Interim strategies

QED is passionate about bringing disused or underutilised land back into viable use and we are investing in pilot projects that test the viability of our thinking.

Our award-winning shipping container pilot scheme for the Brighton Housing Trust is the first moveable accommodation scheme of its kind – providing much needed ‘move-on’ accommodation in the city.

Taking lessons learned from this and other projects, QED is continuing to find ways to exploit empty spaces and reusable buildings – whether its shipping containers or off-site, modular units – creating value through short-term land use with building blocks that can be moved and re-used again and again.

"Once you recognise that land in limbo is a resource, an asset rather than a liability, then actually it’s inexcusable to simply be in denial about it and do nothing about it" Chris Baines (CABE Space Enabler)

Temporary Housing

Pockets of land that are either difficult to develop, in public sector ownership, awaiting agreement on long-term regeneration plans represent one of the best affordable and viable options on which to deliver temporary housing.

Interim development turns land from a liability to an asset and offers local authorities better value compared with short-term private sector alternatives such as B&B.

Have you identified a development site for your temporary accommodation needs, are you interested in modular development, yet uncertain on how to ascertain the information you need to take it forward? If the answers are yes, a light touch feasibility (LTF) study can help you understand your options.

"With temporary emergency accommodation in such short supply interim schemes can provide a much needed lifeline for many. QED’s Marston Court is a ground-breaking development to provide temporary accommodation for homeless people."
Bob Blackman MP
Sponsor of the Homelessness Reduction Bill

Early transformation

There are long term benefits in applying ‘interim use’ strategies to development projects. Not only can they deliver a rapidly deployable stop-gap for longer-term regeneration, but also become a prototype of the character of the new development.

By quickly animating and activating an empty site, stakeholders develop an early understanding of its potential as a place.

There are opportunities for early wins by developing interim income streams and enhancing desirability for future tenants. What’s more, businesses may also flourish and provide readymade tenants that can migrate into permanent space over time – it’s basically soft marketing for subsequent development.

The ‘temporary use of vacant buildings or land for social or economic gain until they can be brought back into commercial use’ is a practical way to use the standard pauses in property processes. These are usually derived from the traditional cycle of design, permissions, build, market, tenant, re-market that every development undergoes and a tool for regeneration.

"Utilise land today rather than wait for tomorrow"

Flexible phasing

‘Interim’ or ‘meanwhile’ use strategies not only bring early regeneration benefits to communities while encouraging commercial, retail and leisure activities during development, but they also help investors secure ‘proof of concept’ in terms of future phases.

Imagine a fully moveable development providing easy-to-let temporary accommodation for up to 5 years, which generates business, training and employment opportunities, while other parts of the project are being built. Imagine a development where future phases are informed by the success or otherwise of earlier phases. Imagine a development which is eminently flexible throughout each phase, responding to a community’s needs, changing markets, trends and financial influences, while still providing reusable spaces that can be moved as the phases are built.

‘Interim’ by definition offers opportunities for flexibility, innovation and certainty of success in each phase.

Reducing risk

As a concept, ‘meanwhile’ or ‘interim’ use encompasses the philosophy that empty space is wrong and can be used to create opportunities for people. However, intelligent use of unproductive empty buildings and underused land not only benefits communities, but also developers.

While many landowners believe that leaving a site empty and unattended is the most economical means of management prior to redevelopment, demonstrating the potential of a site helps to engender confidence in landowners and stakeholders. Staged construction phases, working in parallel with interim use helps to prove the value of the site, thus reducing risk in future phases.