Farmers and landowners could be missing out on long-term development land opportunities by not being aware of the subtleties of the long game, according to DM Hall chartered surveyors director, Kevin Jackson.
Mr Jackson said many farmers and landowners, particularly around Dundee and Perth are sitting on sites which may have significant future value, but they don’t know how best to unlock it.
“This is land which is beside towns and cities which has not already been allocated in a local five year development plan,” he said.
“We can be talking about looking 15 years into the future. Predicting and influencing the long term development prospects of land is a strategic skill from which landowners can only benefit.”
Mr Jackson said farmers could approach this “long game” in several ways.
“A popular option is for a developer to take an option agreement over the land for a set period of time. Once it is in place the developer will embark on planning promotion with the aim of obtaining an allocation in the Local Development Plan and ultimately a planning consent which will allow development to take place.
“Once consent is obtained the developer can purchase the land. In this scenario, the developer carries all the upfront costs. It is however important that the landowner obtains the correct advice at the outset to make sure that they achieve the best possible price for the land.
“Landowners can, of course choose to promote the land themselves through the planning system in the hope of gaining consent.”
Mr Jackson said his company was currently advising a number of landowners throughout the country, either by marketing the availability of their land to potential developers and then negotiating terms on the landowners behalf or by acting for the landowner in promoting the land through the planning system.
He added: “Farmers may view strategic land as peripheral to their immediate interests, which include turning a profit in an increasingly tough business but it can be an enormously valuable long-term play and, with the right advice, a cornerstone of succession planning.”