THE sale of a controversial plot of land earmarked for new homes has helped an estate agents to achieve a record year.

Savills development team in the north west acted on in excess of £155million worth of land sales in 2023.

This total represents the sale of more than 2,300 housing plots across 10 sites, comprising almost 400 acres.

The deals agreed include the sale of Peel Hall in Houghton Green to Vistry Partnerships, a major project which has paved the way for 1,200 new homes.

The threat of the 170-acre site being built on has been one residents have been set against for more than 30 years.

However, despite Warrington Borough Council refusing permission for 1,200 homes being built there, the decision was overruled by the Planning Inspectorate in November 2021.

Work on site is scheduled to commence in mid-2025 once full planning permission is secured.

According to the latest research from Savills, residential development land values fell on a national level during the last quarter of 2023, with less sites sold and fewer bids received on sites marketed, but the north of England has bucked that trend with a record year.

Campaigners have long fought to save the site from development

Campaigners have long fought to save the site from development

Ed Rooney, development director at Savills in the north west, said: “Optimum sized sites in primary locations where there are fewer opportunities remain in strong demand.

“Land values in the north of England in general remain robust due to a more resilient housing market, shortage of sites and stronger competition.

“Despite having a record year in 2023, the buyer pool has been thinner, with some parties pulling back from the market and re-assessing deals.

“We have seen a dip in interest from national housebuilders who are likely taking stock of market conditions, but this has created an opportunity for local and regional housebuilders looking to acquire land in a less competitive market.

“Looking ahead, the recent falls in mortgage rates and greater stability in the housing market have resulted in sentiment in the land market from national housebuilders starting to improve slightly.

“Therefore, we expect demand for land to further increase in 2024 if housing market conditions and sales conditions continue to improve.

“In the short term, we expect more new sites to launch to the market in the first half of this year due to more positive market conditions.”