Vickery HolmanVickery Holman

The South West Specialists

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Selling Development Land

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Planning Applications on larger sites are a thorough process which is complicated, expensive and time consuming. As a consequence most sales of development land are agreed either as Conditional Contracts or options to purchase whereby prospective purchasers take responsibility for seeking consent in return for a discounted purchase price.

The former is preferable for the vendor but more complicated and can be frustrating when there is an urgency to ‘get on’ with the process. Options to purchase are easier to legislate and more flexible but less authoritative.

A third alternative is a Promotion Agreement. It is not a contract to purchase but an arrangement whereby specialist consultants undertake to manage and pay for the Planning Application and associated Surveys and Reports in return for a percentage of the subsequent sale price of the Consented Land. They will assist with land sales but not actually acquire or develop the land themselves.

The route of sale should be determined by individual circumstances, but what’s crucial whichever route is chosen, is the ability of the purchaser or promoter to achieve a planning consent.

The role of any selling Agent in this process is not only to be able to judge the ability of the purchaser, but also monitor and advice on the process after contracts are signed. This ensures that the vendor’s interests are secured and the best prices achieved. The process is a partnership and should be of mutual interest and not a receipt for dispute