effectively.

There were also calls for more research and development into both the concept of modular building, and what tenants really wanted from a PRS scheme.

The animated debate brought experts from across the sector together to exchange views on some of the most pressing issues facing the industry today.

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