Legacy Development Q&A

31.3.22 3 MINUTE READ

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Landowners may live with the consequences of their development decisions for years to come.

Legacy developments allow landowners to exert a certain level of control in the design, construction and even management stage of projects, which can ensure the outcome enhances reputation and delivers desired financial, social and environmental returns.

1. What are the key recent updates or developments landowners need to be aware of and looking forward what’s in the works that may come to pass soon?

Hannah Beamish, Partner in Bidwells' residential department: The residential development land market is currently extremely buoyant; with scarcity of immediate development opportunities driving land values to record highs.

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2. What are the most common issues with planning applications/what mistakes do people make most often?

Rob Hopwood, Partner in Bidwells' planning department: Applicants can underestimate the high level of detail required by local planning authorities to register and consider a planning application. Applications will be delayed or even refused if planning policy and site issues are not sufficiently recognised or mitigated.

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3. If, under an option agreement, the land value is a negotiation, why as a landowner would you not get a clause written into the agreement that states you could sell a proportion into the open market to get a true value?

Hannah: All sites have their own distinct issues and opportunities so there is no one rule to apply here. When you enter into an option agreement, you're entering into it under a different premise than you would under promotion agreement. It all depends on the time, effort and risk you have the appetite for.

4. How much should a landowner expect a land promoter to take (in terms of % of sales value)?

Hannah: There's a saying that ‘valuation is an art, not a science’ and it’s a slightly corny phrase but so true. There's a lot of work that needs to go into looking at what the value of land is.

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5. Who is best to value the land as part of the development process?

Hannah: This depends on the nature of the valuation required.  Each site is different and requires a specialist advice from a suitably qualified agent. 

6. How can a planning consultant be useful?

Rob: A planning consultant will identify the most important issues at the outset of a proposal and advise how the issues can be best be dealt with to reduce the risk of obtaining a refusal from the council.

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7. What sort of agreement with a developer would give the local authority comfort that the site will be delivered?

Rob: A well negotiated planning permission should be flexible and viable or it may not get built. A planning and residential development consultant can help to secure a marketable planning consent by seeking to optimize the value of a site and securing a workable and deliverable permission.

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To find out more, get in touch


Rob Hopwood

Partner, Planning

Rob’s infectious energy has driven two decades of planning success for promoters, developers and landowners across the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.

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Hannah Beamish

Partner, Residential Development

From advising on immediate land disposals to strategic development, Hannah has the problem-solving and communication skills to best assist her clients.

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Rural Outlook 

We've brought together market commentary, research and insights from across our Rural, Planning, Residential Development and Commercial teams, keeping landowners and farmers well informed on key topics that matter right now. 

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