The world may be closed right now, but Milton Keynes is very much open for development and Knowlhill-based EMW’s property development team is busier than ever.
“Milton Keynes has always been a forward-looking and innovative place,” said Principal Stephen Kay, “and we’re seeing that at the moment, with new deals coming in every day. For everything from residential to commercial it’s all systems go.”
The firm has been working in and around MK for over 25 years, and the development team have been involved in local developments such as the MK Dons Stadium, Ashland residential scheme, Elfield Park, the Bowl and many corporate headquarters, retail premises and community buildings. EMW’s lawyers love to be involved in the development of Milton Keynes and pride themselves on the part they play in the projects. Central to the firm’s ethos is becoming members of the client’s team, bringing not only legal expertise, but also years of commercial experience.
The team’s work covers all stages of a development project. Buying land often involves option agreements or conditional contracts, where the buyer undertakes getting planning consent before purchase. Conditional contracts and option agreements ensure that the seller is tied into the deal with the developer, giving the developer reassurance that when planning consent is obtained the seller can’t simply sell the now more valuable land to a higher bidder.
Getting consent is an expensive business, so the developer can’t risk losing the planning fees either.
EMW’s Marco Mauro is head of planning, and he has helped many local developers with the additional agreements for s.106 payments and infrastructure levies.
Derryn Rolfe then takes over, drafting and negotiating the appointments of the design team to ensure there are no gaps or overlaps in who’s doing what, and then working on the engineering and building contracts. Different contracts are needed for different types of development, with the obligations and liabilities varying depending on which party is best able to control the physical and financial risks.
The involvement of other stakeholders such as funders or commercial tenants mean that ancillary documents need to be agreed between several parties, all of which need to mesh together like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle.
“All sorts of practical issues can arise on site, but the can-do attitude of MK companies makes it easy to agree pragmatic, commercial solutions between the parties,” said Derryn. “It’s an exciting place to be, and a great place to work”.
Once the development is physically complete, the property lawyers take over again, dealing with sales and leases which enable the occupiers to get in and start contributing to the Milton Keynes life and economy. The team also acts for property investors and tenants taking on the new developments, so knowing how the city works and how other developments have gone helps in that process.
Right now, the development team are involved in and looking forward to some more great developments for Milton Keynes.
“There are some in the pipeline and on site now,” added Stephen, “that will make a really positive contribution to the city’s future.”
To find out more, contact EMW on 0345 070 6000 or visit www.emwllp.com