Clients have asked us several times in the last few weeks what the effect of the lorry park which is proposed next to the M20 at near Junction 11 and is intended to to relieve Operation Stack may have on residential property values. There is no easy answer and with the information to hand it is simply not possible to say with any certainty whether they will fall or remain as they are. What is probable though is that while the final plans are unknown any property that would or might be affected will be harder to sell.
Although initial government consultation has concluded on the two proposed schemes there is no decision yet as to which of the proposals is to be adopted – most indications and commentators suggest that Stanford North is the preferred [or perhaps least worst] option, we expect an initial decision at the end of March and then further consultation during April and May.
At this time there are no indications of the design and exact extent of the lorry park nor what materials, sound mitigation, lighting control, access routes, environmental design, infrastructure, buildings, air quality management and similar might be proposed.
It is understood that the facility is intended to be 24 hour operation used not only to relieve Operation Stack but also fly parking and the to control lorry traffic into Dover. The consultation document indicated very vague suggested areas for the parking areas but these drawings from Shepway give a clearer indication of the possible full extent of a 150 acre lorry park.
It is my view that negative impact on property values is inevitable and this will vary depending upon the proximity of a property to the lorry park or, if the property is more remote, whether it’s views and aspect are compromised. The “real world” example I illustrate below is the view from Postling looking toward the M20 and across the Stanford North option.
Markets hate uncertainty and until a final decision, timetable and design is announced I think values will be depressed, in the short term property will be harder to sell and most surveyors and valuers will flag the risk. Our own Building Surveys & HomeSurvey Reports of properties that are in potentially affected zones currently carry heavy caveats urging purchasers to exercise caution until there is clarity.
After the decision as to site is made I think that values will recover for property which is not in an affected area, but will continue to be depressed and may suffer a further negative move where in a zone that may be directly affected.
Going forwards large civil engineering projects are inevitably disruptive, mucky and noisy and this will not help short term values in these areas. Assuming that the final scheme incorporates sound mitigation measures, light pollution reduction measures, has independent access and is self contained we can envisage property values improving from their lows over an extended period of time but remaining proportionally lower than they are at this time.
Please remember these are my opinions only, I am a Hythe based Chartered Surveyor specialising in the inspection of residential property with nearly 20 years experience of the local property market. There is no substitute for making your own inquiries and obtaining specific valuation advice. All property is different and what may be true for one may not hold for the next. If you are considering property in an area that may be affected by the proposed lorry park we strongly urge caution and a professional building survey. Need advice? Call us 01303 239000