Harris Lamb Blog – Real on-the-job training!



8th September, 2011.

Real on-the-job training!

By Becky Colclough, Commercial Agency.



The route provides 27 miles of privately funded and operated highway from Coleshill in North Warwickshire to Cannock in South Staffordshire.  The road carried an average 47,592 vehicles on weekdays in the summer of 2010  and from my experience of the Toll Road, private cars form the vast majority of the traffic.

The M6 Toll Road was identified as an “M6 Relief Road” to alleviate congestion on the M6, which is something many people feel has not been adequately addressed and, with one way car tolls at peak periods of £5, this is something to be debated elsewhere.

From a property perspective the benefits have probably been more tangible than the traffic improvements.  The southern end of the Toll Road and the ‘T1’ junction close to J4 M6 coincided with some of the latter stage build projects at the Hams Hall National Distribution Park, a 430 acre business park which ranks as one of the best such employment parks in the UK.

Junctions T2 and T3 appear to largely function as commuter gateways for those living to the south and east of Sutton Coldfield from where national motorway access has improved considerably and the effect on house prices has been positive in these areas.

The access to Junctions T4 and T5 at Weeford and Lichfield has given a stimulus to residential and commercial property markets alike with possibly the biggest winner being the 300 acre Fradley Park, where some of the largest distribution buildings in the area have been built with more to come.  We are marketing the new Fradley Prologis Scheme with 70 acres and units to 700,000 sq ft available to be built and which will be on site shortly.

T6 Burntwood, a forgotten part of the West Midlands conurbation 10 years ago for business and for new build residential perhaps, has not quite been “transformed” but certainly “considerably improved”.

T7 & T8 and the Cannock access points to the Toll Road provided the catalyst that has helped to promote the former coal mining town into a first rate employment location.  Significant development of a cross section of employment type accommodation from offices to manufacturing and warehouse operations has bought vitality to Cannock which I think is largely due to the Toll Road passing the town’s doorstep.

For those drivers who still regularly sit stationary on the M6 between junction 8 and 10 bemoaning the state of the traffic and whether the Toll Road has done the job it promised, the tangible benefits are probably in property as much as traffic counts.  The commercial new build and viability of new schemes along the entire length of the Toll Road has been transformed since the road was built.

Having joined Harris Lamb in August 2008 as an Office Trainee, I am now working in the Agency team in our Stoke-on-Trent office. During my time as a trainee, I took an interest in the Agency side of things and thought it was time to move forward with this role.

I heard of a qualification from one my colleagues in Birmingham who was also studying this and having looked through the syllabus, I thought it was perfect to introduce me to the basics of commercial property.

The Technical Award in Commercial Property Agency is a Level 3 qualification within the National Qualifications Framework, which means it is broadly the equivalent to A-Level standard.

This qualification consisted of a workbook of four units of which, I was to learn and take a computer based exam on each and complete within 12 months. These units covered basic agency and laws, building construction, business and property appraisals, valuation, business rates, taxation and EPCs.

I took my first exam in September 2010 and passed with flying colours! I have now completed the course with more than a month spare from my September deadline and, although my previous qualifications don’t allow me to progress onto a degree in property, I am looking to start the new Associate RICS qualification soon to provide me with the next step towards chartered status.

Having gained this qualification I am now a lot more confident with my knowledge of the property industry, and as a bonus this know allows me to now become a member of the ICBA (Institution of Commercial Business Agents).

For advice and assistance on all aspects of Commercial Property in Staffordshire, Harris Lamb are the experts. Call our Stoke office on 01782 272 555 or email: andrew.groves@harrislamb.com.        

Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article or weblog (‘blog’) are the personal views of the contributors and authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of any named companies or thier employees.