The reverberations of the 2008 financial crisis were still having a huge impact on the economy when Mactaggart & Mickel were introduced to the North Somerset town of Nailsea.

It was in 2010 when an agent acting for two local families contacted us in relation to land on the outskirts of a town located between Bristol and the seaside resort of Clevedon on whose pier One Direction would soon shoot their first video.

They were relatively unknown at the time as was this strategic land opportunity. It was an off-market deal and came to us out of nowhere because of our existing relationship with the agent.

That was a mark of trust and also we acted because we were prepared to invest when other companies were holding back so we went back and did our homework and pressed on because it certainly seemed like a sensible proposition.

Nailsea was prime commuter belt due to its railway station, and proximity to Bristol.

To us it seemed to be in a good market but hadn’t seen much investment for some time, so we sensed it was time to change.

There had not been any significant residential developments since the 70s and 80s and we became aware that the local primary was under pressure to close due to falling numbers.

It was with all this in mind that we spent a lot of time in the community trying to understand what Nailsea needed and to inspire support for our vision for the area, which involved safeguarding the school’s long-term future and invigorating the shopping centre.

We secured a deal with the owners to land to the north of Youngwood Lane, in December 2013 and then promoted it for development for 450 homes to North Somerset Council.

After some years of deliberations concerning the application and its alignment with North Somerset’s Local Plan, we gained outline approval for our application following a successful appeal process.

We took that to market and the land was sold in July 2020 to Taylor Wimpey to bring forward the delivery of much needed new homes for the West of England.

Project Highlights

  • 60 Acre Site
  • 450 New Homes
  • 35% Affordable
  • On site provision of Community Centre
  • Ken Hopkins Head of Strategic Land
  • Nevin Holden South West Regional Manager
  • Conor Roberts South East Senior Strategic Land Manager
  • Ken Hopkins

    Head of Strategic Land

    Ken joined Mactaggart & Mickel in 2008 after leaving the Board of Hallam Land Management

    He currently heads up the Strategic Land Business Unit within the Mactaggart & Mickel Group of Companies.

    Graduating with an honours degree in economics, Ken has some 40 years’ experience in the housebuilding industry in land and planning.

    Reporting directly to Group Chief Executive, Ken has established Mactaggart & Mickel as a significant name in the land promotion sector both north and south of the border.

    And another thing…in his spare time, Ken occasionally ruins a perfectly good walk with a game of golf.

  • Nevin Holden

    South West Regional Manager

    Cheltenham-based Nevin is an invaluable land and property professional celebrating 36 years in the house building and land development industry.

    Chartered Town Planner and Planning & Development Surveyor with proven track record of land acquisition, planning promotion and project delivery across the South of England.

    Track record of overcoming the most difficult and complex of situations.

    Takes a total approach to land promotion, provides a clear path to achieve desired outcomes while maintaining a commercial perspective and an accommodating, friendly approach.

    And another thing…judging by his own words, Nevin is a budding poet: ‘Often comments and quips, that has been involved with, or employed to undertake, every part of the development land promotion or housing building process, aside from laying the bricks.”

  • Conor Roberts

    South East Senior Strategic Land Manager

    London-based Conor boasts 15 years' property industry experience.

    Expertise ranges from Sales to purchasing sites for individual niche developments, parcelling together large-scale developments and progressing Local Plan allocations.

    Relentless drive to getting a result no matter what hurdles are thrown in front of him.

    Adaptive/flexible with a personal, common-sense approach, helping break down a complex planning system, simplifying the process to cut through the red tape whilst being friendly and extremely commercially minded.

    And another thing…Conor won the ‘best boxer of the tournament award’ at University in Liverpool against the Irish Universities Select Team.  Now in training for a 2021 Ironman event.