Harris Lamb Blog – 6th Dec


6th December, 2010.
By Claire Wingfield, Senior Planner.
I often think how well placed Harris Lamb’s Birmingham Office is, none more so when I’m plotting the next route for a lunchtime run. With the tranquil beauty of the canals through Edgbaston and around Birmingham University or the serene atmosphere of Edgbaston Reservoir there are a myriad of routes to choose from.

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.
For the positive effects of the Toll Road you may look little further than the development and opportunity is has created alongside it.

After a hectic morning in the office or after an intense meeting there is nothing better than blowing the cobwebs away and getting outside. Its not an uncommon site to see various members of the Harris Lamb team out and about, our regular running crew usually consists of a member of the commercial Planning Consultancy, valuation, rating and professional departments. It’s a great forum for swapping the latest industry and market news and for venting frustrations about the current economic climate which we are all working within. If we are on a particularly hard run, its great to listen in an hear about the goings on of the other departments within Harris Lamb, it keeps me up to date on a professional level and takes my mind of how much further is left to go before the welcome relief of a hot shower and a cup of tea back in the office!
The training has paid off as well with all members of the lunchtime running crew achieving personal bests at a range of distances this year from 10K to the full marathon, alongside raising over £1,000 between us for various charities.
With the demands of a full time job, family life and the dark evenings at this time of year I think we have all found running at lunchtime to be a positive moment in our schedules, whether it’s a quick 30mins round the reservoir or a full on 5 miler along the canals the afternoon’s business is tacked with renewed vigour and enthusiasm.
I’m looking forward to maintaining the momentum of the running crew throughout 2011 and hope to inspire and persuade other members of Harris Lamb to get outside and join us so we can enjoy another year of personal best performances, raise some more money for worthy causes and keep up to date with the goings on of the commercial property world.

If you wish to discuss any aspects of commercial or residential planning stratergy, please contact Claire on 0121 455 9455 or email claire.wingfield@harrislamb.com