Vail Williams added to borough planning framework

Surrey Heath Borough Council adds Vail Williams as one of their trusted partners after a tender process.
November 13, 2023
Headshot photo of Geoff Fallon
Vail Williams has been added to the Surrey Heath Borough Council planning framework for commercial property.

The property consultancy is one of just six firms on the list.

The council put out a tender document earlier this year for the provision of property services, of which one was for commercial property.

Vail Williams has already worked for the council, advising them on property valuations for five years on a yet-to-start redevelopment project in London Road, Camberley so it is very much a continuing relationship for the firm.

Vail Williams’ Surrey Regional Managing Partner Geoff Fallon said: “It is a change of direction from them to get a framework in place with a number of firms on it and then award work as it comes along or have a mini-tender process.

“It is a similar process to that of many other local authorities and is a means of saving council tax-payers’ money by buying in our professional services and utilising our specialist skill sets only when required.“The commercial property framework we are on is broad and includes pretty much all our services – agency, investment, valuation, building consultancy, strategic advice, planning and property management.

“It is not an exclusive contract and we expect the work to be shared out equally among the chosen contractors, which is a very fair system.

“We are giving the council our breadth of expertise at any time, right across the board, including multi-disciplinary specialists from all our regions. We can act as soon as we are given instructions.”

Vail Williams is on a similar contract with Guildford Borough Council and works with Surrey County Council, has a property management role with Woking Borough Council and is already doing continual work with Spelthorne Borough Council, Elmbridge Borough Council and Runnymede Borough Council.

Geoff added: “We do a lot of work for the local authorities across our patch and have been successful in this. We are looking forward to continuing our working relationship with Surrey Heath Borough Council.

“For us, it is about being involved with the council, to advise them and help them look after and get best value from their public assets for the benefit of residents – and acquire assets to add to their portfolio and make disposals of their behalf..

“It is all about adding back to your community and we do it in lots of different ways. Working with the councils and having a positive affect is a good thing to do.

“From our point of view is it also excellent marketing that we can demonstrate our ability to work with councils and would expect this to open doors elsewhere. It also gives us an edge over local competitors.”

Surrey Heath Borough Council published its Property Acquisition and Disposal Strategy earlier this year. This sets out the strategy for the purposes of economic development, regeneration, protection of local employment opportunities and sustainability of town centres within the borough.

Key objectives include acquiring and disposing of properties, building a balanced property portfolio to minimise risk of over-exposure to single sectors of the market, achieving an even balance of risk and return through portfolio diversification, identifying and managing risks through the acquisition and disposal process and acquiring a suitable grade of properties.