An impression of a row of houses

Steele Raymond advise Pennyfarthing Homes on new residential development in Verwood

Leading residential development solicitors Steele Raymond have advised Pennyfarthing Homes on the sale of 66 residential units to Sovereign Housing association located on the new Potters Wood site in Verwood, Dorset.

The sale, which is Pennyfarthing Homes’ biggest affordable housing transaction to date, forms phase two of a three phase project which will see the completion of 230 new two, three and four bedroom detached and semi-detached houses.

The sale comes at a time of significant growth for the regional house builder, which in 2020 experienced its strongest year for homes delivery, despite Covid-19 restrictions and the uncertainty felt by many in the sector. 

The legal components of the sale were led by Steele Raymond Partner and residential development specialist, Chris Dolan.

Commenting on the scale and challenges presented by the transaction, Chris said: “We are tremendously pleased to have been able to act for Pennyfarthing Homes on such a significant sale for their growing business.

“The scale of the project and some nuances in respect of land ownership required close attention, but all parties were happy with an efficient transaction which was completed promptly.”

The transfer to Sovereign Housing Association was unusual in that, at the time of completion, Pennyfarthing Homes had yet to acquire all of the land on which the 66 units are to be built.

In order to overcome the legal aspects of this issue, the sale was structured by Steele Raymond’s residential development solicitors into three separate land transfers and three separate development agreements, each of which will be entered into as the next phases of land are acquired.

Sarah Newman, Development Manager, Sovereign, said: We’re excited to move forward with the new development at Potters Wood and bring quality affordable homes to an area of high housing need. We’re building the right homes in the right places and the hard work of all involved has made a complex negotiation run smoothly with a great result. I’m looking forward to seeing the development take place and residents moving into their new homes later this year.

Ben Arnold, Land and Planning Director at Pennyfarthing Homes, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for everyone at Pennyfarthing and we are delighted to be moving forward with the project.

“With several parties subject to the agreement, there were some complexities and potential challenges. However, these were handled effectively and to have completed within a three-month timeframe is certainly noteworthy.”

The transaction necessitated the support and involvement of Pennyfarthing Homes’ funders for the development, Heritable Bank, and also the previous landowner, Eastworth Farm Limited, as it has an integral involvement in the ongoing project.

In addition, the transaction had to complement the private plot sales for the Potters Wood development as demand is expected to be very high after the success of Phase one.

Speaking on his experience of working alongside the firm, Ben said: “We have used Chris [Dolan] for a long time and our confidence in both him and Steele Raymond as a firm is unquestionable.”

As one of the largest regional house builders in the South, Pennyfarthing Homes are working on a number of new high-quality development schemes throughout the New Forest, Dorset and BCP areas.

If you would like to discuss your legal options with our residential development solicitors in Bournemouth, please contact Chris Dolan on 01202 294 566 or email

Courtesy of Steele Raymond