DORSET law firm Coles Miller is expanding its commercial property team with the appointment of Kerry Houston-Kypta.

Her specialist areas of expertise include freehold and leasehold sales and purchases, commercial leases, options and conditional contracts.

She said: “The recovery in commercial property is definitely gathering pace. The market has been improving steadily over the last year.

“There is more confidence. Importantly, the banks are starting to lend again and people are doing deals.”

The Poole-based solicitor said a number of recent deals had involved the office sector as companies expand to larger premises, sometimes a bigger suite within the same business centre.

“My developer clients are also seeing a lot more activity. They are pursuing more planning consents and taking out more options on sites,” she added.

Much of the activity by developers involves residential and mixed use schemes – ground floor offices and retail with upper-storey accommodation.

As good sites become harder to acquire, many residential schemes are now being based on freeing up surplus land from back gardens.

A number of developers are creating larger sites by acquiring land from two or more adjoining gardens.