BM Rural Outlook E-FINAL Spreads - Flipbook - Page 23
20 | Rural Outlook Issue 21
Planning & Development | 21
Batcheller Monkhouse secured
planning permission for a major
development on a greenfield site
at Park Farm, Hellingly, just outside
Hailsham in Sussex.
As local authorities across the South East struggle to
meet the Government’s challenging house-building
targets, landowners of suitable sites should be looking
to bring forward appropriate parcels of land.
Sites that have in the past been
considered to be outside local
development boundaries could win
approval if the council is unable to show
that it has a five-year housing supply in
place, although those sites still need to
meet other sustainability criteria.
It is usual for local authorities to set
development boundaries in Local Plans
to contain house building, but their
ability to automatically reject sites that
fall outside those boundaries is greatly
reduced if they are not themselves
meeting Government guidelines.
Under the National Planning Policy
Framework, local authorities that do
not have an up-to-date Local Plan and/
or cannot demonstrate a five-year
housing land supply are unable to rely
on their adopted boundaries and need
to consider each site on its merits.
Finding out whether or not a local
authority has a five-year housing supply
can be difficult when it doesn’t publish
a position statement. The Batcheller
Monkhouse planning team regularly
monitors land supply and is well placed
to help identify areas across the South
East which are falling behind.
Proposals can, of course, fail for many
other reasons, such as ecological
designations and access issues,
and remote and unconnected sites
are unlikely to benefit. The closer to
a settlement a site is the better its
chances. Crucially, though, a first hurdle
refusal simply because the site is in the
‘wrong place’ is no longer a option for an
authority that doesn’t have the landbank
it is required to hold.
Although the site had been included in
an earlier draft of the Local Plan, it was
outside the development boundary.
With Wealden District Council unable
to show it had a five-year housing
supply, and no approved Local Plan in
place, Batcheller Monkhouse was able
to show that the site was sustainable
and met other criteria.
The land was close to the settlement,
and when forced to consider the
application purely on its merits rather
than the location, the council granted
At Batcheller Monkhouse it is a process
that involves close liaison between the
planning, strategic development and
new homes teams, working closely
with the landowner to ensure he or she
receives the best possible return from
the land in question.
Batcheller Monkhouse’s planning team
keeps a close eye on local planning policies,
Government guidance and new projects.
Do you have land that might qualify?
It takes time and teamwork to take a new
housing site through the development
cycle, from finding the right piece of land
to handing over the keys to the first owner.
At Batcheller Monkhouse we would
encourage landowners with sites
that abut an existing settlement or
development boundary, or are otherwise
demonstrably sustainable, to consider
applying for planning permission after
talking to one of our team.
Planning – success
in three acts
There are numerous local authorities across the South-East who
are failing to provide the required amount of land for development.
Please get in touch as you may well have a potential site.
With the Government struggling to meet
its annual housing target of 300,000 new
homes a year and many local councils
desperately short of the five-year housing
stock they are required to demonstrate,
policy changes can open up new areas or
new opportunities, and it’s the planning
team’s job to keep tabs on the changes
and spot the opportunities.
At a more local level, Batcheller
Monkhouse advises landowners on the
best strategy to adopt when putting
forward land for housing.
The firm also helps landowners tackle
issues affecting a site they are planning
to put forward, such as access, potential
flooding, ecology and visibility splays,
ensuring that when the plan reaches
the planning officer’s desk, the obvious
questions have already been answered.
As well as setting out advice on unit
numbers and timing, the team provides
comprehensive support in relation to
the planning application itself, giving the
applicant the best chance of winning
approval. Batcheller Monkhouse will also
prepare a strategy for mitigating any Section
106/CIL liabilities that apply to the site.
With the site earmarked in the local
plan, Batcheller Monkhouse’s strategic
development team takes over the reins,
working with the landowner to identify and
resolve any site issues that might affect
the land’s sale to a suitable developer.
It is critical that issues such as restrictive
covenants and historic overages –
whereby a share of any sell-on profit has
to be paid to the previous owner – are
dealt with early in the process to avoid
delays or disappointment at a later stage.
The Batcheller Monkhouse strategic
team is currently dealing with the sale
of close to 1,000 new homes across the
Kent and Sussex region.
The team will then prepare a tender
process aimed at identifying a suitable
development partner for the site and will
advise on Heads of Terms for an option
or promotion agreement, depending on
the route agreed with the landowner.
Once planning permission has been
granted, the team will prepare a sales and
marketing pack in order to generate strong
buyer interest and achieve the highest
possible return. At the end of that process
Batcheller Monkhouse will recommend a
suitable purchaser and agree the terms
of the sale, working with the landowner’s
legal team to finalise the deal.
Once the development is completed,
Batcheller Monkhouse’s new homes
team acts on behalf of the house builder,
using its knowledge and expertise to
market the properties.
The team, lead by Kim Abbott, who has
over 15 years’ experience in selling and
marketing new homes, has worked across
a broad spectrum of developments and
provides a bespoke service across East
and West Sussex, Kent and Surrey.
Batcheller Monkhouse provides
free valuation advice as an initial
pricing assessment before the land is
purchased. This enables developers
to make an informed decision before
acquiring a site, and is based on
extensive market research, taking into
account demand for the area and the
planned new homes specification.
The team will work with the client to
agree a structured marketing campaign
to ensure the development is presented
to its best possible advantage.