Christmas Hill

Westhall Estates in conjunction with its funders Blakelands LLP and W Lamb Developments Ltd acquired this prime 10.8 acre greenfield site on the edge of an existing industrial cluster fronting A329 Rycote Lane, Thame, on the western side of the town and less than 5 minutes from J7 M40.

Whilst Thame continues to be well-represented by small, medium and large businesses, their growth plans are invariably constrained by a lack of suitable stock, resulting in companies relocating away from the town and into neighbouring districts in some instances. Potential inward investors are also prevented from relocating to the town for similar reasons and this site, which could accommodate up to 200,000 sq ft of B-class uses, would be an invaluable addition to the town’s supply situation.

Outline planning permission was granted in March 2020 for a scheme of up to 180,000 sq ft / 16,722 sq m of small to medium sized B2/B8 units (maximum individual unit size of 53,800 sq ft / 5,000 sq m), with ancillary light industrial and offices, with all matters reserved save for access. The scheme is to be known as Christmas Hill Business Park and will be constructed to an extremely high standard, including up to 12 metres minimum eaves height, up to 50 metre yards, 50 kN/m2 floor loading, fully fitted open plan first floor offices with showers and changing facilities, BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and EPC ‘A’ ratings, with PV renewable energy and electric vehicle charging points and ducting to all units.

Reserved matters approval was obtained in March 2022, having had all pre-commencement conditions previously discharged. Parkway Construction MK Ltd were appointed again to undertake construction of the entire scheme under a single phase D&B contract and Practical Completion was achieved on units 1-6 in June 2023 and August 2023 for units 7-15 together with the S.278 highway works.

Contracts were also exchanged in March 2022 for the forward sale of the whole development to a PLC institutional investor upon achieving practical completion, however the transaction unexpectedly became abortive in January 2023 through no fault of our own. This left the scheme without a purchaser but we continue to experience strong levels of interest, with units 2 and 7 let and units 3, 9, 10, 11 and 15 currently under offer (totalling 78% by floor area) and will seek to take the investment to the market when market conditions have sufficiently improved.

Savills, Oxford (Charles Rowton-Lee, Jan Losch and Liv Thomas) and M1 Agency, London (Ed Spooner, Henry Watson and Sophie Cordery) are joint sole letting agents and all details regarding the scheme can be obtained directly from them.