Catesby Estates works collaboratively with landowners to bring land to the market with planning consent, in order to deliver much needed high quality new homes.

Our in-house Technical Team carry out ‘boots on the ground’ and desktop research, taking into account the technical and environmental constraints of potential sites, producing a report which helps determine whether the land site is suitable for development.

Technical Manager, James Findlay, takes us through some of the key considerations for new land sites:


Land can be undevelopable for various reasons, and can command large offsets/ no build zones.   Consideration is given to proximity to roads, railway lines, landfill (historic or existing), quarries, sewage treatment works, listed buildings and archaeological sites worthy of preservation in situ.

Title Plan Checks

Land Registry title plans are downloaded, highway records obtained and both are overlaid onto an OS Base in AutoCAD to ensure there are no issues with unregistered land or ransoms strips which could affect site access.


Steep sites can require exposed brickwork, tanking, retaining features and stepped/piled foundations.  All of which add significant costs and reduce the amount of homes which can delivered on the site.

Existing Utilities

Overhead and underground apparatus crossing sites can restrict and blight schemes, attracting significant diversion costs.  Blast zones on both gas and oil pipelines can also significantly limit delivery.  Easements on existing utilities are mapped onto Constraints Plans to ascertain the developable areas.

Drainage, Surface Water, Foul Sewerage & Flooding

The first solution to consider is infiltration. Should this fail, we must find an alternative solution to drain the site. This would include the use of attenuation ponds, linear swales or storage tanks to assist with the harvesting of surface water run-off.  We consider run-off rates, points of outfall and capacity issues within the existing drainage systems.

Foul flows from a new site often requires pumping.  All connections are subject to capacity checks and potential sewer modelling.

Flooding continues to attract significant media attention.  Surface water flow paths along with river and reservoir flooding can significantly reduce the developable area of a site.

Foundation Solutions

The type of foundation has a direct correlation to the existing ground conditions.  These are initially investigated by local BGS records and borehole logs to identify the geology in the desired area, potentially followed by intrusive investigations. 

If Radon (radioactive gas) or Landfill Gas (methane) are present within the underlying soils, then gas protection measures will need to be considered.  Areas with a history of mining can add significant cost to both site investigation and also delivery with specialist advice sought at a very early stage.   

Site Access, Connectivity & Transport

Using a combination of online resources and site reconnaissance, we assess the type of junction required to suit both development capacity and visibility splays.  Where possible, access would be within the site boundaries, avoiding third party land where possible, which can have significant cost implications.

Walking, cycling and public transport options are reviewed to encourage sustainable travel where possible.


Mitigation plans will need to be developed to protect and manage any protected species.

Having an experienced in-house team and working with some of the best specialist consultants in the business, means Catesby Estates can identify issues quickly, and provide solutions at an early stage ensuring the potential for all sites is maximised.

As always we are looking for new sites; if you think your land may have development potential, please get in touch; 01926 836910 /