Watkin Jones expands development pipeline to £1.7bn

Build-to-rent and student accommodation developer Watkin Jones stepped up its planning and land buying activity over the summer in the face of strong demand.

In a second-half trading update this morning, Watkin Jones revealed it had secured planning for three more schemes.

These include its biggest build to rent scheme yet of 551 flat in a 30-storey high-rise in the centre of Birminhgam and a mixed student and rental flat scheme in Bath consisting of 315 flats and 335 student beds.

The firm also secured planning for a 370-bed student scheme in Swansea.

Adding to the secured development pipeline Watkin Jones also bought a site in central Nottingham and submitted planning for a 354-bed student scheme.

In London, it snapped up two sites for student accommodation blocks, one in the south and one in the east of the capital for 750 beds and 390 beds respectively.

Richard Simpson, chief executive officer of Watkin Jones, said: “Since our interim results we have continued to make good progress across the business.

“Our delivery teams have performed strongly, with the majority of our developments for delivery in the current financial year already completed.

“We have been active in acquiring high-quality sites, securing planning and also forward selling to a broadening range of institutional investors, enhancing our development pipeline.”

He said that the firm’s development pipeline excluding schemes for completion in the next few months now stood at 3,870 build to rent apartments and 6,750 student beds with a total estimated development value at £1.7bn.

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