CJH Land

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by CJH Land's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from CJH Land is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Land development
Based in Bristol, CJH Land is an independent land and
development agency dedicated to the sale of land and
property for residential purposes, mainly for retained
clients. In the course of doing this, CJH Land is careful not to
broadcast their clients’ properties. On top of all this, they assist
greatly in the procurement and delivery of affordable housing,
with a view to maximising value from all aspects of residential
development. Indeed, maximising value forms a key component
of their ethos. Chris Glover and Matthew Hiles, their two
directors, have more to say.
Our role in the sector
Before providing a detailed account of the company, it’s first necessary to discuss
who we are and the area in which we operate. In essence, we pursue land
opportunities – this could be a green field with no planning consent, for example
– and from that land create value by selling it on to the open market. It’s worth
saying, however, that we do this in a way that is not loudly broadcast to the world
– something that many of our clients appreciate. In practice, this might mean not
advertising the land in national newspapers. Indeed, for one of our projects, not a
single person in the industry was aware of the sale for four months, such was the
discreet quality of our services.
Our core aim, though, is to advise clients on the sort of schemes they should be
promoting. Our operations range in scale from small developments of 20 or more units
to much larger schemes of many thousands of units. For instance, we have one in the
pipeline containing 4,500 dwellings, and several more between 1,500 and 3,500 units.
»Directors: Chris Glover and
Matthew Hiles
»Established in 1996
»Based in Bristol
»Services: Land development
»Heavily involved in the
procurement of affordable
CJH Land
It’s not just in this wholly private
sector that we operate, though; six
years ago we expanded into the
affordable housing sector as a result
of sea changes in the market after the
2008 financial crash. We now possess
dedicated offices in Bristol and Exeter.
For a great many plc housebuilders
around southern England, we assist,
advise and chair panels with regard
to affordable housing. This is a major
and audacious area of expansion
Our services
Over the course of our many years of
experience within these sectors of the
industry, we have earned a reputation
for identifying and maximising the
value of land and property throughout
the sale process.
It is true to say today that, in terms of
property development, our services
now include:
»Advising on the most appropriate
marketing strategy for each site’s
specific requirements
»Preparation and production of the
marketing material and collation of
all relevant technical information
»Comprehensive coordination of the
marketing process, advertising and
site viewings
»Skilled negotiation on behalf of our
clients in achieving the maximum
value for the site
»Agreement of the heads of terms
of sale with the purchaser and
continued liaison with both parties’
solicitors until the sale is completed.
And with regard to affordable
housing – an area in which our staff
has a combined 40 years’ worth of
experience – we offer:
»Negotiating best value for the sale of
Section 106 affordable housing on
larger, developer-led sites
»Advising on and negotiating the
satisfactory wording of Section 106
»Procuring 100 per cent affordable
housing or mixed tenure schemes on
behalf of our RP client base
»Preparation of Affordable Housing
Statements to support new planning
»Review and interrogation of housing
needs assessments and data
»In-depth knowledge of government
policy on affordable housing
Difficulties in the sector
In the course of doing all this, though,
challenges do present themselves. For
us, the main challenge that comes to
mind is that of the planning system.
As things stand, it is an enormously
cumbersome and extremely lengthy
process with often very little that is
positive coming out of it. During a
lot of planning applications, there
is much frustration among vendors
and applicants in negotiation with
Cumbersome planning
We have
earned a
reputation for
identifying and
maximising the
value of land
and property
the sale
Highlighting best practice
local authorities. Thus, numerous
applications are refused, and the
system only allows for appeals through
the planning inspectorate. This is not
just a challenge for us; it’s a challenge
for companies like us all across the
south of England.
Worse still is the fact that developers
are often blamed for this stall in
development, under the misguided
view that they are sitting speculatively
on land rather than using it for
productive ends. Developers want to
develop; affordable housing can be
built in sufficient numbers. To allow this
to happen, what’s principally required
is for this stage to be madeswifter.
We’re actively working with local
authorities to make this process
smoother and quicker, which would
benefit not just us, but the country
at large. Indeed, I have even brought
these issues to the attention of then
housing secretary, Sajid Javid, upon
meeting with him. No doubt, political
figures are aware of this problem, but
not enough is being done to fix it.
What also makes this process
problematic is that investment is
drained as uncertainty increases;
when, after all, land remains for an
indefinite period in this limbo zone,
prices fluctuate greatly, leaving
Looking forward
The future, however, is something
to which we look forward. These
problems described above are more
frustrating than they are lethal.
Opportunities, including those
relating to affordable housing,
are proliferating – indeed, even in
the student housing sector we’re
beginning to spot further potential.
One of our key traits is adaptability
to the market, and – in staying true
to this – we will always be on the
lookout for new opportunities. For
these reasons among others, we’re
optimistic regarding the future growth
of the company, especially in light of
the overall need for future housing.
As things
stand, it is an
and extremely
process with
often very
little that is
coming out
We facilitate


This article was sponsored by CJH Land. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy