A Guide To The Land Promotion Sector & FAQ's

Catesby Estates specialise in strategic land promotion and are founding members of the Land Promoters and Developers Federation


Too many people in this country feel the housing market is not working for them. So, how do we fix this?

We believe we can achieve more when it comes to looking for a solution if we work together than as individual so, as a sector, we have come together to collaboratively work out how, beyond our existing work, strategic land promoters and developers can contribute to finding a solution to the under-supply of housing in this country using strategic land promotion.

The perceived complicated and lengthy nature of the planning system is commonly blamed for the supply of housing not meeting the demand for new homes. Within this, the role strategic land promotion plays in the delivery of housing, infrastructure and entire new communities is often misunderstood.

The Land Promoters and Developers Federation (LPDF) consists of a number of key strategic land promoters in the sector, both large and small, who have come together to speak with one voice on common issues relating to housing delivery. We want to dispense with some of the myths and misconceptions around the role of strategic land promoters and developers by highlighting the expertise and track record of our members as well as through research relating to the sector as a whole.

LPDF members support the housebuilding sector providing “oven ready” land with planning permission that can easily be acquired and built out by national and regional housebuilders, helping bring homes to the market in a timely manner to meet local need.  Strategic land promotion sites include both greenfield and brownfield land, often requiring significant investment in infrastructure and decontamination.

Approaches to engaging with housebuilders varies depending on the scale of development. Some strategic land promoters and developers will sell land once consented to housebuilders, with some acting as Master Developers providing infrastructure such as schools and sports facilities, before selling serviced land parcels to multiple housebuilders, therefore enabling faster delivery and bringing new homes to the market quickly.

Find out more about the Land Promoters & Developers Federation here.

The Land Promoters & Developers Federation (LPDF) Chairman:

‘With the debate on housing, how it should be delivered and where, becoming ever more political and the debate increasingly highly charged I am pleased to be a leading member of this new Federation – the only organisation representing the interests of the land promotion sector in this way. Our aim is to be a positive force, driving the debate forward and we look forward to increasing our activity and involvement as a membership organisation in seeking solutions to the issues surrounding housing, infrastructure and new communities.’

Strategic land promoters and developers represent the largest group of businesses supporting planning for new housing. Strategic land promoters and developers are responsible for around 50% of all work on pre-application sites, where the potential of land is explored with Local Planning Authorities, engaging with Local Plans in order to progress plan-led growth.

Strategic land promoters and developers are supporting the UK housing land supply. Outside of London there are 541,000 dwellings with outline planning permission on sites of over 100 units. Specialist strategic land promoters and developers are responsible for securing outline planning permission for 41% of these homes compared to 32% for volume housebuilders.

Delivering affordable homes. Members of the Land Promoters and Developers Federation (LPDF) are committed to delivering social benefits, including the provision of affordable housing. Evidence shows the vast majority of schemes progressed by members of the LPDF meet policy requirements for affordable housing.

Delivering land quickly.  About 40% of residential units on sites over 1,000 units have involved an active specialist land promoter and developer dealing with the technical work and planning risk to obtain outline planning permission. Strategic Land promotion means housebuilders can get onsite and start building quicker.

Working together. Strategic land promoters and developers work with Local Authorities and communities to win local consensus for developments through good design and both on site and off site benefits. Overwhelmingly, most promoters’ schemes that secure planning consent are approved at a local level, with 94% of units on schemes of over 100 units being approved by Councils, not by way of Appeal.

Supporting Government policy. The LPDF support the Government policy on housing and planning, preferring a plan-led system that recognises housing needs and supports Local Authorities in allocating land for development and identifying the need for delivering the key infrastructure required for well-designed new homes and communities.

Increasing diversity in the housebuilding industry. Strategic land promoters and LPDF members promote land of all sizes, which appeals to a full range of housebuilders from SMEs right up to the largest in the country. As well as attracting SME bids on smaller sites, LPDF members increase the pace of delivery and offer opportunities to different sectors of the housebuilding industry by subdividing larger sites into smaller deliverable parcels.

For more information on strategic land promotion and how we, as land promoters, can help you, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

If you’re a landowner, click here to find out how much your land could be worth.

Three Key Strategic Land Promotion Questions:

What is a Promotion Agreement?

Catesby Estates uses its resources to fund the strategic land promotion of the land through the planning process.  Once planning permission has been achieved the site is then sold for the highest possible return.

The landowner is consulted during the whole process and our return is based on a pre agreed spilt of the sales proceeds.

What is a Option Agreement?

An option agreement is a legal agreement made between a landowner and Catesby Estates.  In return for a non-refundable sum of money, Catesby Estates has a legally binding option to purchase the land at some point in the future.  This period of time is known as an “option period”.

What is a Purchase Agreement?

For landowners wishing to dispose of land quickly, an outright purchase agreement of the land by Catesby Estates can be agreed.  This can be with an overage in favour of the landowners to capture the uplift in value when a planning consent has been obtained.

FAQ Planning Terms Used Within The Strategic Land Promotion Sector:

Affordable Housing

Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

Annual Monitoring Report (AMR)

A report submitted to the government by local planning authorities or regional planning bodies assessing progress with and the effectiveness of a Local Development Framework (LDF).


The process whereby a planning applicant can challenge the refusal or non-determination of a planning application. In England and Wales, appeals are processed by the Planning Inspectorate.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Statutory national landscape designation, primary purpose of which is to conserve and enhance natural beauty, designated by the Countryside Agency.

Article 4 Direction

A direction which withdraws automatic planning permission granted by the General Permitted Development Order.

Brownfield Land

Brownfield Land is land which is, or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. These sites have already been developed so their use for housing reduces urban sprawl.

Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)

An order issued by the government or a local authority to acquire land or buildings for public interest purposes.

Conservation Area

Areas of special architectural or historic interest.

Design and Access Statement (D & A)

A D & A statement can be made at a pre?planning application stage by a developer, indicating the design principles upon which a proposal is to be based. It may also be submitted in support of a planning application.

Detailed Application/Full application

A planning application seeking full permission for a development proposal, with no matters reserved for later planning approval.


The process by which a local planning authority reaches a decision on whether a proposed development requires planning permission.

Development Plan Documents (DPDs)

Development Plan Documents are prepared by local planning authorities and outline the key development ambitions of the local development framework.

Development/Local Plan

A document setting out the local planning authority's policies and proposals for the development and use of land and buildings in the authority's area. This includes adopted Local Plans, neighbourhood plans and the London Plan.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

A procedure to be followed for certain types of project to ensure that decisions are made in full knowledge of any likely significant effects on the environment.


Greenbelt is protected from development and is designated around certain cities and large built up areas. It has the following aims:

  • To check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
  • To prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another
  • To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
  • To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
  • To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land

Interesting statistics from the Institute of Economic Affairs

  • The size of the Green Belt has more than doubled since 1979 - its total size growing from 721,500 hectares to 1,634,700 hectares
  • This amounts to roughly 13 per cent of the land area of England, and covers one and a half times as much land as our towns and cities put together
  • The designation of Green Belt land is not attributed based on environmental quality; rather, it effectively represents a form of 'discriminatory zoning', keeping people living in urban areas away from the Home Counties
  • There is enough Green Belt land within the confines of Greater London - 32,500 hectares - to build 1.6 million average-size houses. Using a tenth of that land for building could produce 160,000 new homes - a significant response to the current under-supply of housing

Greenfield Land

Greenfield land is usually farmland, that has not been developed, and has no statutory protection.

Independent Examination

The process by which a planning inspector may publicly examine a Development Plan Document (DPD) before issuing a report to the Local Authority. Usually, the report will recommend modifications to the submitted document in order for it to be found Sound and proceed to Adoption.


The physical components essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions necessary for development to take place such as roads, water supply, schools, hospitals etc.

Inquiry (Public)

A formal hearing held by a planning inspector to decide whether a planning application that has been appealed should be allowed or dismissed.

Land Promoter

A strategic land promoter like Catesby Estates uses its in-house expertise and financial resources to fund the land promotion through the planning system.  They obtain planning permission and then market the site to housebuilders securing the highest possible financial return for the landowner.

Land Promoters & Developers Federation

The Land Promoters & Developers Federation (LPDF), formed in early 2018, is a collection of the UK’s leading land promotion and development businesses.  The LPDF represents the views of land promoters, and is working with government, local authorities and communities to enhance the planning process, and help deliver the new homes and communities this country needs.

Local Development Framework (LDF)

The Local Development Framework (LDF) is a folder of documents, which includes all the local planning authority's local development documents.

Local Development Order (LDO)

An order made by a local planning authority extending permitted development rights for certain forms of development, with regard to a relevant Local Development Document.

Local Development Scheme (LDS)

The local planning authority's time?scaled programme for the preparation of Local Development Documents that must be agreed with government and reviewed every year.

Local Planning Authority

The local authority or council that is empowered by law to exercise planning functions, often the local borough or district council. National parks and the Broads authority are also considered to be local planning authorities. County councils are the authority for waste and minerals matters.

Local Strategic Partnership (LSP)

An overall partnership of people that brings together organisations from the public, private, community and voluntary sector within a local authority area, with the objective of improving people's quality of life.

Local Transport Plan (LTP)

Sets out a transport strategy and measures to be delivered over the short, medium and long term.


The Land Promoters & Developers Federation (LPDF), formed in early 2018, is a collection of the UK’s leading land promotion and development businesses.  The LPDF represents the views of land promoters, and is working with government, local authorities and communities to enhance the planning process, and help deliver the new homes and communities this country nee

Master Plan

A type of planning brief outlining the preferred usage of land and the overall approach to the layout of a developer.

National Planning Policy Framework

The National Planning Policy Framework is a key part of the government’s reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible.

Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN)

Local Planning Authorities, as set out by the National Planning Policy Framework, are required to objectively assess need for housing in their areas. This figure is used as the starting point for how many houses a Local Planning Authority will need to plan for.

Outline application

A general application for planning permission to establish that a development is acceptable in principle, subject to subsequent approval of detailed matters. Does not apply to changes of use.

Planning Condition

Condition attached to a planning permission which requires to be formally discharged prior to the development being completed.

Planning Inspectorate (PINS)

The Planning Inspectorate is the government body responsible for the processing of planning and enforcement appeals and holding inquiries into local development plans.

Planning Obligations and Section 106 Agreements

Legal agreement between a planning authority, landowner and a developer, or undertakings offered unilaterally by a developer, which ensure that mitigation required as a result of new development is provided.

Planning Permission

Formal approval sought from a council, often granted with conditions, allowing a proposed development to proceed. Permission may be sought in principle through outline planning applications, or be sought in detail through full applications.

Planning Policy Guidance (PPG)

Issued by central government setting out its national land use policies for England on different areas of planning.

Planning Policy Statement (PPS)

Issued by central government to replace the existing Planning Policy Guidance notes in order to provide greater clarity and to remove from national policy advice on practical implementation.

Planning Portal

A national website provided by the government for members of the public, local planning authorities and planning consultants. The Planning Portal features a wide range of information and includes the ability to submit planning applications electronically.

Public open Space/Green Infrastructure

A network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities.

Public Realm

Those parts of a village, town or city (whether publicly or privately owned) available, for everyone to use. This includes streets, squares and parks.

Registered Parks and Gardens

A Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England, managed by Historic England under the provisions of the National Heritage Act 1983.

Section 106

A Section 106 Agreement is an obligation which makes a development proposal acceptable in planning terms. This can include a sum of money to the Local Authority to be used for other purposes or a restriction on part of the site or its use.

Special Protection Areas (SPAs)

Areas designated to safeguard European bird species considered to be of particular importance.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)

The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment is a technical study of land availability, identifying a future supply of land for housing and economic development uses over a period. It is used to inform the Local Plan making process as part of the evidence base and does nto constitute formal allocation of a site for development.

Strategic Land

Strategic land is often greenfield and located on the edge or close to sustainable towns and villages with good transport links and local facilities. Often the land doesn’t have planning permission but has the strategic potential for future development.

Strategic Land Promoter

A strategic land promoter like Catesby Estates uses its in-house expertise and financial resources to fund the land promotion through the planning system.  They obtain planning permission and then market the site to housebuilders securing the highest possible financial return for the landowner.

Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG)

Alternative green space used as mitigation or avoidance to reduce the recreational use of a Special Protection Area (SPAs).

Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

A Supplementary Planning Document is a Local Development Document that may cover a range of issues, thematic or site specific, and provides further detail of policies and proposals included within a the Development Plan.

Transport Assessment (TA)

A transport assessment is a comprehensive and systematic report that sets out transport issues relating to a proposed development.

Wildlife Corridor

Strips of land (for example, along a hedgerow) conserved and managed for wildlife.