Before securing any site the highly qualified land and planning team undertakes a detailed site assessment to confirm the feasibility for development. All sites are well located next to existing urban settlement boundaries with no major constraints, therefore indicating high development potential. The land and planning team will secure sites that they believe will be rezoned.
To ensure a comprehensive analysis the team work with valuers, engineers and leading planning consultancies such as Buro Happold, Broadway Malyan, CB Richard Ellis, RPS Planning & Development, Savills, Terence O’Rourke and WSP.
These appraisals consider a wide range of issues that can expand to deal with matters specific to a site or location but always cover:
- Planning policy
- Contaminated land and geology
- Water resources/flooding
- Traffic and transport
- Noise and vibration
- Air quality
The resultant report contributes towards a thorough risk assessment before potential purchase
Once identified, the land team, along with agents, valuers and legal experts assess both the sites current value as well as its projected end value to ensure that is will be a viable site with reasonable to substantial returns for our investors. Only then do our lawyers enter negotiations with the land owner for the acquisition of the site through various ownership models, typically secured by freehold title.
Each strategy will be aligned to work within one of two broad categories. The first is to work the site through the Development Plan (DP) to achieve an allocation and policy changes. The second, is to work within an existing DP using the development control system of applications and appeals. We are comfortable and effective working alongside both of these environments. The planning promotion process takes some time and it is therefore important to remain flexible and responsive to changing circumstances and to constantly reappraise the chosen strategy.
We use all available avenues to influence the content of the draft plans produced by Councils. As well as formally responding to drafts published for consultation on the full raft of technical issues, we also try to fully engage with the stakeholders to identify ways of making schemes acceptable and to elicit support. The process can run for a number of years and involves huge amounts of technical work culminating in the presentation of evidence to the public inquiry.
The evidence required, for example detailed traffic modelling, master plan production, ecological mitigation strategies or population demographic analysis will be specific to the individual site. This will involve data collection, analysis to assess its implications for the site and production of the evidence in a form advantageous to the site and then presentation of that evidence in the most appropriate and professional way. Whilst all areas need to be covered it is paramount to understand the real issues around a scheme and to ensure these are dealt with and effectively communicated to the decision makers and other stakeholders.
Once we have secured rezoning we use our relationships with leading housebuilders and professional property agents to seek out developers to purchase the site. We will only sell to a reputable purchaser capable of concluding the transaction quickly and effectively at full open market value. We will then distribute profits according to specific land ownership.