Winkworth has launched a business that plans to make hay from the demise of Britain’s high streets as development and commercial investment switches to creating homes within former offices and retail space.
The company has hired Adam Stackhouse, who for the past seven years has worked at Bective Leslie Marsh heading up its Land and New Homes division in central London.
Winkworth says his team will be looking at development and commercial opportunities created by shifts in the economic environment and the lack of footfall to high streets.
But it also hopes to profit from the changes in planning legislation designed to speed up the delivery of new homes in former office and retail spaces following the extension of Permitted Development Rights.
Initially the team will operate within Zones 1-6 in London followed by further expansion into commuter areas such as Guildford, Godalming, Woking, and Reading.
“Planning reforms are creating a huge opportunity to regenerate the link roads leading to the high street, where there are boarded up shops which are no longer sustainable.,” says Stackhouse.
“These buildings will be very attractive to investors for conversion into homes, revitalising the streetscape and bringing more residents into the area.
“This will then create more demand for a more concentrated area of retail in the high street.
“The demand for office buildings is also changing, as a result of Covid-19, where buildings may be suitable for residential or for reconfiguring into spaces for a new way of working, where people may not be in the office every day.”