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I am buying a piece of land for development purposes, what do I need to be aware of?
20th May 2014

If you are purchasing a property for development purposes you need to inform us.

When you are purchasing a land for development purposes we need to be involved right from the very outset.

We will normally advise you to do enhanced searches such as way leave searches; BT searches; gas searches; common land searches. The reason being is it is essential to work out where services run. As you will be developing the land this information will be vital to your contractors.

It is also important to work out if the seller is trying to claim back any uplift in the value of the property should you obtain planning permission. This is sometimes referred to as “overage” or “planning clawbacks”. The seller will try in certain situations to retain an uplift in the value of the property should you obtain planning. It is extremely important to consult with us, as soon as you find out that this will be the situation. You need to consider the following:

– What is the “trigger event”;
– How long is the planning clawback period to last for;
– How will the seller secure their interest in an uplift in value;
– How will the uplift be determined and who by.

We will also need to do a detailed analysis as to whether your development proposals will breach any restrictive covenants on the property for example there could be a covenant not to build more than 2 residential dwellings on the land. Just because there is a covenant on the property does not necessarily mean that you cannot carry out your development proposal. You can:

– Seek a pre-planning restrictive covenant indemnity policy;
– Try to negotiate a deed of release with the person with the benefit of it;
– Apply to the Lands Tribunal to have it removed;

We can also assist you with the entering into and negotiation with planning obligations to the local council through a section 106 agreement. Once again you really need expert advice on section 106 agreements, to see that the council have the power to do what they are requesting and also how the section 106 will bind future owners.

We will also assist and advise on any section 104 agreements with the relevant water undertaker and also section 278 and section 38 agreements with the local council, over how the roads will eventually become highways maintained at the public expense.

PLS Solicitors specialise in advising on the complex area of commercial property. We offer a friendly, efficient and effective legal advice on any area of commercial property.

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