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More schemes underway – sustainable homes and PBSA in Notts

This mini development roundup sees homebuilder Placemakers putting sustainability and profitability at the fore of its new scheme in Beulah Hill, while funding for a new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme in Nottingham has been secured.

Homebuilder combines sustainability with profitability in new scheme

Placemakers, a socially progressive and sustainable homebuilder, has announced the sales launch of its Beulah Hill, Crystal Palace development of eight townhouses scheduled for completion in the autumn.


The first of Placemakers’ three current developments to complete, these family homes show the developer’s commitment to designing and building future-proofed homes and delivering value to buyers without compromising on profitability.

The company aims to ‘create sustainable homes to the highest environmental standards, drive social value in the communities it works in, and deliver solid risk-managed returns for its investment partners’.

Placemakers homes are designed and built to meet or exceed the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Future Homes 2030 Challenge whilst delivering equity returns in excess of 15% per annum.

Its flagship project in Beulah Hill is set to achieve the RIBA Future Homes Challenge with an A-rated EPC and the development is being marketed through Knight Frank.


Founder Ken Drumm comments: “Placemakers’ emphasis on sustainability means that we deliver built assets that are already a decade ahead in terms of their environmental credentials, providing protection to both homebuyers and our investment partners.”

“We have changed the narrative to demonstrate that our approach of combining sustainability and profitability makes perfect business sense.”

The team is dedicated to achieving its goals, with expertise in sustainable development and attention to quality. It also specialises in identifying commercially viable home building projects whilst limiting any environmental impact through ‘sustainable design, sustainable procurement, and sustainable construction methods’.

By adopting this approach, Placemakers is setting new standards in both the reduction of energy during the construction process, and in the energy performance of its homes. It will do so by incorporating ultra-efficient air source heat pump systems, rainwater recycling, electrical vehicle charging points, and solar panels.

“The industry perception sometimes holds that as developers increase their costs in delivering future-proofed homes, these costs are not recovered in their sales prices,” Drumm adds. “It is our view that by not striving for high standards of sustainability, value is threatened by obsoletion and ‘whole life’ maintenance costs. Our homes protect our buyers, investors, and financial partners from such inevitable risks.”

He says Placemakers is focused on innovation and constructing future-proofed homes with a reduced impact on the environment. 

“Our experience not only showcases the remarkable technologies and building techniques available industry-wide, but also sets an example by raising the bar. We demonstrate that our model is not only economically viable, but that it also makes excellent business sense.”

There is also a social basis to Placemakers’ business, which partners with local authorities and creates work opportunities for the communities where it builds by supporting local enterprise and by prioritising procurement within a 25-mile radius of a site.

The company also creates other opportunities for young people, including apprenticeships, and actively promotes women in construction.

Commenting on the role that diversity plays in their business, Drumm concludes: “We set out to assemble a team with a variety of experiences, outlooks, and philosophies and this has helped us to work with our stakeholders to challenge conventional thinking, respond to the priorities we have set, and challenge industry constraints in inventive ways.”

“Our approach underpins and enhances our primary objective: to build desirable homes and to deliver risk-managed and attractive returns for all our stakeholders.”

£22.6m funding secured for 270-bed student scheme in Nottingham

Student accommodation provider Study Inn Group has secured a £22.6 million finance facility from Paragon Development Finance to support its new ‘state-of-the-art’ scheme in Nottingham.

The funding has supported the acquisition of the site on Triumph Road and the development of the 270-bed PBSA scheme.

This marks the tenth facility Paragon has provided to Study Inn Group, assisting the development of over 2,100 PBSA bed spaces across the UK.

The deal is also the first to feature Paragon’s stabilisation loan facility, which covers the period following the completion of a development until the scheme has seasoned with student occupancy for up to two academic years. Once the development is complete, the scheme will be refinanced onto an 18-month stabilisation facility.

The launch of the stabilisation facility means that Paragon can support a developer through the full lifecycle of a PBSA development, from the acquisition of a site without planning and pending approval, the development phase and onto a stabilisation facility post practical completion and opening of the scheme.

Study Inn’s five-storey development boasts communal facilities such as study space, wellness spa, sauna, steam room, hotbeds, gym, yoga studio, games room, lounge and a big-screen cinema room. There will also be 24/7 onsite management, room cleaning and linen services, superfast Wi-Fi and bicycle parking.

The development, which is adjacent to the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus, will be ready in time for the 2022/23 academic year. It is Study Inn’s second site in Nottingham, having opened 288 rooms in Talbot St, adjacent to Nottingham Trent University, in 2020.

Marcus Hook, group finance director at Study Inn, comments: “As a committed lender, Paragon Development Finance support has been integral to this scheme. Triumph Road will deliver a world-class experience for students, with en-suite rooms complemented by top-end facilities. Given its proximity to the University of Nottingham, we are confident this development will prove popular with students.

“Paragon’s technical understanding of the development process and the pressures facing developers make them an ideal partner and we are pleased to be working with them again.”

Simon Dekker, Paragon Development Finance senior relationship director, adds: “We were delighted to have been able to continue our relationship with Study Inn and support the developer in serving the student market. The company has forged an excellent reputation in this space, putting student welfare and experience at the heart of its developments.”

“The stabilisation feature means we can support PBSA developers from the start of their schemes to finish; from funding the purchase of development land or a building to convert, to the development costs, to the period after the development is complete and the scheme is occupied by students. This is unique in the market and shows our ability to structure our lending to support clients.”

As well as its two sites in Nottingham, Study Inn boasts student accommodation in Loughborough, Exeter and Bristol, with two further sites being delivered for the 2022/23 academic year in Leicester and Leeds.


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