Paragon, Smeaton Close, Aylesbury

Paragon was conceived by Brunel Securities LLP to be an exciting new high-quality office development in Brunel Park, Aylesbury’s newest employment area. It offered occupiers the unique ability to choose between two distinct consented office schemes on one site:

Paragon One was designed to provide 7 small, self-contained, 2-storey offices with units ranging in size from 1,726 sq ft (160.4 sq m) to 2,297 sq ft (213.4 sq m), each available for sale freehold, together with 56 car parking spaces and external landscaping;

Paragon Two was an impressive single headquarters office building of 13,403 sq ft (1,245 sq m), but able to be let on a floor-by-floor basis from 6,680 sq ft (620 sq m) if required.

Disappointingly, after 7 years of active marketing for the consented schemes and also alternative employment uses (stp), no serious expressions of interest materialised, and both office consents lapsed during 2014, and the site remained undeveloped, with then-current (and forecast) achievable rents in Aylesbury making speculative office development unviable.

Accordingly a decision was taken to seek a change of use to residential use, and a planning application for 24 x 2-bed flats was submitted. This was subsequently refused by the LPA with tenuous reasons given to safeguard existing employment sites, regardless of an over-supply of employment land and existing stock. We therefore believed we had a very strong case to overturn the decision, and accordingly an appeal was lodged in October 2015 and allowed by the Inspector in March 2016.

A new marketing campaign was immediately launched to offer the site for sale through sole selling agents Brown and Lee, with the benefit of an outline residential consent. A number of above-expectations offers were quickly received and the site was sold to Kensington-based SN Residential Ltd in July.