Development land – how do you assess its suitability?

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At Fibre Architects we are often involved in projects from the early ideas stage, this involves assessment of buildings and or land with development potential. If you are thinking of developing land or starting a new project, then you will need expert advice to successfully achieve your desired outcome(s).

We have listed a few things to help you, although we do recommend that you get in touch and arrange a free consultation to get you started on the right path for a successful project.

Finding your perfect piece of land

Local councils are a good starting point as they identify appropriate land and outline the development needs. If you have a piece of land and are unsure if you can develop it then you will need to look at the following:

Suitability is a key word for you – this means a measure of how well the qualities of the proposed land matches the requirements of the land use. Each piece of land is unique, so just listening to friends and neighbours or following what someone else did alone is definitely not advisable.

A good local knowledge of likely planning requirements, possible constraints or abnormalities as well as a keen eye for detail and the relevant development expertise are essential before you make firm plans– it may save you a lot of money before you invest in what seems the perfect spot.

It is possible to change landscapes and their features, but does that fit with local authority wildlife and ecological policies? Each piece of land also has specific use classifications that relate to the council’s overall objectives, so great care must be taken when assessing suitability.

Key areas to consider and seek advice on:

  • Determine area and site size
  • Review all existing information available
  • Site and condition survey(s)
  • Estimating the development potential – suitability, availability and viability
  • Overcoming constraints or issues – what are they and how do you resolve them?
  • Ensuring you have all the relevant background information to prepare your assessment
  • Ensuring that the land you wish to develop is suitable for the appropriate residential or commercial development
  • Check the deeds – planning approval alone does not always give you the legal right to build or develop the land so consult your solicitor
  • Review all drainage, services, transport and parking requirements and consult relevant professionals for advice
  • Architect initial feasibility layouts, designs and plans for viability assessments and any necessary applications
  • Social and economic plans to support your project
  • Research and support from the community, local councils and neighbourhoods will be valuable
  • Once the initial assessment is complete and satisfactory – move to the planning stage based upon sound evidence and assessed risks

Start to prepare an initial programme and delivery schedule for the development, taking into account financing requirements and all necessary approvals.

Fibre Architects are experts in this field so do give us a call for the best advice and a free consultation appointment to discuss specific opportunities or projects.

Chartered Architect | Land & Property Adviser | Sustainable Design | Managing Director at FIBRE Architects Ltd

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