Gallagher Estates

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Gallagher Estates'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 Gallagher Estates 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
Gregg Wilkinson, group
managing director
The primary school at Northstowe,
the first new town to be commenced
in the UK for 50 years
Gallagher Estates is a long-established property development
and investment company specialising in the identification,
acquisition and promotion of strategic land. Its focus is
the planning and delivery of large residential, mixed-use and
commercial development sites, where it utilises its significant
financial resources, experience and expertise to assemble
land and promote and secure planning permission, prior
to delivering the infrastructure required to facilitate much-
needed development. Above all else, Gallagher Estates is a
“placemaker”, which it believes is the golden thread that runs
through all of its developments. These can range from 50-home
sites on the edge of villages to 10,000-home new settlements
complemented by the delivery of employment, education
and community facilities. More on this below, written by the
company’s managing director.
Where we sit in the sector
Our portfolio of sites has the capacity to deliver circa 47,000 homes, employment
land and community uses. These sites vary in maturity, from land in the initial
stages of promotion, through to sites in development. In the last year we sold
2,663 plots to ten housebuilders across a portfolio of 12 different sites and secured
consent for and sold 1,875,000 square feet of B8 distribution warehousing,
providing significant employment at Wixams to complement and further bolster the
thriving community we have created. In 2017/18, GallagherEstates was responsible
for the funding and/or delivery of three primary schools and a secondaryschool.
»Group managing director:
Gregg Wilkinson
»Established in 1956
»Based in Warwick
»Services: Property development
»No. of employees: 38
»Gallagher Estates was
acquired by L&Q in 2017
Gallagher Estates
The key to our success is our
willingness to engage with the
communities in which we operate,
and to deliver a development legacy of
which we can be proud. Unlike many
of our competitors, we acquire land as
a raw material prior to implementing
our “part” or “fully serviced” models.
On smaller schemes, our “part” serviced
model ensures land is remediated
and all statutory agreements for the
provision and adoption of, among
other things, roads and sewers are in
place prior to onward sale.
On larger sites, we adopt a “fully
serviced” approach, which sees
us deliver the full suite of strategic
infrastructure across the site,
comprising roads, sewers, reservoirs,
balancing ponds, utilities, community
and educational facilities etc.
This tried-and-tested approach appeals
to our customers, as it better enables
them to control their risk and return on
capital, while also enabling us to sell to
multiple housebuilders on each site and
thereby accelerate housingdelivery.
For example, the Milton Keynes
Western Expansion Area is being
delivered by seven housebuilders,
completing 600 new homes per
annum. Our emerging strategy will
see us bring forward smaller parcels
of land to facilitate SME developers
working with us more readily.
Greater competition in the housebuilding
sector is critical, and working with SMEs
will aid healthy competition. Many
smaller house builders do not benefit
from the same access to finance that
the bigger players enjoy. The SME
developers will deliver smaller sites and
represent a critical tool in speeding up
housing delivery across the UK.
In 2017, Gallagher Estates was
acquired by L&Q, a charitable
organisation with a traditional focus
on the delivery of affordable housing
in London and the southeast. The
acquisition comes at a time when L&Q
has committed itself to deliver 100,000
new homes over the next ten years, its
geographical reach now encompassing
new markets outside London.
This marriage will undoubtedly pay
dividends. L&Q offers a similar “patient
capital” model of investment to
Gallagher Estates, enabling us to deliver
developments with stewardship, legacy,
community cohesion and the long-term
well-being of residents at their heart. Gallagher’s Heathcote
development at
sector is critical
and working
with SMEs will
aid healthy
Highlighting best practice
Gallagher Estates and land, development
and investment companies are just one
cog in the housing delivery machine.
The industry is under increasing pressure
to assist the government in achieving
its own ambitious housing targets.
Factors impeding progress
In order for this to be achieved,
factors which need to be better
1. What is creating delays between
allocation in an adopted local plan and
the grant of outline planning consent?
2. Why are there delays between the
granting of outline planning consent
and commencing development onsite?
Both need to be streamlined for the true
capacity of the housebuilding sector to
be realised in terms of delivering homes
quickly. Significant delays are created
by the requirement to discharge pre-
commencement planning conditions
before starting development. These
pertain to, for example, archaeology
and ecology, and can take many
months to satisfy.
While the application of pre-
commencement conditions is often
appropriate, there is often a “blanket”
approach to the imposition of such
conditions on planning consents,
regardless of size site or sensitivity.
This is undoubtedly contributing to
significant lag in delivery.
That aside, I think every industry
professional who is concerned with
speeding up housing delivery would say
that if they were promoted to housing
minister, their top priority would be a
holistic review of the green belt, which
is now simply an outdated response
toa very importantissue.
The sacrosanct nature of the green
belt is undoubtedly leading to vastly
unsustainable patterns of development
and contributing to an overreliance on
new settlements as a means to deliver
housing. While new settlements are
a very important part of the overall
solution, a balanced approach is
required, one which seeks to deliver
a range of site types ranging from
small “in-fill” village developments
(serving to improve the viability and
vitality of local rural services) through
to sustainable urban extensions and
The green belt is imposing a significant
restriction on development and its
impact is most widely felt in those
areas which are most in need and
typically where issues of housing
affordability are most crippling.
Above all else,
Estates is a
placemaking is
the golden
thread that
runs through
all our
The opening of Fairfields
Primary School in Milton
»Land purchase and site assembly
»Development and planning promotion
»Master planning and urban design
»Infrastructure design and technical
»Community and political engagement
»Infrastructure provision and site
»Delivery – the implementation of
major development projects

This article was sponsored by Gallagher Estates. 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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister