International law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised the government's housing and regeneration agency on the sale of land which will facilitate more than 70 homes in East Devon.

The firm has supported Homes England on the sale of 80,000 sq ft of land in Colyton to developer Wain Homes, enabling the development of 72 homes and six light industrial units on the site, which was previously the home of porcelain and ceramics business CeramTec.

The mixed-use development, which sits north of Sidmouth Road, will also see a play area and open space constructed along with upgrades to landscaping, drainage, and highway access.

The sale comes after Homes England completed extensive demolition and remediation work on the site, which had previously been considered unviable by private developers due to remediation costs, with Wain Homes now able to progress with construction and delivery after planning approval was granted in February.

A WBD team, led by managing associate Christopher Stephens in the firm's real estate team, advised on the sale. Christopher said: 

"We are proud to support Homes England in this project and play our part in what marks a major step in the regeneration of an area key to Colyton's past."

With a need to navigate complex property matters and understand the importance of facilitating high-quality homes which will boost stock in the region, our team was thrilled to support this transaction and look forward to seeing Wain Homes transform the site into a top-tier housing development."

As part of the new development, at least 20 per cent of the homes built are planned to form part of East Devon District Council's affordable housing stock.

Sam Gammon, Senior Development Manager at Homes England, said: 

"The grant of Reserved Matters Approval for the redevelopment of the former CeramTec Factory site and its subsequent sale to Wain Homes marks a major step forward in the regeneration of this important site in Colyton.

Homes England’s intervention at this site was necessary to overcome a variety of technical, legal and other challenges that would have seen this site lay vacant and derelict for years to come. It is a testament to the skill and effort of the Colyton team that these challenges have been overcome and the consented scheme has recently been shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards 2024.

We are very grateful to the WBD team for their deep-reaching expertise and their solution-orientated advice as we worked to resolve site redevelopment risks and complete the sale of the site.”