UK’s largest residential land sale transaction this year completed at Lotmead Farm, Swindon

Avison Young Lotmead

What is expected to be the UK’s largest residential land sale transaction this year has been completed on behalf of the landowner by property agents Avison Young. The 365-acre site at Lotmead Farm in Swindon was offered for sale by Ainscough Strategic Land, and has now been acquired in a joint venture partnership of Countryside and Sovereign Housing Association.

Outline planning permission for the delivery of an up to 2,500-home scheme across distinctive character areas creating individually designed neighbourhoods has already been secured for the joint venture partnership. Thirty per cent of the scheme will be genuinely affordable through the S106 commitment together with additional units which will be delivered specifically for Sovereign. Up to 400 homes will be delivered for private rented accommodation.

Situated within the Swindon New Eastern Villages urban extension (NEV) development area, Lotmead Farm will focus on strong place making and will include large areas of open space together with the creation of two primary schools, local centres, nurseries, and retail and commercial space. The neighbourhoods will also feature 1.76ha of play areas, a sports hub and pavilion, 1.76ha allotments and 62.29ha green space.

Gordon Isgrove, Avison Young Principal, who led the developer search has been working with the landowner for the last 18 years. He said: “This is a strategically important acquisition by Countryside and Sovereign and a partnership that will deliver a sensitively designed, quality development within an area that already has a strong sense of identity. This is the probably the biggest residential land sale transaction to take place across the UK this year, and certainly the largest in the South West.”

Iain McPherson, Group Chief Executive, Countryside, commented: “This is a landmark deal for us as we continue our rapid growth in the South West and we are delighted to be working in a strategic joint-venture partnership with Sovereign on delivering a distinctive, diverse and sustainable community.”

Tom Titherington, Chief Investment and Development Officer at Sovereign Housing Association, said: “The development in Lotmead fits perfectly with our strategy of working with other like-minded developers to create delightful new places where we know that the properties we provide to our customers will be fit for the future. Here we are able to increase the amount of affordable new homes over and above the section 106 by nearly 50% through utilising the Homes England Partnership funds.”

Rachel Ainscough, at Ainscough Strategic Land, added: “Design and placemaking were important legacy considerations for our landowner partners and we are pleased that we have found a developer who has put both at the heart of their proposals. This project has been about teamwork all along and we’re delighted with the outc