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THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE: How land promotion works

Land promotion is the catch-all phrase used to describe the various different ways in which planning permission can be secured. It also includes the eventual sale of the site to a suitable developer.

This blog post explains exactly how land promotion works in more detail.

How we secure planning permission

There are three main ways in which we can secure planning permission for you. The starting part for any project is always to review what the council’s planning policies tell us about your site. These are usually found in the Local Plan, and are intended to guide development for a period of around 15 years. That review will help us decide which route is most likely to succeed for your site.

The different approaches are summarised here, but if you want to learn more about how we work with the planning system, take a look at our series of Essential Guides or get in touch.

  1. Submitting a planning application that is policy compliant

Sometimes, the policies in a Local Plan will support the type of development we think will achieve the best value for your site. If that is the case, we can immediately start the process of preparing a planning application for submission.

  1. Submitting a planning application that isn’t complaint with local policies

The policies in the Local Plan are designed to deliver a specific amount of development over an identified period of time. That means those policies can become out-of-date – either because the time period they were to cover has ended or because they are failing to achieve the intended level of development. In either case, it can be possible to justify a planning application even if the policies in the Local Plan don’t appear to support it.

One of the most common examples of this type of application is if a council isn’t building enough new homes. Councils often struggle to show that they have enough housing land to build the number of homes they need for the next five years, which is a national policy requirement.

This is one of the routes we most commonly use. For example, at our site at Henthorn Road in Clitheroe we delivered planning permission for 140 new homes this way.

  1. Promoting your site through the Local Plan

Because every Local Plan runs for a fixed period of time, they are regularly reviewed and replaced. The process of preparing a new Local Plan can take several years but provides frequent opportunities to promote your site for inclusion in the new Plan as an identified development site. This can be a long, complicated process so we’ve explained it in more detail in this blog post. But in essence we provide information and evidence to the council to prove why your site should be developed.

We’ve done this successfully on our site in Wilmslow where we have argued for the site to be released from the Green Belt so that development can be allowed in the future, but the same strategy works on other types of site too.

You can learn more about how we have used each of these approaches on our projects page.

How we sell your site

Securing planning permission is only half the story. Whilst it’s a very important step, the ultimate objective is to sell your site for the best price we can. We stay focused on that aim throughout the planning process.  It can be all too easy to make lots of concessions to the council in the hope they will be more likely to grant planning permission – like reducing the amount of development proposed or agreeing to make planning gain payments that aren’t justified.

If you were to sell your site directly to a developer, this can be tempting for them – it just means they have to pay less for the land. But we want to maximise the value of your site, and you don’t maximise value that way – so we don’t do it.

We also make sure that we have all the information that a developer will need to estimate how much it will cost to develop the site. For example, we will carry out extensive site investigations so that we know exactly what foundations are needed and precisely how the site will be drained. This means that the site is truly shovel-ready for developers – something which they are prepared to pay a premium for. It also means that there is less room for developers to argue that they should reduce what they will pay for the site because of ‘abnormal’ costs.

All that information is packaged together and provided to an experienced development agent with knowledge of your local market. We’ll manage the relationship with the agent for you. Using their contacts we can make sure that everyone that might be interested in the site knows about it. That means we get better offers.

The exact approach to land promotion will depend on the particular characteristics of your site. We prepare a bespoke strategy for every project we work on. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help find the value hidden in your land.

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