Developer secures planning permission and buys former council complex

By Anita Jaynes on 30 March, 2017

The most important development site in Devizes has been sold to McCarthy and Stone following a deal brokered by Bruton Knowles Property Consultants.

Formerly the headquarters of Kennet District Council, the six and a half acre site on Bath Road has been diligently marketed by Bruton Knowles on behalf of Wiltshire Council to secure the future, and maximise the value of the former HQ complex.

Rob Anthony said: “This is a well-known and fairly complex site involving various buildings which have been declared surplus by the Unitary Authority and we are pleased to have finally seen the main deal over the line.”

“We have been marketing the site since 2013, initially seeking continued employment use. We then sold some of the smaller buildings to the charities Wiltshire Blind and Julia’s House Hospice.

“The main focus was then to secure the disposal of the main Browfort hub and its circa 40,000 sq ft of former council offices and, after 12 months of negotiations and a planning application by the prospective purchaser, a sale has now completed to McCarthy and Stone who have secured planning permission for a retirement scheme set in some five acres of mature parkland.”

Located to the north western edge of Devizes, the site is accessed off the A361 Bath Road providing good connections to Melksham, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Swindon and Bath.

Rob continued: “Browfort was originally constructed in 1876 on the site of an earlier villa. It was purchased in the early 20th Century by Devizes Rural District Council and further developed for Kennet District Council from 1974. It has most recently been occupied by Wiltshire Council.”

“The recent sale shows continued activity in the development land market and particular demand for retirement schemes to meet the requirements of an ageing population.”

Pictured above: An aerial view of the Browfort site