West plaza, ashford, middlesex
West Plaza, in Ashford, Middlesex, is an attractive modern development of two apartment complexes set around courtyards. The site was acquired by Inland Homes for its strong location, within two miles of Heathrow Airport and with excellent transport links into London. Planning was granted for 152 apartments, and construction of the site has progressed well, with the build nearing completion six months ahead of schedule.
Location West Plaza, Ashford, Middlesex
The project has been planned to progress in four phases, with occupants moving into completed sections whilst other areas of the site are still in progress. The second phase has recently been completed, with new occupants moving in to join those that have been there since June. The third and fourth build phases are expected to finish in October and December 2014. This strategy has several advantages, including the realisation of profitability and recouping funds, to improve working capital and the partial occupation aiding sales of the remaining homes.
The sales strategy for the complex has been to sell apartments in advance of their completion, both to individuals on the open market, and in bulk to organisations. Due to the high level of interest and demand the development has attracted, Inland Homes has been successful in selling the apartments. Individual sales have been achieved through a combination of footfall - with people engaging with the attractive marketing suite and show flats - and online advertising by Inland Homes, agents, and third party websites. On a sales trip to Hong Kong 14 apartments were sold. Inland Homes also achieved a significant bulk transaction of 59 residential units to a housing association operating in the private rented sector.
The development of West Plaza has shown several initiatives taken by Inland Homes and their partners. The main contractor suggested pre-building some of the components off-site, before installing them. Having reviewed, assessed and accepted the suggestion, this modern technique meant that six months were shaved off the duration of the build, to the benefit of both Inland Homes and the contractor. Additionally, during the process of the build, Inland Homes monitored market changes and identified an increased appetite for high quality appliances, so modified the designs to include upgraded features. This enhanced specification supported the strong demand for the homes at West Plaza.
Another notable feature of the development is its 'Green' credentials. Photovoltaic cells have been installed onto roofs, and the electricity generated will supply the communal areas of the site, with excess energy generated sold back to the grid. This both supports the Government target of decentralising electricity generation, and provides an income for the development which will contribute towards future maintenance costs.
The success of the project so far has been down to the skills and experiences of both the team at Inland Homes and the external consultants. Selecting contractors with the necessary skills and experiences for this type of project and allocating sufficient internal resources to manage the project, has been key to its smooth running. As Inland Homes moves into more housebuilding projects, it will be critical to draw on the productive co-operation and relationships that led to the success of the project.
Finally, Inland Homes is delighted to announce that West Plaza has been nominated for the LABC 'Development of the Year' award.
expected gross development value
of apartments either exchanged or completed