Feeling stuck in the office now the autumn-through-to-winter work slog has begun? Perhaps a railway tour of England’s latest development sites is what you need
With excellent timing Network Rail has just revealed plans to auction off land for a whopping 12,000 new homes by 2020.
The organisation responsible for managing the UK’s railway infrastructure has identified 200 sites for redevelopment, with 20 inner-city plots already reserved for large-scale schemes.
Alongside 5,000 homes planned for London, there are 3,600 earmarked for Manchester and the North, 1,700 for the Midlands and East, and around 1,400 homes for the South.
So now is a great time for any fortunate discount holders to flex their young person’s or senior railcards, book a super-saver return (while they still exist) and see a few of these sites.
With plots going to market on a site-by-site basis as early as next spring, making early contact with potential developers and sharing your ideas for innovative schemes could be a winning strategy.
There’s also no harm in thinking big as Network Rail is considering grouping some plots together to be sold as multi-site developments.
In a similar vein, the Ministry of Defence has also announced plans to dispose of 13 sites, creating space for up to 17,000 homes and raising this column’s total development potential to 29,000 units.
While it’s definitely best viewing these sites from afar – unless barbed wire and annoyed security are a must for your Instagram feed – there are some absolute gems in the £225 million mix.
These include the Grade II-listed Amport House (pictured) near Andover, Hampshire, which features gardens designed by Edwin Lutyens and was formerly a chaplaincy centre. Prestige eco-mansion anyone?
Also up for redevelopment are two golf courses – one at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire and the other at Southwick Park, Hampshire – alongside, more predictably a mixed bag of disused barracks, bases and airfields.