The Cotswolds badly needs good office space, but that space needs enough parking to accommodate the workforce. That's the view of Nick Haines, partner at Hazlewoods accountants who welcomes Robert Hitchin's development at Barnwood Point.
"Quality office space is at a premium, but too often new offices are built without sufficient spaces for cars. However good public transport links are, people want independence and that means allowing for their cars." Nick cites the example of Gloucester Business Park near Junction 11A of the M5, where workers park in local residential streets because there isn't enough office parking.
"The Government has acknowledged the importance of infrastructure through its support of infrasture through its support for transport investment across the Cotswolds detailed across these pages. What's needed now is action."
But with lending from the banks still tight unless developers have a rock solid financial track record, will development be left to the big boys? Not entirely. Smaller developers are turning to private investors to get projects off the ground on commerical and residential projects.
"With an acknowledged shortage of housing, residential development is an attractive investment," says Nick.
"We are seeing small local developers talking to those who have perhaps sold their business, made some cash and don't see much return in traditional investments. In fact we've introduced a number to each other. It's potentially a good way to get a better return than might be available with the traditional funding routes. Investing, say, £300,000 in a small scheme could give a healthy return, especially with the current confidence in the property market."
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