Fenn Wright are delighted to support Lanswood with new educational facility in Elmstead Market

07 Dec 23

Fenn Wright are pleased to have worked with our longstanding client, Lanswood, on their groundbreaking planning application in Elmstead Market which will see the delivery of a 5 acre educational facility, known as Market Field Farm.

Market Field Farm will provide Special Educational Needs (SEN) facilities to the district and be run by the charity, Market Field Grows, connected to Market Field School in Elmstead.  They advise that only 5% of SEN secondary school leavers go on to long term employment and will seek to address this appalling statistic by giving students an opportunity once they finish their education.

Through the innovative planning application made by Chris Board at ABC Planning, supported by the excellent design work, produced by the team at Wincer Kievenaar, headed up by Philip Branton, the team at Lanswood are working with Market Field Grows to deliver the school.  Where the wider system has failed to meet the SEN needs of the community, the private sector has stepped up, with Lanswood guaranteeing to deliver the facility and balance the cost of Market Field Farm by building 126 dwellings on land adjacent to the site.  A spokesperson for the charity commented:

“We have created an idea for an enterprise, which supports a broad sweep of job types from catering to horticulture to woodwork and administration. These commercial activities will be incorporated into a landscape which promotes sustainable living, sees a biodiversity gain across the site, whilst ensuring we are commercially viable and successful.

We will welcome visitors onto our site, offering a shop, café, bakery, library and resource centre, flower farm, upcycled furniture shop, craft barn and small animal petting area. We will grow our own produce for sale in the shop and to use in our kitchens. Working with experienced horticulturalists we will develop a flower farm across the five acres, which will supply local florists, venues and people looking for something beautiful for their home, wedding or special occasion.”


John Birchall MRICS, a Partner of Fenn Wright, was instructed by Lanswood to provide financial viability advice to support the planning application, helping to understand the number of dwellings that would be required to meet the cost of the school.  Financial viability and feasibility require an understanding of both planning policy as well as in-depth knowledge of the valuation of development sites, to demonstrate to planning decision makers what concessions will need to be made to enable development.

Often these concessions may be a consequence of very high site costs, or in this instance, as the applicant was seeking to deliver essentially a high specification education facility.  The instruction involved negotiating with the local authority and their representatives.  The planning application can be viewed on the Tendring Council planning portal under ref: 22/02076/FUL.

John commented “Whilst we are always very proud of the work we undertake; this instruction was something that the whole planning and design team can be especially proud of.  Lanswood and Market Fields Grows, will undoubtedly deliver a facility that will serve generations to come, and meet a much needed SEN shortfall.  Lanswood have been brave, looking to deliver an innovative facility, together with high quality housing, against a backdrop of developers struggling to deliver the most basic of infrastructure.”


Maria Montgomery, Head of New Homes at Fenn Wright, is selling a number of houses at Chattowood, a Lanswood Homes development located to the south of the site which incorporates Lanswood’s usual high quality design accompanied by landscaping by Beth Chatto Gardens – available properties can be viewed here.

Fenn Wright are trusted to provide development site valuations for a variety of clients and purposes, and regularly instructed to act as Expert Witness on the matter of development site valuation by courts to assist in determining asset values.  Some of our corporate clients include Lloyds Bank, Natwest Bank, Handelsbanken, The Royal Horticultural Society, The Secretary of State for Education, Lanswood and various other developers, local authorities and individuals.

We undertake a broad range of advice services including, financial viability, feasibility, loan security, option negotiation and overage negotiations, to name but a few.  If you have a development site that you require specialist advice on, then we would be pleased to have a discussion.  Please contact John Birchall MRICS on 01473 417720 or email jpb@fennwright.co.uk