• tonychorsey

You take all the risk!

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

For a property developer every new development lead gets the neurons firing and that buzz of excitement at a new opportunity but pinning down the risk early can make the difference between time spent invaluably or time wasted.

Evaluating a new development opportunity is all about knowing what questions to ask. The list of questions can be vast and will vary massively from site to site and whilst no money's changed hands yet there are significant risks to identify and assess quickly so you don't waste time on a project that's not going to run.

“Good design will add value to any development but good design needs a good brief. Long before buildings are considered the right designer will identify constraints, assess risk, appraise options and help form the right solution. In short, help you produce the brief then, deliver the best solution for that site".

What's at stake?

You're the developer, you know why the site excites you, you know instinctively what your vision would be so will it work? First things first, what are the constraints?

  • Physical - Let's look at the ground, buildings, services, topography, neighbours, light, access, ecology, trees....

  • Financial - Vendor expectations, cash-flow, finance costs, purchase structure, overage...

  • Planning - Context, location, prominence, heritage, history, policies, politics....

  • Construction - Materials, supply chain, contractors, workforce, programme....

  • Disposal - Tenure, market, end users, ongoing liabilities, contracts, values.....

These headings and many more plus the options that exist within them pose risks to the viability of your project. Early answers to these will let you know if the project is right for you or if you should walk away. These answers feed in and form the design brief, provide credibility for investors and security for the developer. If your designer is supporting you in forming the brief you know you're bringing forward the best solution for the site, risk mitigation for the investment and setting the project on solid foundations. Once this is done we'll design you some beautiful buildings.

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"I believe the construction industry is undergoing a renaissance and the next few years will be the most exciting in an already diverse and interesting career"

Tony Horsey - Founder of Ortus

Ortus supports ambitious and forward thinking Property Investors, Developers and a wide array of other clients from the first moment an opportunity is discovered. The thread that joins them all is the understanding that having the right information, at the very beginning of a project, puts them in the very best position for future success.


We work in an industry undergoing unprecedented change and Ortus is in front of this to advise, support and provide our clients with constant and never ending improvement in the solutions we provide and the services we offer.

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Ortus is the trading name for Arbor Design Ltd. A limited company registered in England and wales. Company Number :12169883