South East Farmer Property Review


Could your land have potential?

It is never too early to start thinking about whether your land has development potential.  Your land is an important asset, whether you have surplus farm land, a country estate, large garden, grazing paddocks or underutilised rural business land.

The UK planning system is a complex, risky and costly process, requiring patience, an eye for detail and significant financial backing.

Land promotion agreements are increasingly common, offering an opportunity for landowners to promote and achieve planning permission for their land without having to finance or take on the risk of trying to obtain permission. In terms of obtaining planning permission for residential developments, the cost is typically in the hundreds of thousands, sometimes running into millions of pounds. 

A need for new homes

The worsening of the UK housing crisis is well publicised, with the Government vowing to deliver 300,000 new homes every year, and one million new homes by 2020.

The pressure on the housing market is significant with the demand for homes outstripping supply.

An increase in life expectancy, single person occupancy and the demand for second homes being just some of the contributing factors.

As housing demand increases so do the opportunities for landowners to offer up land for development, thus maximising its value.

Land promoters and what they do

Land promoters work collaboratively with landowners to bring forward land to the market with residential planning consent, in order to deliver much needed high quality new homes. 

Local Planning Authorities are increasing reliant on land promoters demonstrating sites meet planning criteria and the local area housing needs.

Land promoters identify sites which are suitable for residential development and at no cost to the landowner take on the risk and the upfront investment to maximise the value of the land. 

They will work closely with planning officials, councils and local communities at every stage of the process. Technical and environmental constraints of sites are considered in detail, taking into account possible issues such as access, transport, drainage and environmental implications using where necessary specialist consultants.

There are three main ways land promoters will look to achieve planning consent:

  • Submission of a planning application that is compliant with policies in an area’s Local Plan.
  • Submission of a planning application that doesn’t comply with some local policies, but where those policies are out of date or a Local Authority is failing to build enough new homes.
  • Longer term approach with promotion through the Local Plan and the ‘call for sites process’ with a view to getting the site allocated for future development.

Once planning permission is obtained, the site is sold on the open market to housebuilders.

The promoter will have pre-agreed a share of the net price received when the site is sold.  This ensures the land promoter is seeking to maximise the land value for the landowner.

Local Authorities will request mitigation measures against development. Some of these costs can be covered in the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) or by the Section 106 Town and County Planning Act, and the land promoter will negotiate these costs on behalf of landowners.

Maximising returns for landowners

Catesby Estates plc is highly regarded as one of the foremost experts in land promotion and infrastructure delivery in the UK, with a land promotion portfolio of over 65 sites, 2,201 acres and 13,030 plots. 

Find out if your land has possible development potential, and how to maximise its value: 01926 836910 /