Engen Group, the UK based innovation and property business which focusses on addressing environmental challenges such as affordable and sustainable housing, is seeking to raise £3,000,000 from sophisticated HNW investors to develop the Wood Street Village Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) west of Guildford, which falls within the Thames Heath Basin Special Protection Area (SPA).
The investment takes the form of a simple loan with a 24-month term and 10% pa interest payable. The minimum investment is £5,000.
SANGs are areas of countryside that are developed and maintained as public-access recreational parks used to offset the impact of nearby residential development and SPAs, in this case the Thames Heath Basin area of Surrey, which is home to some important and rare wildlife and biodiversity.
Alternative green spaces
The SANG will divert people from using protected areas by providing alternative green spaces, complete with walking paths, children’s playgrounds, nature trails, cafes and other recreational facilities.
Engen Group has an interest in 41.57% of the 34-hectare greenfield site, a share valued at just under £8,000,000 by an expert surveyor who is part of the professional body the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The new £3m funding will be used to appoint the charity The Land Trust to develop and manage the land to ensure it meets SANG criteria. This will help enable Guildford Borough Council to unblock the planning consent bottleneck for much-needed residential development and to address its shortage of affordable housing for low income residents.
Once the SANG has been developed by the Land Trust, it is then available as an environmental damage avoidance measure for new residential construction. The site allows a total of 1,700 homes to be built within the 5km catchment area of Wood Street Village SANG – each home is worth a unit of SANG.
Housebuilders must apply for a tariff
Housebuilders must apply for a tariff on the SANG corresponding to the number of homes they intend to build to offset the increased pressure on the environment. The tariff is payable before planning permission is implemented. Developers have already expressed an interest in a total of 1,433 units or 82% of the site.
Graeme Boiardini, CEO of Engen Group said:
“Wood Street Village SANG offers investors the opportunity to make a positive impact environmentally and socially. It will help protect important habitats and countryside and will ensure new developments in the areas are as sustainable as possible, as well as helping to deliver much needed affordable housing for residents. It also provides diversification for sophisticated investors during these turbulent times.”