Walnut Tree Farm
Walnut Tree Farm has been in the family for some time. My father and his brother farmed in the area years ago, but after a motorway and roundabout were put through the farm, the land was eventually sold. I’d long had plans to farm, so I bought 120 acres and have slowly added to it since.
A few houses have been built on the farm and we now have a dairy and potato store, too. Of course, farming hasn’t been as profitable in recent years, so we took the opportunity to move into document storage.
We have now converted the buildings to a farm shop and offices, but we still rear heifers and have approximately 100 a year.
Due to the fact the motorway and a link road to the roundabout runs through the land, we’ve always thought there was a chance the land could be developed further. So, around five years ago, we purchased two of the fields and we’ll continue to develop the site over time.
PROMOTION & SALES STRATEGY
In terms of the promotion of Walnut Tree Farm, Wallace developed a detailed strategy for our site. Jason and the team pulled together a comprehensive development framework, before entering into a promotion agreement with ourselves.
Considering the Council's objectives for around 1000 homes a year to be built in the area, as well as the required infrastructure, Wallace with their appointed consultant team, ensured the appropriate representations were made at all stages of the development process. Completing a detailed technical assessment of our site, the representations focused heavily on community and council engagement.
Working with us, the other landowners and our solicitor, Wallace is promoting the land and we’re aware that an eventual sale could bring huge returns.
Jason approached us and said he wanted to promote the land for development. There were a couple of other landowners who wanted to come on board and after a few introductions, Jason told us about his experience on similar projects and how he’d go about promoting our land.
Visiting us, Jason said the land was worth promoting and that the chance of success was high, so he worked hard to get an agreement between ourselves and the other three landowners.
This wasn’t a straightforward process, as each landowner had different requirements and desires. While it took 18 months to come to an agreement, due to the complexity of different ownerships, the results have been great.
Wallace really have been fantastic to work with; we feel we’re lucky and very privileged that they’ve approached us and have taken this project forward. They listen, they’re always on the other end of the phone and they seem to care. On top of that, they have passion and they’re professional; I don’t think we could have anyone better to represent us.
What we admire most about Wallace is that they’ve stuck with this for 18 months and they have accommodated all the different wishes of the parties.
Warrington is currently reviewing its local plan to meet this requirement in a process which will include a green belt review.
Using the consultant team, which Wallace has recommended, the team is ensuring the appropriate representations are made at all stages of the development plan review process.
The proposal for the site is residential-led mixed use development, with the employment element being able to provide up to 1,000 jobs. The site is situated close to several local amenities within Stretton and South Warrington. It will also have the benefit of easy access to Stockton Heath - the nearby core area for social and retail amenities.
Wallace anticipates the proposal at Stretton to be a five to ten-year development, which will eventually provide around 600 homes, along with an element of commercial development. This highly sustainable and effective site has the capability of delivering private and affordable homes, infrastructure and employment from 2020.