Working fast to deliver affordable housing

Working fast to deliver affordable housing


Bramble Estates secures site development deal for housing association in just three weeks.

London-based housing association RHP secured a site for affordable homes thanks to a quick turnaround by Bramble Estates.

It means that work is now under way on the Sandbanks site in Feltham, West London to transform a vacant lot into 52 affordable homes, on a site that could have otherwise been snapped up by private developers.

Bramble Estates was able to manage the whole process – from identifying the site (introduced by Aston Rose Chartered Surveyors), bringing it to RHP’s attention, signing deals with the supply chain and successfully bidding for it – in just three weeks.

Fast & agile

Bramble Estates director Brian Culank said the deal showed that housing associations are adapting to market conditions in London and the South East, where land is scarce and they need to move quickly to avoid being beaten to deals by private developers.

“This site was acquired through an informal tender process, proving that affordable housing developers can be competitive in this market,” said Culank.

“I think in general in the affordable housing market the tide seems to be turning, where housing associations are being more commercial minded. They are taking a more commercial view when purchasing development sites.”


This commercial view meant not only being more competitive on the prices paid for sites, but also making their specifications and requirements of sites less prescriptive and more flexible in order to get deals done.

RHP Head of Development Robin Oliver praised the close working between RHP, Bramble Estates and its contractor Roseville, which he said was today vital for securing development deals for affordable housing.

“As a project team everyone worked incredibly closely over a short period of time to make sure we could agree the build contract quickly and secure the land,” said Oliver.

“This project was the fastest turnaround we have done on a deal. It is absolutely critical that we have partners who can act quickly because land is such a scarce resource in London. On all sites now we need to work more quickly and be more agile in many instances than private developers. If you have a great partner like Bramble Estates that is keen to deliver, then you can secure land that would otherwise be sold on the private market.”

Brownfield development

The Sandbanks site at Southville Road, Feltham will accommodate 52 flats, five of which will be available as affordable rent, and the remainder available under RHP’s shared ownership scheme.

Contractor Roseville began building works on the brownfield site immediately following site purchase in April. Construction is expected to complete in early 2019. Total project value is £15 million.


The Sandbanks site has been left vacant since the demolition of a dementia care home, which was rebuilt on an adjacent plot.

RHP Head of Development Robin Oliver said: “Being able to deliver a mix of tenures, including private sale, means we can meet a range of housing needs and adapt our offer to be more competitive and ultimately deliver more affordable homes.”

Bramble Estates director Brian Culank said the ability for housing associations to make large allocations towards shared ownership rather than rent meant they were able to be competitive with private developers when bidding for sites.

“Housing associations are now acting more commercially both in terms of how much they are paying as a package, and their construction and legal requirements for a successful site purchase,” said Culank.

  • If you have a site ready for development, or are a housing association looking to secure a development site, contact Bramble Estates today on 01582 766 000 or email Daniel Culank.

Who’s who

  • Bramble Estates acted as developer of the Sandbanks site
  • It is being developed and will be operated by RHP.
  • The contractor building the scheme is Roseville.
  • The land agent for the scheme was Aston Rose Chartered Surveyors.