Drake Howard Property specialises in commercial property management and in this capacity has looked after motor trade dealerships at London Road on behalf of an investor client for close to 10 years. The Honda and Volvo dealerships have been on the site for more than 25 years, since the site was developed for the owner’s car sales business.

Our property management tenure has seen ongoing development at Airport Retail Park opposite and reconfiguration of Tollbar Island. Construction of both impacted on the dealerships, which has necessitated interaction with the Highways Agency.

While changes to the line and junctions of London Road has caused headaches, there has been an upside, according to the agent. “Having built contacts with the Agency we stayed in touch over several years while the works at Tollbar Island were in the planning and construction. The purpose, to acquire the derelict house over-looking Tollbar.

The house known as 552 London Road had been compulsorily acquired by Highways England many years ago, not long after our Client had bought the other half of the semi-detached building. Once work commenced and the garden at 552 was cut in half for road widening, we commenced a campaign of correspondence to maintain an interest in purchase of the derelict building, once declared surplus at the end of road works.

Sometimes it felt like we were walking in treacle as the Tollbar Island works over-ran scheduled completion. But 5 years on, the property has been bought. The building, remaining garden land and access track will provide additional parking for the motor trade dealerships. The land and income derived from it will be added to the client portfolio, to remain under management and improvement by Drake Howard Property Limited.