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Legacy Development Schemes: A Post-Covid Opportunity?

Henry Stevens, Partner, Farrer & Co, comments

The allure of country living has never been stronger than in a world suffering from a pandemic. All of the benefits and attractions of city living disappeared overnight as people were made to stay at home with only limited opportunities to leave. For those living in urban environments, never has the importance of community space, parks, greens, squares and local shops been so profound as during lockdown.

The impact of the pandemic has meant a rise in people looking to leave cities and towns for the countryside. The key considerations for making such a move included the desire for bigger homes, more open space, less dense environment and the end of five days in the office or place of work for some people.

With companies such as Twitter stating employees can “work from home forever,” it highlights the shift towards a hybrid of working from home and the office. In light of this change, the planning and layout of a residential development scheme is critical in ensuring a good mix of commercial and community assets as well as residential property and these elements are key in the planning of a legacy scheme to create a proper community that reduces the prevalence of the car.

The post-pandemic world presents a huge opportunity for landowners and investors looking to capitalise on changing lifestyles by adopting a legacy development scheme. For landowners, this provides a chance to utilise land and diversify income streams; for investors, the legacy approach provides opportunities for increased financial returns as well as demonstrating their ESG credentials by focusing on sustainable building and a more localised approach to living by including open space, community services and commercial offerings that reduce the need for cars.

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