Crest Nicholson is making a big push into high-density, high-design urban residential development on brownfield land.

In a presentation to City analysts, Crest announced 11 large sites – of which eight are brownfield – where it will build mixed-use schemes.

Chief executive John Calcutt said: “For the first time, we felt confident enough to tell the City we believed that residential development in the UK was changing profoundly.” He said environmental and economic pressures were driving the change, along with an increase in demand for higher quality homes.

Mark Hake of Merrill Lynch said: “Crest has clearly expanded its land base significantly.” Merrill Lynch upped its pre-tax profit forecast for Crest to £37.5m for 1999.