St Cuthbert's Garden Town


Client: Carlisle City Council

The Hive team have extensive experience in the acquisition, de-risking and marketing of residential land. This expertise was critical in supporting a joint bid between Hive and Arup in response to a mini competition run by the Council for a commission to undertake a detailed masterplan of the GT, accompanied by a range of technical work. Our part of the instruction was to lead on advising on the deliverability of the masterplan to ensure the preferred option was designed to be commercially attractive to industry, aligned land uses and boundaries to reflect land ownership considerations, as well as avoiding allocating land in areas subject to legal restrictions (including clawbacks, ransoms, etc). Hive also worked in collaboration with the Council’s appointed viability consultants, feeding in to overall delivery issues. The delivery advice covered a broad remit and included:

  • Advice on delivery models / vehicles, from low intervention to greater intervention (including a Locally Led Development Corporation);
  • Bespoke reports into barriers to delivery, such as mines and mineral right issues and other legal restrictions;  
  • Advice on GT-wide disposal strategies, balancing the GT principles with deliverable / viable solutions;
  • Soft market testing and extensive engagement with developers and RPs; and
  • Collaboration approaches (both formal and informal) with landowners, developers and funding bodies, particularly Homes England.

Through this instruction we have been able to influence the masterplan options to ensure that they balance the important GT objectives around place making and good design, with being commercially deliverable. The work is still on-going and the final delivery strategy is still being worked on, but the strategy has been flexible whereby a number of options of varying levels of intervention are being considered. The particular challenges of this GT, its scale and number of landowners, have resulted in the need to explore potentially different approaches to delivery in different settlements, reflecting the nature of land ownership, phasing, infrastructure requirements, and general viability considerations. The viability of the GT has been greatly enhanced through securing HIF money for the link road, but it is clear that further Government assistance will be required to deliver the GT. To this end there has been significant engagement with both Homes England and MHCLG to explore funding opportunities and explore new and emerging legislation.  

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