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      Developing Your Land While Protecting Your Values

      Legacy development is increasingly popular for rural landowners looking to develop their land in a sustainable way while benefiting future generations by creating high-quality, environmentally conscious communities.

      06 Mar 2024 2 Minute Read

      Manor House.jpg

      Berkshire College of Agriculture

      We are working alongside the Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) on a 400-acre site, which includes a Grade I listed manor house, stately outbuildings, and statues holding historical significance. The College made the decision to sell unused land in order to raise funds to restore deteriorating buildings and features around their existing campus.

      However, financial motivations were not the only consideration. As a sixth form college focused on sustainability and agriculture, BCA wanted to ensure alignment between the buyer’s vision and their institutional values. They also cared deeply about the quality of life for neighbours in the local village. Engagement with local stakeholders was also a key consideration.

      We collaborated closely with the College, engaging in the bidding process, and evaluating potential buyers to bring their vision to fruition. The preferred developer aligned with the College’s legacy objectives of fostering a sustainable community. From our work with BCA, it is clear that legacy development transcends mere financial gains and can be used to achieve a shared vision which benefits the landowner, developer, and local community.

      For landowners exploring their options, what steps should you take?

      First, identify your key goals spanning financial, social, and environmental. Maximising profit may be important but focus on your long-term vision too. Consider what legacy you want to leave behind.

      Next, research potential partners that share your objectives. Local reputation and commitment to quality developments matter. At Bidwells, we’ll run a selective process to find the right fit.

      Be ready to negotiate the commercial terms - the planning status of your land will impact the structure of any deal. It is important that you understand the approximate land value today and how that may evolve through the planning process.

      Work with your partner to shape the physical development and engagement with the community it will impact. Consultations can alleviate concerns and also enhance the proposed development.

      Most importantly, know that legacy development is possible at varying scales. Whether your site is 400 acres or four, your vision can become reality with the right approach.

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