Can my land be developed?

Colin Muller, Chief Executive, Muller Property

In this article, Colin offers advice on farmland development and strategic land promotion to farmers and landowners who want to get the most out of their land.

The location of your land is of critical importance when it comes to assessing the prospects of whether there is any possibility of its development for housing or employment.

You need to start out with the Council’s Local Plan. This is the plan that sets out all the local planning policies and identifies how land is used and it determines what can be built where.

Once adopted, the local plan provides the framework for development in that particular council.

There are numerous restrictions on what can and can’t be done on land. In fact, most of local policy is about what type of development will be resisted by the Council as opposed to encouraging new development.

There are a wide range of policy zonings in the Local Plan which apply to land outside of settlements for the part of the country you live in.  These restrictive zonings include Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Green Belt, Green Gap, Special Landscape Area, or just plain Open Countryside. 

Either way, all are aimed at resisting development; some are more stringent than others. The skill is finding a way through the maze.

What should you do?

You only get one chance every 15 to 20 years to change what’s been carried forward from an old plan or tackle the Council over their intentions to re-zone.On this basis, the one thing you can’t do is sit back and wait.

If you have a piece of land that you would like to see developed, you need to get started as soon as possible

It’s crucial that formal representation submissions are made to get your land promoted at the right time, and in the right way, to seek the most advantageous way to get your land in the plan.

If your land is in an edge of settlement location it will be controlled by one or more of the policies I’ve described above.  The prospects for development largely depend on which level of restraint the Council have imposed and how aggressively the land is promoted.

How do I get started?

Getting your land looked at and assessed is absolutely essential. Muller offer a 24 hour turnaround for any land assessment anywhere in the UK.

We are experts with a strong and established track record and we are used to proactively dealing with the planning system and take a hands-on, no nonsense approach to dealing with the Council and understand the challenges, and timescales involved.

What’s more, Muller take on all the costs, and the risks, and we have the track record of getting the job done for farmers and landowners.