05 February 2015


Planning Permission Granted for French Fields

Thursday 05 February 2015 – Planning permission has today been granted on a two acre site in Cheshire that will transform a derelict rural industrial site into 18 individual custom build plots and bring aspirational home ownership to the North West.

Brought to fruition by developer Mark Ward in association with custom build specialists BuildStore and Potton Homes, this landmark decision signals the end of a detailed planning application process and presents custom build as a viable self build option for those wishing to create the home of their dreams.

Located in the Bold Forest Park and in a designated greenbelt area, the site will accommodate 18 freehold plots of variable sizes, enabling either a well-proportioned four or five-bedroom detached home to be built for an average plot price of £150,000. And due to the flexibility of custom build, the shape, size, design or style of home will not be restricted – so if a double garage, home cinema or games room is desired then it can be accommodated into the plot dimensions and design process.

With over half of plots already reserved, site clearance and the installation of roads and services will commence during March 2015 with foundations being prepared for the first plot end April. With six plots already ‘design-ready’, the first phase of the build (eg. frame construction) will commence during the favourable summer months, with anticipated first completions in less than twelve months.

Unlike self build where responsibility for securing land, obtaining permissions and establishing groundworks lies with the individual self builder, this custom build proposition delivers fully serviced plots, ready to build on, with access and services in place. Applicable to all, regardless of skills and experience, this offers self builders the opportunity to do as much or as little as they desire whilst still achieving significant savings and additional Group Build Discounts compared to purchasing a developer-led new build.

Appointed as sole managing agents, BuildStore will provide French Fields self builders with a cohesive custom build solution - from offering specialist finance, insurance and warranty through to project management, advisory services, sourcing trades and ensuring that all aspects of the build process are carried out on time and to schedule. Raymond Connor, Chief Executive, BuildStore Ltd, “We are delighted that permission has been granted to proceed with this innovative custom build opportunity. Key to delivering this proposition was reliable, local information on the demand for custom build. Through dedicated consultation events and utilising BuildStore’s Custom Build Register, we were in a position to accurately gauge interest and work with the developer to present French Fields. We look forward to working with custom builders to make French Fields a unique and outstanding custom build site.”

Mark Ward, developer, commented, “This custom build opportunity would not have transpired without the expertise and guidance of BuildStore who have created an essential mentoring link between landowners and self builders. Through this professional chain of expertise, successful and prestigious custom build developments are becoming a reality for self builders. We are proving it’s a success already – we have committed interest from all walks of life – right from first-time buyers to retiring couples. We are also particularly mindful that the greenbelt nature of this site means that the character is more suited to a lower density of development – compared to commercial developments which would have a minimum 30/average 40 homes on similar site dimensions.

“With the additional support of government funding, which recognises the importance of custom build in the UK, derelict land is developed, more affordable homes will be built, local trades will benefit and the dream of owning a home designed for yourself becomes a genuine reality.“

With only limited availability on remaining plots, those interested in the French Fields custom build site are required to register on:


Notes to Editors

  1. Additional comment, interviews and site visits available upon request.
  2. Founded in 1998, BuildStore sits at the forefront of the self build market as the UK’s leading provider of specially tailored solutions and products for self builders and renovators. Its Custom Build Homes division was set up in 2008 to specifically support the custom build sector and works with private and public landowners and local authorities to deliver cohesive custom build solutions.
  3. Typical example build. 4 bedroom detached home: plot £150,000 + build costs £135,000, Total completion cost = £285,000. Average current property price WA9: £445,665 (Zoopla)
  4. The site was formerly Sherdley Remec Ltd – an award-winning engineering business manufacturing conveyors and security cabinets. Its safes can be found in the Tower of London, The House of Commons, The Imperial War Museum and the BBC.
  5. The site is accessible from Junction 8, M42 near the towns of Warrington & St.Helens.
  6. Developer Mark Ward sought funding from the Government’s Custom Build Serviced Plots Loan Fund.

For further information, please contact Anna-Marie De Souza, email:

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