Sharing best practice with landowners

Earlier this year our chief executive, Colin Muller shared his thoughts on navigating the complex and often confusing world of obtaining planning permission with readers of CLA Land & Business magazine, many of whom are farmers or landowners.

Colin stressed the need for landowners to plan for the future and be proactive if they want to obtain planning permission on their land at some point in the future.

He said, “Getting planning permission for any piece of land is a long, complicated and expensive process, and there are no shortcuts or easy options – there is no silver bullet.”

The article points out the need to persuade the council that your land is suitable and appropriate for development and that this is not a straightforward process.

The government’s bottom-up approach, where local authorities have the power to decide what is built, does not help because people don’t want housing in their backyard.

Colin said, “Many councils are unwilling to accept that there is a serious housing shortage – particularly affordable housing – and the only way to alleviate it is to build more houses.

“There are similar issues around the release of greenbelt for greenfield property development. Despite what local councils say about recognising the need to accommodate development there is still the political problem of backlash from residents.”

Colin stresses that there is no silver bullet, “You might have the best site in the best location, but if you are too late in the planning process you will miss out. It is a case of recognising the potential of land and acting on it as soon as possible, with the right expertise in place.”

Muller are experts in promoting land and proving that it is capable of being delivered for housing. They do all the work required upfront and carry all the costs.

He said, “You will need land development experts who have the resolve, the tenacity – and the budget – to see it through to the end. Because the other key thing is cost – the costs of promoting land and making a planning application are not for the faint-hearted, and you need a big chequebook just to get off the starting line.”

In the article, Colin concluded that, “If your cap is not in the ring, others will be promoting land somewhere else in the town or village and stealing a march. It’s very much first come, first served.”