Diary of a Project Monitor January 2022

– Colin Ranshaw –

Last month was spent in the South West of the country as I rounded up for the year.

I was pleased to see that a site in Winchester that previously had problems sourcing plasterboard now has an abundance.  This suggests that supply issues are continuing to improve across the industry.  I’m hopeful that this trend continues into 2022.

Two other sites that stood out on my recent travels have the coast in common, making them very desirable.  This is especially true as we embrace a new normal of working from home, driving demand for coastal locations through the roof as people look to strike the perfect work-life balance.

The first site of these two sites was in Hayle, Cornwall.  A beautiful part of the country deserving of the very best a property can offer.  This development of 24 terraced houses doesn’t disappoint.  Set against the backdrop of a railway viaduct, every one of these two and three-bedroom homes has sold (minus the four that the developer is holding on to).  This is an excellent result and testament to the quality and location of the build.

The second visit that stood out for me was a site in Bournemouth where four high specifications, three-bedroom homes have been built in a quadrangle format.   This build caught my attention due to their decision to adopt the Modern Method of Construction (MMC), not something I see every day.

This is undoubtedly a more complex way of building, often requiring more scaffolding to brace the building and a degree of patience while the insulated concrete forms are set.  However, the result is unbeatably warm, energy-efficient homes.  It’s incredible to think that the humble polystyrene block can be used in this way. It got me thinking about alternative methods of working and how we are constantly improving efficiencies across the industry.  I expect to see the use of such methods in more sites in the future as demand to cut energy bills increases over the next few years.



“We have used BLG for development finance for over 8 years. During that time we have found their knowledge and expertise in the property development industry to be second to none. Their loan process, pragmatic and flexible approach to lending and flexibility when required has supported our business needs throughout the period and provided us with support to deliver new homes in Bristol and the surrounding areas.”

“As property developers you never know the curve balls that you may get and a project that is great on paper may prove a bit more tricky.  This happened to us on a project that BLG have funded and throughout they have supported us.  Our business likes to be collaborative and when we hit those tough moments it really felt like we were working as a team with BLG.  If you have a decent project you can get it funded, but what you really need is a business that is there to support and advise you as well.  For us on this project it was BLG.”

“I approached BLG Development finance with an opportunity I had in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, to build 5 new build houses in 2021. My main contact was Anil Bains who is a Director covering Asset Management. Within very quick timescales, BLG provided me with indicative quotes in regards the finance levels they could offer me. Having considered those levels, I requested a valuation to be carried out which again was dealt with swiftly. We proceeded to completion. The build went very smoothly with monthly monitoring being carried out by BLG and monthly drawdown requests dealt with in a very timely manner. Due to a difficult time generally in the market in regards selling, I was in need of a six-month extension to the loan which again was appraised very quickly and granted. Having dealt with numerous funders over the last 20 years, I can only speak highly of my personal experience with BLG and would very confidently work with them again on any future projects. “

"From our side it has also been a pleasure working with BLG and the team there. We have found you easy to deal with, proactive in resolving any minor issues that have arisen through the project and shown great flexibility in working with us as a partner. We will certainly like to work with you on future partners."

“I really appreciate your hard work. We really like the way you communicate & I must say I haven't seen many people who are that approachable.”

“A very efficient processing team, dealing with the DD once deal credit approved, through to completion”

“Many thanks for your efforts on this one and getting it approved and sorted so swiftly, very much appreciated. I am sure I will be speaking to your over the coming months.”

“We had other funding options, but chose to use BLG again, as we work well with the team, who always provide very clear information and advice with a friendly approach throughout the funding process. Very efficient and always very helpful.”

“Many thanks Anil, it’s been a real pleasure working with BLG so far.  We’re lining up the next project too”

“We would recommend all staff we have dealt with at BLG, as we are very satisfied with the team and the initial offer/terms presented, then you and the funding team, through to the draw down team at valuation stage.”

“All documents are clear and the way you keep clients informed, all the way along the funding process, is refreshing for us”

“With regard to what should be improved at BLG, we work with many lenders in our business and we do not get the help and response we have had on the two projects with all at BLG on our funding for our developments.”

“We would particularly mention Dave Edwards and Tom Pitts as being central to having a smooth working relationship and being positive and helpful at all times. Their guidance in helping us navigate the project from inception to completion was invaluable. As was their patience, particularly at the beginning. We look forward to many future projects with the BLG team.”

“We would like to express our appreciation for your support on our development in Bristol. We were very pleased that, from the outset, you shared our vision of the project to convert a dated but classical building, that had outlived its usefulness as a school, into unique luxury apartments with views overlooking the city. We found our dealings practical and streamlined. Monthly payments were processed in an efficient and timely manner.”

“BLG are very good at communicating with clients and all documents are very clear and all at BLG are always happy to help.”

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