The reverberations of the 2008 financial crisis were still having a huge impact on the economy when Mactaggart & Mickel were introduced to the North Somerset town of Nailsea.
It was in 2010 when an agent acting for two local families contacted us in relation to land on the outskirts of a town located between Bristol and the seaside resort of Clevedon on whose pier One Direction would soon shoot their first video.
They were relatively unknown at the time as was this strategic land opportunity. It was an off-market deal and came to us out of nowhere because of our existing relationship with the agent.
That was a mark of trust and also we acted because we were prepared to invest when other companies were holding back so we went back and did our homework and pressed on because it certainly seemed like a sensible proposition.
Nailsea was prime commuter belt due to its railway station, and proximity to Bristol.
To us it seemed to be in a good market but hadn’t seen much investment for some time, so we sensed it was time to change.
There had not been any significant residential developments since the 70s and 80s and we became aware that the local primary was under pressure to close due to falling numbers.
It was with all this in mind that we spent a lot of time in the community trying to understand what Nailsea needed and to inspire support for our vision for the area, which involved safeguarding the school’s long-term future and invigorating the shopping centre.
We secured a deal with the owners to land to the north of Youngwood Lane, in December 2013 and then promoted it for development for 450 homes to North Somerset Council.
After some years of deliberations concerning the application and its alignment with North Somerset’s Local Plan, we gained outline approval for our application following a successful appeal process.
We took that to market and the land was sold in July 2020 to Taylor Wimpey to bring forward the delivery of much needed new homes for the West of England.