Member Article

M3 region launches commercial property market study

Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership will launch its Commercial Property Market Study on 26 April at the Aviator Hotel, Farnborough. This ground-breaking study of employment land (sites and premises) shows how important it is to open up a dialogue between public and private sectors to create the conditions for economic growth.

It will help improve understanding of the characteristics of the commercial property market in the wider M3 corridor, against the LEP’s strategic plans for growth and the Government’s new permitted development rights for change of use from commercial to residential premises.

The study has shown that the Enterprise M3 area has excellent potential for economic growth, with plenty of good quality office accommodation available to satisfy the requirements of companies wishing to expand, and to attract businesses into the area. It also highlights the challenges faced in different parts of the area: some locations have a good choice of premises and sites with healthy demand, while in others there is more of a need to stimulate demand for the property available.

A unique collaboration between members of the property and development industries and public sector policy makers, this study will facilitate the debate about local priorities where market segments and gaps need to be addressed. In turn, the debate will help to form the LEP’s strategy, including how it might allocate Government funding that is earmarked for stimulating economic growth.

Malcolm Young, Chairman of the Wilky Group and Chair of the Enterprise M3 Land & Property Group, said: “This study maps out the battlefield on which we will be delivering the raw materials for economic growth. It is significant that there appears to be no shortage of sites that are ‘oven ready’ but the objective of the launch event is to discuss what further work needs to be done to balance the needs and be able, as a LEP, to assist in the solutions.

“This work illustrates the need for public and private sectors to work much more closely together to deliver the opportunities for growth. It is a marriage of policy and market need, with the LEP acting as the conduit and facilitator of the discussion. It is a piece of work against which further decisions can be made.”

Geoff French, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “This study shows that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for the M3 area. There is a lot of available space but there is also some that has been empty for a long while. As well as ensuring that we have the right kind of space to encourage new commercial use, we can also look at the over-supply of commercial property in some parts and the under-supply of housing space, and ask whether the local authorities should be encouraged to transfer land from one category to the other, thereby addressing two problems at once. This ties in with the Government’s new stance in relaxing planning regulations.

“The challenge for us is to address the issues in the different parts of the M3 area, and this is what the launch event will enable us to do. The outcomes of our discussions on 26 April will inform future land use, policies and investment decisions.”


The Enterprise M3 Commercial Property Market Study will be available to download from the EM3 website on 26 April 2013.

Enterprise M3 is very grateful to the sponsor of this event – SEGRO, Europe’s leading owner-manager and developer of industrial property.

Event highlights include:

Formal launch of the Commercial Property Market Study by Malcolm Young, Chairman of the Wilky Group and Chair of the Enterprise M3 Land and Property Group
An introduction to Enterprise M3’s role in both infrastructure and housing policy issues in the wider M3 corridor
Round table discussions on how the public and private sectors can work together to tackle the issues raised in the study

Enterprise M3 will also be showcasing some of its other economic growth projects, including a new Planning Charter for all local authorities in the area and the Growing Enterprise Fund which currently has £10 million available to kick start jobs and growth.

About Enterprise M3

Enterprise M3 is the Local Enterprise Partnership for an area which covers the New Forest through Hampshire up to the M25, including major centres such as Aldershot, Winchester, Basingstoke, Woking and Guildford, an area which encompasses over 1,600,000 residents and 81,500 businesses; accounting for nearly 20% of the South East’s economic prosperity.

Local Enterprise Partnerships are business-led and work with other public sector organisations such as local authorities, in partnership, across natural economic areas. They provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area.

Enterprise M3 drives prosperity in the M3 corridor and champions the needs of businesses, actively listening to and engaging with them. Enterprise M3 recognises the importance of the environment and the quality of life for those who live and work in the area.

Enterprise M3’s key priorities are to:

Accelerate development, using Government funding to invest and then re-invest in infrastructure improvements
Expedite an increase in workforce skills needed for business
Assist businesses in accessing finance and Government funded business support
Foster a culture of entrepreneurship
Lobby for regulatory changes to create a business-friendly environment

Enterprise M3 can be accessed via or via email at

About the authors

Alan Cole is Social and Economic Research Manager in Hampshire County Council’s Research and Intelligence Group, providing a strong and visible evidence base for decision-making. As an economist Alan has many years’ experience in strategic planning and economic research and in bringing the two together to inform policy. He is responsible for the Hampshire Economic Assessment, the Enterprise M3 Economic Assessment and similar work in the wider area, providing economic and business intelligence services to a number of counties and LEPs. Alan also has a strong interest in the value of public and private sectors working together on economic issues to improve mutual understanding and to develop effective solutions. Working with the former Hampshire Economic Partnership, he was instrumental in developing the original conceptual framework for employment land site assessments on which this Enterprise M3 study is based.

Simon Ward, Managing Director of Propernomics Ltd, is a Chartered Surveyor specialising in property market analysis for public and private sector clients. He is often called as an expert witness or speaker on the strength of his research. Local authorities seek market intelligence and strategic advice on property issues for economic development, forward planning and policy-making. Corporate clients, developers and planning consultants also commission research for feasibility studies and economic impact analysis. He has worked with a number of leading planning barristers on successful projects for clients. Since graduating 30 years ago and following a career in London, Simon has championed the disciplines of property research and related economics, both through his work and leadership of research committees. A special area of interest is researching the true needs of the market, drawing a distinction between the characteristics of property planned, supplied and actually required.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Christina .

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