The Southern Powerhouse – Frasers Property

Posted on: July 9th, 2021

Coffin Mew commissioned a major report to look at the challenges and opportunities facing the South as a region in establishing itself as, what could be described as, the Southern Powerhouse.

The report consists of a number of interviews with key people in the region – from chief executives of property development companies, property investors as well as those heading up the Local Enterprise Partnerships. 

In this article, Robert Batho, Commercial Director at Frasers Property UK, counters the challenge often made by developers and would-be occupiers that “they don’t make land anymore”. Whilst the adage is obviously true, Robert Batho makes the point that there is growing demand for better quality, better connected and more sustainable business space and therefore opportunities for developers and investors to enhance their existing portfolios to meet this demand. We are working with clients who are completely re-imagining what they want their business premises to look like and how they want to use them, for example by creating “destination offices”, and there is therefore clearly opportunity for developers and investors to add value to their existing estates without necessarily adding any more land.

“It’s often said there is a shortage of development opportunities in the region because of land availability (as in ‘lack of’), but Rupert Batho, commercial director of Frasers Property UK isn’t of the same voice.

“There’s the old adage is ‘they don’t make land anymore’, and you always hear the complaint that there is not enough of it, that the shortage is reflected by how much it costs, and that the consequence is a stifling of economic progress,” he says.  “But we take a more holistic point of view. Yes, the supply is restricted and you have to compete for it, but I get the feeling things are broadly balanced; in some places there is over-supply and in others under-supply. There is not much office space being developed for example, but that’s not a land issue; it’s economic uncertainty and changing working practices. Land allocation put in place by local authorities through zoning works quite well.”

In the latest in our series of Southern Powerhouse articles we hear from Rupert Batho, Commercial Director of Frasers Property UK.

Please click here to read the full interview: Frasers Property interview

If you have any questions regarding the Southern Powerhouse project, please contact Nick Leavey.