Harris Lamb Blog – 10th Jan



Gert Corfield

10th January, 2011.

“Oh the weather outside is frightful, let it snow, let it
snow, let it snow….!”

By Gert Corfield, Director, Management.

The winter is always a busy time for managing agents responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of clients’ properties, and with the adverse weather recently, this year has been no exception for the Property Management department at Harris Lamb.

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.

Whilst many people may have been enjoying snowball fights or building snowmen, the arrival of arctic conditions creates a whole raft of issues for property owners and managers.

The key to successful minimisation of disruption is having a well prepared contingency plan whereby gritting procedures and supplies are in place, and immediate action can be instigated to tackle nature’s challenges.

Action prior to the arrival of the winter is also essential, particularly to seek to eliminate problems with burst pipes and maintenance issues at vacant premises.  The last thing any property owner wants is an emergency call on Christmas Day, and the role of the Property Manager is not only to react swiftly and effectively in the event of a problem, but also to employ procedures and policies to proactively minimise the likelihood of any disasters.

Property Management is all about taking responsibility for a client’s assets in ‘bricks and mortar’ and ensuring they are properly cared for whilst in the trust of third party tenant’s or making sure that the asset is kept safe, secure and in good condition when vacant.

Central to the Property Managers job is a duty of care to their client but also a responsibility under Statute to uphold the law in carrying out our functions.

The Acts of Parliament are many and varied but here are just some of those we have to be mindful of and adhere to:-

• Health and Safety Act 1974
• Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006
• Work at Height Regulation 2003
• Human Rights Acts
• Data Protection Act 1995
• Disability Discrimination Act 1995
• Law and Property Act 1925, Town and Country Planning Act 1990
These are only a handful of the Legal Acts that we have to refer to and be guided by as we carry out our property management duties.

In taking responsibility on behalf of clients we are under a clear duty to not only protect and enhance values but also to act professionally and within the framework that the myriad of Laws and Acts of Parliament guide us to.

For more information on how we can manage your property and help protect and build your portfolio of assets in land and property please contact one of the Management Team.

Gert can be reached on 0121 455 9455 or via email: Gert.corfield@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.