Colin Muller’s two-page spread in Land & Business

A double-page feature that focuses on advice from Colin Muller has appeared in the September edition of the CLA’s magazine, Land & Business. Colin uses the feature to emphasise the importance of early action by farmers and landowners who are thinking about offering their land for housing or employment developments.

Here’s a summary of the article (which you can also read here – see pages 32-33)

Don’t leave it too late

Colin starts by recognising the challenges involved in trying to obtain planning permission for a large residential development on agricultural or other land. This is a complex process and landowners need expert advice. However, the potential rewards can be huge: agricultural land that has a residential housing consent can have 10 or 20 times the value it would normally have.

But Colin warns that the key to success is: “Don’t leave it too late!” Any town or village will only need a limited amount of extra housing, so it pays to be at the front of the queue. Missing this opportunity means that it could be years before a similar one occurs – if ever.

But what does this mean in practice? Landowners need to be prepared on two fronts:

  • They need to be ready to make a rapid, speculative planning application. This approach is ideal when a local authority has an insufficient forward supply of housing or their local plan is outdated. Being one of the first to be ready can make all the difference. Colin commented that Muller is able to prepare and submit planning applications within six weeks.
  • They need to be able to demonstrate the relative merits of their site if the council announces a ‘call for sites’. Key factors to cover include the visual impact; accessibility; defensible boundaries; a logical extension of the urban fringe; an ability to deliver the site within five years; a lack of technical constraints; and the sustainability of the location.

Colin concludes by repeating that early action in promoting land is vital and that anyone who thinks that their land could have residential development potential can contact the Muller Property Group for help and advice.