Who are Ashill?
The Ashill team has a collective wealth of experience in the property development sector and an impressive track record of successfully bringing forward high-quality and bespoke residential and mixed-use developments.
Ashill is committed to the identification and acquisition of new opportunities in Southern England, particularly in Greater London and the Home Counties. With substantial funding in place and with a highly-experienced expert team capable of finding solutions to the most difficult and sensitive land and planning scenarios, Ashill is a reliable purchaser of land or an attractive partner for landowners. As demonstrated by the company's excellent track record, Ashill takes a responsive and pro-active approach to maximising development potential, with a special focus on community consultation and a commitment to bespoke design.
The business is made up of three key elements:
DEVELOPMENT of brownfield land for residential, commercial and mixed-use;
STRATEGIC promotion of land for allocation, detailed design and delivery;
INVESTMENT in property with existing income or asset management potential.
What we do
DevelopmentWe are actively seeking land or buildings without planning permission that have potential for residential or mixed-use development in Southern England, particularly in Greater London and the Home Counties. We will consider any existing use type, tenanted or vacant, large or small. Funds are immediately available for unconditional purchases and decisions are made very quickly. We will also consider purchasing on a subject to planning basis or with an option agreement.
New acquisitions and work in progress is funded via our own internal equity and thus we do not rely on funding from any third party individuals / funds / banks. This allows us to be flexible in our approach with decision made very quickly, and enables us to take significantly more planning risk than many of our competitors.
Once a site is successfully acquired a project consultant team is appointed to assist with the delivery of an implementable detailed planning permission. While the scheme design process is underway Ashill will initiate a thorough pre-application consultation campaign with the local authority, local residents and stakeholders. This process will often involve one-to-one meetings with neighbouring residents and a public exhibition. During this important pre-application consultation phase special care is taken to listen and react where possible. The design process responds to the feedback received in order to ensure that the planning application that is eventually submitted addresses as many concerns as possible. Once a detailed planning permission is received Ashill will work in association with a housebuilder to deliver the scheme.
We work in partnership with land owners to promote the site through the Local Plan process in order to achieve a residential or mixed use allocation. Once the principle of development is accepted we then secure a fully designed detailed planning permission, and then present a de-risked and immediately developable opportunity to the housebuilder market. Our specialism is maximising land value through expert planning negotiation, community consultation, attentive scheme design and tactical marketing.
Why Ashill Strategic?As a land owner you may have been approached by housebuilders or other developers. How are Ashill different? The short answer is Ashill Strategic does not intend to build the scheme once planning has been obtained but sell the site into the housebuilder market at a premium value. As such our aim is to maximise the actual value landowners are paid for their land and our interests are therefore completely aligned with the land owner as our return is purely based upon a pre-agreed percentage of market price achieved.
A housebuilder on the other hand, will agree an Option to purchase the land at a percentage of the hypothetical Open Market Value. Maximising profit on house sales relies in part on housebuilders minimising the value they pay for land hence why at the point of achieving a planning consent, they will carry out a hypothetical paper valuation rather than competitively marketing the site to establish true value. They may also simply carry out this paper valuation based on an initial outline planning permission or perhaps just a site allocation that at a later date will be enhanced by detailed design and thereby ensuring they receive all of the uplift in value. Ashill will only market the site with the benefit of a fully detailed implementable planning permission – at the point of optimum planning gain.
InvestmentAs a bi-product of our development activity we have a growing residential and commercial property investment portfolio. The portfolio is carefully managed in order to maximise return.
We will also consider acquiring tenanted commercial assets on the basis of an investment return in the short to medium term should these assets have potential for enhancement through asset management or have longer term development potential.
Meet the team
The Ashill team have the necessary planning expertise to ensure the best possible chance of securing planning permission, and the required industry experience and knowhow to ensure that the planning permission is designed to optimise land value and be technically deliverable. Ashill is a member of the Home Builders Federation and members of the team are members of the Royal Town Planning Institute.
Prior to joining Ashill in June 2008, Ben was a development and investment agent based in central London, undertaking property acquisitions and disposals, and providing development consultancy advice for clients across the UK. Ben took over the role as Managing Director from Steve Lavers in June 2014. As Managing Director Ben is responsible for the day to day running of the company.
Further to a career working in house building Steve formed Ashill with Philip Davies on the 1st June 2008. When the group was restructured in June 2014 Steve passed the day-to-day running of the business to the Management Team headed up by Ben Boyce. Steve is still very much involved with all new acquisitions as well as group expansion.
From 1982-1990 Philip represented the UK and American Homes Divisions on the PLC board of Alfred McAlpine PLC.
In 1991, Philip left Alfred McAlpine to form Linden with funding from HBoS. The company focussed almost entirely on Brownfield opportunities for residential and mixed use developments.
Corporate acquisitions followed but in 2000 Philip wanted to accelerate growth from all five regions and worked with HBoS to fund a management buy-out. Linden was sold to Galliford Try PLC for £245m in March 2007.
Prior to joining Ashill in 2011 Steve spent ten years as a planning consultant working with developers and seeking planning permissions for residential and mixed-use schemes on tricky brownfield sites. He has been a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute since 2003.
Steve leads the strategic land side of the business from site identification through planning to completion and is also heavily involved in brownfield site acquisition and working closely with the project teams to ensure a successful outcome.
Having been a planning officer in local government for 13 years, Tracy moved to the private sector in 2001 to join Antler Homes and then moved to Linden Homes South East in 2004. At Linden Tracy successfully delivered numerous planning permissions for residential and mixed use developments ranging from small scale developments of 12 apartments to large mixed use 'community' developments of 500 homes.
At Ashill Tracy co-ordinates all of the planning applications which involves the management of the project consultant team, interaction with the local authority and statutory consultees, and the engagement with local residents and stakeholders. Ashill takes pride in its commitment to thorough community consultation and understands the importance of listening to local opinion and making changes wherever possible.
Prior to Joining Ashill in May 2016 Patrick worked for Linden Homes where he was responsible for delivering planning permissions across London and the south east. Before joining a housebuilder Patrick worked as a planning consultant for 7 years advising clients on matters from strategic land to estate disposal. At Ashill Patrick assists with land acquisitions and is responsible for project delivery and obtaining planning permission.
Before joining Ashill in July 2018, Nick worked as a Technical Manager for various major Housebuilders, including Barratt, Berkeley and Taylor Wimpey and has many years’ experience in the delivery of residential development. Nick is now providing the team with technical support on matters including highways, drainage, utilities and ground conditions through both land acquisition and planning application stages.
Birsel has over 15 years of administrative and project experience. Before joining Ashill she worked as an Assistant Office Manager for a Charity and held roles at Surrey County Council, 02 Mobile, Aviva and Elementis where she worked as an Executive Assistant to the Finance Director. She joined the team in May 2018 as Office Manager ensuring the smooth running of the office as well as providing valuable support and assistance to the team.
Following graduation with a BSC in Real Estate Management from Oxford Brookes University, Edward spent 2 years as Land Buyer with a London-based developer focusing on purchasing complex brownfield sites and obtaining planning permission for a range of uses. In 2013 Edward joined Redrow Homes in their Southern Counties region, gaining valuable experience with a volume housebuilder. Edward joined Ashill in October 2015 as Land Manager and is responsible for identifying and acquiring new land opportunities, then working with the rest of the team to ensure a successful outcome.
Once a development is ready for construction we will usually work with housebuilder partners to build out the scheme. Companies we have worked with include: