Property developer builds its portfolio with funding for Wiltshire housing scheme

September 20, 2019

Wiltshire construction firm Stonewood Builders, which specialises in high-specification refurbishment, conversion and new build projects, is continuing to grow after securing funds to build 38 homes.

Castle Combe-based Stonewood is to build the two, three, four, and five-bed houses – 10 of them affordable – on land it has acquired in Great Somerford, near Chippenham. 

Finance for the development, pictured, is being provided by Stonewood, the Housing Growth Partnership (HGP) – a social impact equity investor backed by Lloyds Bank and Homes England – and a development loan from Close Brothers Property Finance.

The funding was raised through the firm’s recently formed subsidiary Stonewood Partnerships. Legal advice for the deal came from experts from Swindon-headquartered law firm Thrings.

Stonewood group commercial director Ben Lang, pictured below, said: “Our new build developments are an exciting part of Stonewood’s continued growth and, having acquired this site, we are looking forward to working with our funding partners to deliver a high-quality scheme.

“We had a challenging deadline to meet and Thrings worked with us really effectively to get the deal done.”

Stonewood has grown considerably over the past 10 years and currently employs more than 160 qualified professionals. Its clients include the Emily Estate near Castle Cary in Somerset, Bath-headquartered architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Cirencester Park owner Bathurst Estate, and Bath’s five-star Royal Crescent Hotel.

In recent years, its work has won several Federation of Master Builders and Houzz awards while the firm was a finalist in last year’s Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards. 

Stonewood Partnerships directors include finance director Adam Marks and head of development and partnerships Gavin Calthrop.

Thrings’ work on the deal included reviewing the Development Management Agreement, preparing the schedule of amendments to the JCT Design and Build Contract, reviewing the joint venture partnership between Stonewood and HGP, settling shareholder loan documentation and assessing the loan and security terms set by Close Brothers Property Finance.

A JCT (Joint Contracts Tribunal) Design and Build Contract is designed for construction projects where the contractor carries out both the design and the construction work. Design and build projects can vary in scale, but the Design and Build Contract is generally suitable where detailed provisions are needed.

Thrings partner John Richardson said: “Over the past 40 years, Stonewood has built an enviable reputation for excellence in delivering high specification building projects for its clients while maintaining an unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability.

“Thrings is very pleased to have worked with Adam, Gavin, Ben and their team to secure funds which will result in 38 homes being built.”

Stonewood received advice on the property aspects of the transaction from Goughs Solicitors, which has offices in Calne, Chippenham, Corsham, Devizes, Melksham and Trowbridge.

HGP was represented by the Bristol office of international law firm Osborne Clarke, while London-based specialist property law firm Brecher acted on behalf of Close Brothers Property Finance. 



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