The development of strategic land is now key to bringing about the new communities and homes the UK needs to address the current housing crisis.
Strategic land is a term used to refer to a plot of land that can’t be developed immediately, but could be developed in the future. Research is key to making a decision on strategic land as it’s unlikely that you will be able to submit a successful planning application immediately.
In some rare cases you can, and this is often referred to as ‘immediate land’ where local authority policies allow development and encourage planning applications straight away. In most cases, though, development and planning will not have been approved but the land has the potential, in principle, to be considered a development site subject to conditions. Reaching this point of approval can often be a long and arduous road, with several stages to pass through, but the payoff is usually worth it.
Here in the UK, local plans cover how many new homes are required in a particular area and lay out where they are allowed to be located. Targeting these types of sites can be a very lucrative business, as well as playing an important part in the nation’s housing strategy, but it has typically been an inherently long and drawn-out process. With LandHawk all that changes significantly.
How do I find the right type of strategic land?
Strategic land is generally a greenfield or brownfield site that tends to, but not always, lie outside a town or city’s boundaries. In most cases it has the potential for approval or it might even have an outline approval for development but it will have to meet a set of strict standards to make it residential, which you will need to demonstrate in detail.
Things like car charging points, access, renewable energy provision, build materials and so on will likely be key to approval. It’s often heavy on the environmental and sustainability factors in line with the Government’s net zero focus and changing the status of the land.
As we mentioned earlier, research is key here and it can often be a long and laborious process if you rely on the traditional land search methods. If your data is piecemeal and drawn from various, disparate sources there’s a real risk it may be partial, inaccurate and out of date. All of which can lead to unreliable or misleading information.
Unreliable data leads to unreliable budgeting and therefore decision making. Get it wrong and you could end up with nothing for a large amount of time and effort.
Using a platform like LandHawk allows you to see the potential right from the very start, and navigate through the planning system with ease.
You can use the planning tab to check permissions and previous applications, plus see detailed information around environmental constraints, infrastructure and ownership. This process can be completed in seconds and involves up-to-the minute, real-time data through which reliable decisions can be made.
The payoff for finding the land yourself is that, once the planning is approved, you could be looking at £2m+ per acre to sell it on.
Making your case
To achieve a successful outcome requires a clear strategy, hence the term strategic land! You will need to demonstrate in detail to the local authority that your plans are watertight.
You will often need to submit specialist reports, drawings and a summary of how the development will look. Interested parties from the locality will also be involved and have a say on your plans, so you will need to make sure you’ve thought of everything that might be opposed.
Even then you may still be in for a surprise!
Important considerations include: local development needs; changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF); and the environmental factors we referenced earlier. All of which will aid the approval process.
Plans usually cover a 15 year period but a local authority can decide to replace or supersede them ahead of time, especially in light of net zero and the significant focus on the environment.
We’re always on hand for help and advice should you decide to take a look at strategic land options anywhere in the UK.
You can even trial the LandHawk platform free of charge for 14 days to see how easy it is to navigate. You’ll quickly see you have all the tools you need to find and assess strategic land fast!