Example #1

Case Studies 1Introduction:

Pendragon Plc operated a very successful BMW and Mini dealership from premises in Tring, Hertfordshire, involving approximately 2 acres of land and 18,000 sq ft of buildings located just 30 miles from Central London.

The Mini franchise had become a tremendous success and revised franchise standards as well as practical considerations related to increased turnover, compelled Pendragon to consider larger facilities for Mini.


Case Studies 2

The Problem:

There was insufficient space for Pendragon to undertake expansion works within the original area of their demise as the adjoining land was shared with other occupiers, most notably a petrol filling station and an office known as Enterprise House. The other adjoining tenanted interests physically restricted expansion of the area leased to Pendragon.

In addition, the site is located in an area that is subject to a number of development restraint planning policies that curtail the ability to develop or expand the site any further. These included planning policies related to the Green Belt, the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its location beside the Grand Union Canal, its proximity to a Scheduled Ancient Monument and its inclusion with an Area of Archaeological Interest.

The solution by Plato Estates Limited

This was a three stage process:



Obtaining Planning Permission:

  • After researching the site's history, Plato Estates initially made an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness in respect of various consents for workshop extensions to the existing BMW dealership that had been partially undertaken in the 1980's but which had never been completed.
  • The Certificate of Lawfulness for these old works was granted without appeal by the Local Authority in the autumn of 2004.
  • Plato Estates subsequently consulted with the Local Authority and all other interested parties including the neighbouring local community and made an application for planning permission to convert and extend the adjoining Enterprise House office building in order to create a new 5,500 sq ft dealership facility for the Mini franchise.
  • The application gave significant attention to details of design, landscaping, materials, and most significantly proposed surrendering the aforementioned recently obtained Certificate of Lawfulness if permission for the new Mini facility were to be granted.
  • Subsequently, the Local Planning Authority resolved to grant planning consent in January 2005 subject to a S.106 planning agreement that revoked the aforementioned Certificate of Lawfulness granted in 2004.




Revising Neighbouring Leasehold Interests:

  • Plato Estates undertook extensive and complicated negotiations with the existing tenants of the filling station whilst preparing the aforementioned planning application.
  • These negotiations sought a variation to the areas of land leased to those other occupiers that did not compromise the filling station activity but which released land that could then be used to accommodate the development of Pendragon's proposed new Mini dealership whilst also offering benefits to the Landlord and occupiers of the office building too.
  • Plato Estates successfully concluded these negotiations and drafted Heads of Terms with all parties from which solicitors were able to execute a legal agreement in the Spring of 2005.




Construction & building works:

  • Plato Estates initially placed a proposal before Pendragon whereby Plato Estates, would fund the development in full and would build the new Mini dealership and then grant a lease of the new facility to Pendragon.
  • For various reasons that related to Pendragon's business plan, it was later agreed that Pendragon would fund the development themselves, and Plato Estates negotiated a new lease of the existing Enterprise House building and the additional related land.
  • The attached photographs show the existing Enterprise House building and the new Mini showroom that Plato Estates secured planning consent for. This project has enabled Pendragon to keep both components of their successful dealership operation (namely BMW & Mini) on the same site and has avoided a costly and disruptive relocation.