A site with permission for a residential development has been sold in a deal that will see it used instead for storage.

Reading-based consultancy Campbell Gordon sold the 3.09-acre former Bellbourne Nurseries site, between Egham and Virginia Water, on behalf of Gemco Properties. It has been used for general storage and vehicle maintenance in recent years.

The buyer, H&G Car Parks, plans to use it for covered and open storage and does not plan to build out a 25,000 sq ft residential scheme the site has consent for.

Campbell Gordon director Rob Marson said: “This is another example of how industrial and storage land value is outperforming residential development values.

“It is an ever-growing phenomenon, and value differential in some locations is now very significant. We are finding more and more landowners are moving away from residential development strategies, with onerous and expensive affordable housing obligations, and instead pursuing distribution and industrial strategies.”

Fellow director Jake Booth said: “The sale process with this site was really interesting. We spoke to the key residential developers who love this location. However, the site was too complicated for them.

“Whilst the market for sites has become very competitive, if there is a high level of risk and uncertainty they will still look for planning conditionality to ensure it will ultimately fit with their own models.”

Roger Williams, principal at Gemco Properties, said: “We have owned this site for many years. We looked at a wide range of uses and development angles and it is really interesting that despite the ‘oven-ready’ planning consents the highest bidders who would buy on an unconditional basis were industrial and storage operators.”

Campbell Gordon advised Gemco Properties on a sole agency basis while H&G Car Parks was unrepresented.

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