BXB advises landowners and investors in adding value to land that is constraint, or surplus to requirements. With dereliction acting as a disincentive to investment, BXB serves to realise enhanced development value through early removal of financial, planning and liability impediments, and market understanding.
BXB works with owner-occupiers, companies and the financial sector, to facilitate the following key objectives:
• Future proofing facility closure
• Cash generation for core business activities
• Strategic management of land portfolio
• Asset management to meet corporate objectives
• Liability transfer & closure
BXB offers many services to landowners and institutions, including:
A bespoke arrangement which enables the current landowner to pass all on and off-site, past, present and future liabilities to BXB. This arrangement passes the ‘information exclusion test’ and can be structured so a timeframe is agreed to ensure that the land does not constitute contaminated land under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act.
BXB can simply act as purchaser and acquire land. Our expertise in contaminated land provides comfort to the vendor that land is sold to an orgainsation that understands the risk. Our legal structure ensures the sale passes the information exclusion test.
BXB can take on the role of financier and fund the necessary work required to remove all the development constraints from land, thus ensuring full market value is achieved. In this instance an arm’s length corporate structure is established, with BXB taking on management responsibility for all aspects of the project. These projects are structured around a profit share arrangement with the current landowner.
BXB can provide a comprehensive consultancy service. This service can commence before site closure or at a later stage. Typically, BXB will seek retention and a success fee based on the size of the transaction.
Contaminated land is often given a negative land value which requires significant monies to realise its true value. BXB’s principal services is to enable informed discussion at all stages of the development process.
BXB’s understanding of this process and the corporate requirements of end users provides us with the expertise to promote the viability of land and enable rational and informed discussions to take place prior to the commencement of a project.
Our understanding of the regulator requirements and their policies are criteria to the management of any project. Achieving the key planning and remedial milestones and establishing the correct legal framework are evidence that the contamination constraints have been fully addressed and that land is free from constraints thus allowing its development value to be realised. Its our express understanding of this process that allows BXB to generate significant value from contaminated land.
If required by the vendor, BXB can deliver a full environmental liability transfer arrangement. Such an arrangment allows the current vendor to pass all on and off site, past, present and future environmental liabilities to BXB. This structure passes the information exclusion test and is layered with a bespoke ten year environmental insurance policy which covers clean up, bodily injury and property damage on and off site. Our structure was successfully used by Hays Chemicals Ltd.
In 2006 the private equity owners of Hays Chemicals Ltd had agreed an in principle sale of the company to the German chemical giant Brenntag. Included within the company portfolio was a 57-acre manufacturing complex in Cheshire.
Under the terms of the contract Brenntag would not accept any existing or historic environmental liability, both parties commissioned WSP and their initial remedial options estimated a remediation cost of between £5-25m.
Brenntag requested a reduction in the purchase price to reflect this environmental risk. An environmental remediation strategy, acceptable to both parties and an environmental deed, satisfying Brenntag’s lawyers, was attached to an insurance policy thereby indemnifying Brenntag from future liabilities.
The transaction was successfully completed at the orginal purchase price.
The Brunel Copper Works in Cwmavon, Port Talbot was allocated within the Neath & Port Talbot local plan, however it had failed to come forward for development for over 15 years. This was due to the fact that the cost of a full site investigation and understanding the development constraints were seen as prohibitive to the landowner. With the abnormal development costs unknown, it was difficult for the landowner to understand the risk profile. In addition to this, a new technical advice note on flooding issued by the Welsh Assembly had blighted a significant area of the site, rendering residential development unviable.
By partnering with BXB, a remediation strategy, outline planning consent and abnormal cost schedule were delivered within 18 months, allowing the onward sale of the site to Barratt, South Wales. In addition, BXB demonstrated the site met the flooding criteria set out in the new technical advice, ensuring the footprint of the site was maximised. BXB’s expert advice and support resulted in the landowner securing a payment from Barratt £2 million in excess of their initial expectation.
In 2006, private investors incorporated Bluefield Sandbach Limited (BSL) to acquire the 57-acre, former Albion Chemical, site from Hays Chemicals (now called Brenntag).
The key terms of the deal, including a comprehensive environmental deed for the clean-up, consisted of the following:
• Sale and leaseback for a term of 3 years
• Existing use value paid for the land
• Monies placed in an escrow account for remediation of the site
• Working capital
• Negotiation of an environmental deed which secured the environmental ‘liability transfer’ to BSL and a charge in favour of Brenntag was registered at land registry which required BSL to seek the consent and approval of Brenntag if land was sold prior to statutory sign off
• Joint appointment of an environmental consultant to oversee the remediation process and authorise the drawdown of Escrow monies
In addition to this, BSL secured a bespoke environmental insurance policy cover of £5m via Chubb in favour of Brenntag for a period of 10 years. This
covered the following:
• Bodily injury
• Property damage
• Remediation costs resulting from a pollution incident
To date, under the guidance of BXB directors, BSL have successfully surrendered the following site-specific operational consents at Sandbach:
• Top tier COMAH Status
• Waste Management Licence
• IPPC Consent
• Hazardous substance consent
Planning permission was successfully secured for mixed-use planning permission for the whole site and, in July 2015, Taylor Wimpey completed the acquisition of 25 acres of land for residential development.
It is forecasted that this disposal will pay back the investors their initial investment and generate a profit in excess of the initial forecasts. BSL will retain circa 15 acres of development land, which is currently being promoted for residential development.
A qualified Town Planner, with twenty years of experience of working within the public and private sectors. Managerial and team leadership experience gained at English Partnerships, HJ Banks & Company, McCarthy & Stone and private practice has resulted in the participation in a number of successful strategic brownfield projects involving residential, commercial, leisure, retail and community uses.
This experience, coupled with a long standing track record of identifying viable land opportunities within this sector, and then successfully delivering them to the development market, has provided a sound working knowledge of all aspects of the development & planning process associated with contaminated land.
Mobile: +44 (0)777 624 1531
A qualified Chartered Accountant, who worked for Arthur Anderson, with a degree in Engineering Science. Over twenty-eight years of financial and managerial experience including Financial Director of a construction company. Responsible for the day-to-day operation of the finance function, including bank and stock exchange compliance.
Neil acquired a distressed property company in partnership with N M Rothschild and successfully restructured its problematic debt. This company was sold to a listed property investment company and roles as Finance Director, then Chief Executive followed with the PLC Group.
Mobile: +44 (0)774 747 0191
A qualified Environmental Engineer with nineteen years’ experience in brownfield land investigation and remediation. This includes management and participation in over 300 investigations, risk assessment and remediation projects at industrial facilities, residential developments, commercial developments, nuclear facilities, airport facilities, former gasworks, refineries, tanneries, retail petroleum sites and bulk distribution terminals.
The majority of current project work comprises technical and contractual management in relation to brownfield redevelopment sites. This typically involves a detailed review of available data and development of conceptual models, risk assessments and bespoke remedial design.
Solutions designed, installed and operated include: excavation, separate phase hydrocarbon product recovery systems, air sparging systems, soil vacuum extraction systems, dual phase vacuum extraction, vapour mitigation systems, ground stabilisation, groundwater pump and treat systems, ex-situ bio-piles, boundary cut off walls and hydraulic control.
Mobile: +44 (0)785 471 0099