Yorkshire developers flush with success

PLANS to develop new homes for first time buyers nearly disappeared down the pan for one property company when builders digging the foundations hit some Victorian sewers.

Rather than digging the layout for three terraced townhouses in South Leeds Lydian Developments Ltd found themselves calling for reinforcements as site engineers drew up plans to bottom out the project.

Instead of plumbing the depths of despair the project is now flush with success after they dug out the old pipes, filled in the hole to create solid ground to complete the work and got their planned new build back on track.

“The site was originally part of a much larger development of Victorian terraced homes which were demolished in the 1960s,” explained David Bradley, of Lydian Development Ltd. “This part of the site had been left derelict and used for storage and a builder’s yard. Our excavation was the first movement on it for decades. The red-brick arched ceilings were beautiful. Sadly, they had to go,” he added.

But hidden Victorian treasures were only part of the battle for David and his two co directors, Natasha Whiddon and Kevin Pratt when they expanded their successful rental business into property development.

“We have built an enviable reputation for buying dilapidated old houses and converting them into attractive homes. We felt confident about moving to the next stage of our business growth and actually building some purpose built starter homes,” added David.

“Having bought older houses before we assumed it would be an easy conversion and that raising finance would be easy. Nothing could have been further from the truth.”

Despite having a sustainable business model and a well designed product the trio quickly discovered that investors and traditional lenders would only deal with experienced property developers.

“It’s madness. How can you become an experienced developer without your first project?” asked David. “We eventually overcame the hurdles and learnt some valuable lessons in the process that we are able to take into our second development due to start soon,” he added.

Left to right Builder, Natasha Whiddon, David Bradley and Kevin Pratt of Lydian Investments.