Telford Homes boss calls for post-election planning freedomComments Off on Telford Homes boss calls for post-election planning freedom
Telford, which aims at the more-affordable end of the London market, saw pre-tax profits surge 31% to £25.1 million in the year to March. Demand for its homes is such that forward sales have hit £550 million.
Even in the uncertainty of a general election campaign, Telford sold two thirds of its new Manhattan Plaza scheme, minutes from Canary Wharf’s proposed Crossrail station.
Chinese and Hong Kong investors snapped up most of the flats at the scheme, where prices for one-bedroom flats start at £420,000.
“We did take a little bit of a risk launching in April, because we thought people might wait but they didn’t,” said chief executive Jon Di-Stefano.
The main concern for Telford now, armed with £180 million in new financing, is speeding up the planning system to add to its £1 billion development pipeline.
Focus: Telford wants David Cameron’s new government to improve the planning system (Picture: Christopher Furlong, Getty Images)
Di-Stefano said: “We want to increase our output. We’ve got the financial capacity to increase output so we don’t benefit from things being slowed up. If we can release the shackles a little bit, we can deliver more.
“We’ve definitely got the demand. You can see that with every single launch you have. We’re selling quicker than we can build homes. So what you definitely need to do is concentrate on the supply side of things.
“We still find that the biggest impediment to getting things done is the planning process. While we don’t expect a complete overhaul, small changes would make a big difference.”
Shore Capital’s Robin Hardy said: “The London market remains more undersupplied than the UK new homes market generally, with unstoppable population growth driving owner and tenant demand. Recent development launches by Telford strongly underscore this view.”