The High Street Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The High Street Group'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 The High Street Group 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

www.thehighstreetgroup.com

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
15THE HIGH STREET GROUP |
HOUSING
Chairman Gary Forrest
The spectacular view of
Newcastle and beyond from
the top of Hadrian’s Tower
The High Street Group is comprised of three major
elements: High Street Residential, one of the UK’s largest
private rental sector development companies, a hospitality
arm that operates hotels and venues and a traditional housing
developer. Chairman Gary Forrest explains that High Street
Residential is the core of the group, which aims to harness the
power of PRS to revitalise cities and attract investment. Gary
tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the work of High Street
Residential and the other arms of the group.
We sell 80 per cent of the PRS schemes we develop to financial institutions and
pension funds who are looking to generate income from the rental marketplace
with the other 20 per cent being sold to overseas buy-to-let investors.
Our hospitality arm complements these efforts and was created to assist our PRS
business to deliver vibrant, mixed-use developments. Currently, these hospitality
ventures are independent from our PRS developments, and we are using the
experience of running them to assess the market and how to maximise profitability.
In the future, when we construct apartments blocks, we will look for ways to best
utilise the communal spaces, whether this be the ground floor or the rooftop, and
help to turn these developments into dynamic spaces where people want to live.
Whenever you are designing residential buildings, you find you are left with ground-
floor space, and we aim to maximise commercial efficiency, while ensuring the highest
standard of life for our residents, by designing the space to meet commercial needs.
Whether this be a bar, cafe or restaurant, we always ensure these hospitality spaces
are embedded into the fabric of our developments. Alongside increasing the variety of
FACTS ABOUT
THE HIGH STREET GROUP
»Chairman: Gary Forrest
»Established in 2007
»Based in Newcastle
»Services: Constructing mixed-
use developments for the
private rental sector
»No. of employees: 200
The High Street Group
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
16 | THE HIGH STREET GROUP
the developments themselves, they will
also act as a social support, fostering the
creation of communities and therefore
improving the gross to net on rental
income by reducing voidlevels.
The first development of this type will
be in our Hadrian’s Tower development,
which will become the tallest building in
Newcastle. We are planning to launch a
Laurent-Perrier rooftop bar, with a coffee
shop established on the ground floor.
Hadrian’s Tower
Hadrian’s Tower will be the centrepiece
and zenith of our work so far. Alongside
being the tallest building in Newcastle,
it will also have the fastest internet
connection in the north east of England.
Auxiliary services such as apartment
cleaning, dry cleaning and regular social
events will be offered to the residents.
Alongside this development, we
are also working on new projects in
Birmingham, Manchester, Warrington
and Milton Keynes. By combining the
residential with the commercial, we aim
to create buildings that are as profitable
and vibrant as possible. Both elements
support and feed one another, with
our shops and restaurants making our
residences more attractive and our
residential space ensuring a steady
footfall for our commercial interests.
To further support these new
developments, we are exploring new,
cutting-edge services. We are in the
process of developing a resident’s
app that will further help to set our
developments apart. With this app,
residents will be able to book cleaning
services, order room service, book
communal space, monitor parcel
deliveries and book empty apartments
on a daily basis within any of our other
apartment blocks. This will digitise
the relationship we have already
established between commercial and
residential clients.
The imposing Hadrian’s
Tower which has
transformed the
Newcastle skyline
We sell 80 per
cent of the
units we
develop to
financial
institutions
and pension
funds
17THE HIGH STREET GROUP |
HOUSING
Tackling the insecurity of
renting
One of the biggest housing challenges
we face is the endemic problem of the
UK rental market and fundamentally,
the lack of security of tenure. As most
of the rental stock is owned by amateur
investors, renters are faced with
uncertain futures and are not provided
with the necessary security to settle
down and create their home as long as
they pay their rent. Amateur investors
often simply sell their properties and
residents are forced to move out:
excluding council houses, the average
tenure of a rental property is 18 months.
This is simply too short a period of time
to establish a community. Furthermore,
a lot of this stock is below social housing
standards and poorly managed.
In order to tackle this issue, we need
to return to the founding point
of rental accommodation and the
construction of housing blocks that
are built purely for the rental market.
This way, residents can know they
will be able to live there indefinitely,
providing they continue to pay their
rent. This will lead to the establishment
and prospering of communities and
the development of local pride. Key
to achieving this will be changing the
demographics of ownership, moving
away from amateur investors and
towards institutions that will provide
a far greater degree of stability. The
institutions themselves are keen and
prepared to make this step; we must
simply assist them in achieving it.
We are already adapting to bring this
to fruition, and our next phase, and
goal, is to begin to develop family
homes, complete with gardens and all
the markers of a family residence, that
are purely to rent. By creating a greater
range of residences available to rent,
we can strengthen the rental market
and help tackle its challenges.
In order to support these efforts, we are
aiming to build more relationships with a
greater number of institutions who want
to invest in the UK PRS. We will also
focus on developing our housing strategy
and building relationships with land
owners to facilitate these developments,
ensuring we are able to construct
vibrant housing estates across the UK.
We are aiming
to build more
relationships
with a greater
number of
institutions
who want to
invest in the
UK PRS
Illustration of
Middlewood Plaza
in Salford, which has
recently sold out
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
16 | THE HIGH STREET GROUP
the developments themselves, they will
also act as a social support, fostering the
creation of communities and therefore
improving the gross to net on rental
income by reducing voidlevels.
The first development of this type will
be in our Hadrian’s Tower development,
which will become the tallest building in
Newcastle. We are planning to launch a
Laurent-Perrier rooftop bar, with a coffee
shop established on the ground floor.
Hadrian’s Tower
Hadrian’s Tower will be the centrepiece
and zenith of our work so far. Alongside
being the tallest building in Newcastle,
it will also have the fastest internet
connection in the north east of England.
Auxiliary services such as apartment
cleaning, dry cleaning and regular social
events will be offered to the residents.
Alongside this development, we
are also working on new projects in
Birmingham, Manchester, Warrington
and Milton Keynes. By combining the
residential with the commercial, we aim
to create buildings that are as profitable
and vibrant as possible. Both elements
support and feed one another, with
our shops and restaurants making our
residences more attractive and our
residential space ensuring a steady
footfall for our commercial interests.
To further support these new
developments, we are exploring new,
cutting-edge services. We are in the
process of developing a resident’s
app that will further help to set our
developments apart. With this app,
residents will be able to book cleaning
services, order room service, book
communal space, monitor parcel
deliveries and book empty apartments
on a daily basis within any of our other
apartment blocks. This will digitise
the relationship we have already
established between commercial and
residential clients.
The imposing Hadrian’s
Tower which has
transformed the
Newcastle skyline
We sell 80 per
cent of the
units we
develop to
financial
institutions
and pension
funds
17THE HIGH STREET GROUP |
HOUSING
Tackling the insecurity of
renting
One of the biggest housing challenges
we face is the endemic problem of the
UK rental market and fundamentally,
the lack of security of tenure. As most
of the rental stock is owned by amateur
investors, renters are faced with
uncertain futures and are not provided
with the necessary security to settle
down and create their home as long as
they pay their rent. Amateur investors
often simply sell their properties and
residents are forced to move out:
excluding council houses, the average
tenure of a rental property is 18 months.
This is simply too short a period of time
to establish a community. Furthermore,
a lot of this stock is below social housing
standards and poorly managed.
In order to tackle this issue, we need
to return to the founding point
of rental accommodation and the
construction of housing blocks that
are built purely for the rental market.
This way, residents can know they
will be able to live there indefinitely,
providing they continue to pay their
rent. This will lead to the establishment
and prospering of communities and
the development of local pride. Key
to achieving this will be changing the
demographics of ownership, moving
away from amateur investors and
towards institutions that will provide
a far greater degree of stability. The
institutions themselves are keen and
prepared to make this step; we must
simply assist them in achieving it.
We are already adapting to bring this
to fruition, and our next phase, and
goal, is to begin to develop family
homes, complete with gardens and all
the markers of a family residence, that
are purely to rent. By creating a greater
range of residences available to rent,
we can strengthen the rental market
and help tackle its challenges.
In order to support these efforts, we are
aiming to build more relationships with a
greater number of institutions who want
to invest in the UK PRS. We will also
focus on developing our housing strategy
and building relationships with land
owners to facilitate these developments,
ensuring we are able to construct
vibrant housing estates across the UK.
We are aiming
to build more
relationships
with a greater
number of
institutions
who want to
invest in the
UK PRS
Illustration of
Middlewood Plaza
in Salford, which has
recently sold out

www.thehighstreetgroup.com

This article was sponsored by The High Street Group. 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 Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development