Track Records

Expert Witness 

01

Helena House Urba_Stuart cook.jpg
 

client

London Borough of Sutton

Project

Helena House, Sutton

 

Challenge

The proposals were for the redevelopment of an existing office building to provide a part 5 / part 8 storey mixed use building of 41-apartments and ground floor commercial space. 

The council had refused the planning application on the grounds of design and lack of affordable housing. The appellant’s viability assessment was showing that the scheme was significantly unviable with zero affordable housing – in these circumstances the council’s affordable housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) required evidence on how the scheme can be delivered. The appellant had not sufficiently demonstrated how the scheme could be delivered. Urbà was instructed by the council to act as an Expert Witness at the Hearing to advise on the scheme delivery. 

process

Urbà reviewed the appellant’s deliverability evidence, which was based on changes in costs and values. Urbà advised the council that this evidence was not sufficiently robust and still did not address the requirements of the SPD.​

Result

Urbà provided evidence to the Inspector on how the appellant had failed to sufficiently demonstrate delivery and what should have been provided as part of a robust assessment. Urbà also advised the Inspector as to why scheme delivery was important to the council. ​

 

02

Expert Witness_Urbà_propertyagency.jpg
 

client

Bromley Borough Council

Project

Maybrey Works, Sydenham

Challenge

The appellant was seeking to redevelop the site for a residential mixed-use residential scheme with ground floor commercial space. The council had refused the application on the basis, amongst other things, of resisting losing the existing employment nature of the site.

process

Whilst at AspinallVerdi Stuart Cook, Director at Urbà was instructed along with Peter Brett Associates (now Stantec) to act as Expert Witnesses to support the council’s argument. Stuart assessed the industrial market, providing analysis of current vacancy, demand, market balance and viability.

Result

Stuart found that the industrial market in the borough was extremely tight and there was viable demand for the continued use of the site for employment. Stuart presented his Statement of Case and provided evidence at the Public Inquiry.