Landowners will often commit their development land to a house builder, promoter or investor long before planning permission has been achieved. There are several types paths a landowner can choose, and each will have different complexities, commitments, risks and payments.
If a landowner is looking to achieve a quick sale, then it is sometimes possible to dispose of the land immediately, but making appropriate arrangements (via an overage) for extra payments to be made, as and when planning permission is achieved. An overage might last for many decades but require careful valuations at the point a payment is triggered.
Alternatively, a landowner may wish to find a development partner who will incur the time and expense of seeking planning consent but will then share some of the sale proceeds with the landowner. These promotion agreements can work well but in limited situations.
There are also subject to planning deals either by way of a conditional contract or option agreement and many other arrangements that can take place between a landowner and developer. Each arrangement might have different levels of risk and reward, VAT consequences, capital gains tax consequences and timescales.
Depending on the type of sale, payments to the landowner can often continue for a long time after the disposal.
Landowners may also wish to promote their own land through the Local Plan process and either achieve an allocation or a planning permission before disposing of their land.
By working closely with our Planning team we are able to bring forward land optimising the land value whilst working to achieve a planning permission.
The Henry Adams Development Consultancy is relatively unusual in that its service offering extends beyond consultancy, planning and appraisals to the actual sale of land.
Complementary expertise in house
Henry Adams is relatively unusual in supporting landowners with the sale of their development land. For example, we are one of the few firms to have Farm Agents, Planning Consultants, Valuation Surveyors and Development Consultants in the same office.
Regardless of the type of disposal or arrangement, we pride ourselves in being able to achieve the best deal. This starts with an understanding of the technical elements needed for future housing development (such as access and drainage specific to the site) and in-depth knowledge of the local planning policy, so we can competently advise house builders and other bidders interested in the land. This is why our in-house Planning Consultants are so complementary to our Development Land Agents and help underpin the value of our work.
It is rare that an entire farm is sold for development, so we work closely with our colleagues in the Rural & Farming team to ensure any retained land is protected and enhanced as part of any development. For example, land might be required for site compounds or utilities, new accesses required, or water abstraction points moved out of the development zone and onto the retained land. There are many things to consider.
We have an appreciation that every landowning family is different and will structure an arrangement with an appropriate balance of risk and reward. These are complicated arrangements to get right with suitable assurances needed that any development partner will act quickly and professionally when working alongside a landowner.