How to set up a Residential Development Site
So you’ve gone through the potentially lengthy process of acquiring a development site, addressing the ever-growing list of planning requirements, arranging new utility connections, battling against the English weather to meet your build schedule and are finally ready to start thinking about marketing your new residential plots for sale – but where do you start?
The nature of plot sales has changed over the years due to the increasing regulatory constraints of lenders and of course, the current leasehold reform movement, meaning the process is now more involved and complex than ever. In order to ensure the efficiency and accuracy of your plot sales, it is key to include as much information up front with the aim of answering as many of the buyer’s solicitor enquiries as possible before they have chance to raise them.
What Sort of Information Should you be Providing?
Here’s a handy checklist that should put you in good stead for providing a comprehensive sales pack and getting a head start on the conveyancing process:
- Title information – this includes Land Registry official copies of the registered title and plan of the development site, and any other documents which contain rights or covenants affecting the site. This is information that your solicitor will obtain or have already.
- Conveyance plans – this may seem to be a simple concept, but making sure you have Land Registry compliant conveyance plans at the outset will save you delays later down the line.
- Indemnity policies for defects on the title or restrictive covenants which may be breached by the development – these sorts of policies are likely to have been obtained at the point you purchased the site, so your solicitor would have these to hand. If not, you should consider putting necessary policies in place as soon as possible.
- Planning Permission – this includes any outline permissions, non-material amendments, variations and reserved matters approval, as well as evidence of discharge of conditions, which require formal written consent.
- Section 106 Agreements/Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – where a site is subject to a Section 106 Agreement, this will need to be provided. Where there are financial contributions due under a Section 106 Agreement or there is a CIL liability on the site, evidence of payment and discharge of such obligations should also be included as part of the sales pack.
- Landscape/Services drawings
- New Homes Warranty initial certificate e.g. NHBC, Premier Guarantee etc.
- Building Regulations Initial Notice (and Final Certificate as and when it is available)
- Tree Preservation Orders (if applicable)
- Consent to connect to the existing mains sewers from the relevant water authority
- Postal address confirmation from the Local Authority and postcode confirmation from Royal Mail
- Management Company incorporation documents (if applicable)
- Service charge budget (if applicable)
- Predicated Energy Assessment/EPC
- Buildings Insurance Schedule for apartments
- Fire Risk Assessment for communal areas in an apartment block
- Asbestos Management plan for communal areas in an apartment block
- Section 104 Agreement in respect of sewers to be adopted (if applicable)
- Section 38/278 Agreement in respect of any highways works (if applicable)
- Any other agreements with utility providers or statutory undertakers (e.g. wayleave agreements)
The above is by no means a complete list but covers the main documentation that plot purchasers will expect to receive. If you have an upcoming development and need advice on setting up the legal framework for your plot sales, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Plot Sales manager Lauren Purdey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01276 854934.
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