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Satchells Land and Development: Spotlight on Woodland Grange

If you own land in Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire that you feel may be ripe for development, Satchells will work with you to help your asset reach its full potential. Satchells Land and Development team are highly experienced and work closely with architects, planning consultants and developers with unparalleled knowledge and expertise to help guide you through your options.

We have taken on many development projects including the conversion of the Grade-II listed Maltings in Baldock into 13 properties, The Barrell Meeting house owned by Greene King which was converted into town centre houses and The Old Gas works in Baldock which is now a fine development of apartments and houses. But one of the most interesting development schemes and also the most controversial for Satchells has been Woodland Grange in the beautiful village of Steeple Morden near Royston in Hertfordshire.

Case Study: Woodland Grange

Managing Director Alan Hilditch regularly attended a breakfast club within the local community and while there he met Judy who lived in the village. On discovering Alan was an estate agent, Judy told Alan the story of the Whitehouse on Hay Street. This was a huge former nursing home with around 20 bedrooms. It had closed down because the rooms were too small, but it sat in beautiful grounds of eight acres in a prestigious location and in a tranquil setting.

The site had been purchased by a doctor who lived overseas. However, controversially, he wanted to use the vacated property to open a facility for sex offenders. What’s more, he was planning to erect a two metre high secure electric fence around the perimeter to prevent anyone getting in or out.

This caused outrage in this peaceful setting and the ‘Ban the Whitehouse’ campaign was born.

Understandably no-one in the village wanted this change of use to go ahead, so Alan arranged to meet with the owner. During their conversation, the owner explained that he had previously applied for planning permission to convert the site into residential dwellings but planners had turned down his application. The issue was that the local planners did not want the building to be replaced by a mass development of houses.

Alan’s experience and knowledge meant that he was in a position to try and get the planning through for residential use, so he arranged to meet with the local planning officer along with the owner of the Whitehouse to talk proposals through.

After several months of suggestions and having studied the local plan, Alan and his client were advised that the planners may consider a proposal to replace the Whitehouse with just one or two houses, however they then decided to explore the idea of a retirement scheme or an alternative option to convert the original building into apartments instead. 

This was the turning point! Subsequently the site was sold and Woodland Grange became a reality. The result is one of the best exclusive developments in the area in Alan’s opinion.

Woodland Grange is a private, gated development of 19 apartments set within eight acres of peaceful countryside that is managed to this day by the Woodland Wildlife Trust.

The development is perfectly in-keeping with the local area and the residents of the village are delighted.

Each apartment includes a good size lounge dining room with a beautiful feature bay window. There is a modern high specification fitted kitchen with AEG appliances. Upstairs you will find two spacious bedrooms with the extra benefit of a Jack and Jill style en-suite. Outside the property in addition to the beautiful countryside, there is a private garden and two allocated parking spaces.
Should you have buildings or land, Satchells will be delighted to make a provisional assessment of your site. Please contact Alan Hilditch to discuss your next steps on 01462 600900 or email


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