LandSite LLP - Land Agents and Site Identification

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we are most often asked. We hope you find this useful, and please feel free to contact us with any questions or to discuss your requirements further.

  1. What is LandSite?
  2. What services does LandSite provide?
  3. Who pays for the work LandSite does?
  4. How much is my land worth?
  5. Is my land suitable for development?
  6. Why use LandSite to sell my land?
  7. Where does LandSite operate?
  8. What are the costs of selling my land?
  9. How long will it take to sell my land?
  10. Why is there an opportunity at the moment for developing residential sites?
  11. I have been approached by a land promoter, what is your advice?
  12. Is it expensive to develop land myself?

What is LandSite?

Landsite Limited is a land agency which identifies off-market sites for developers and helps landowners to secure the right developer for their site.

LandSite is interested in land from half an acre upwards. We are very interested to speak with:

  • Owners of areas of land which have been highlighted as potential sites in the SHLAA (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment), or Local Plan.
  • Owners of existing businesses or industrial sites which may lie close to or within residential areas, and where the owner wishes to either sell or relocate their business.
  • Sites where owners may have a deal progressing but are frustrated with progress, or indeed the value being attributed to their site.
  • Option holders of land which has potential for residential, retail or commercial use.

What services does LandSite provide?

LandSite provides a straightforward and free service to landowners of larger sites where they are seeking to secure the maximum value from their land holding via a sale or lease, normally subject to planning and contract only. We will also undertake bespoke site searches for developers for residential, retirement / care home and retail sites.

Who pays for the work LandSite does?

We secure a fee from the developer who eventually buys the land and this is only paid when the transaction has been successfully completed. The fee is normally between 1-2% of the land purchase price.

How much is my land worth?

There are several published sources for land values in the UK. The most well-known of these include the sources mentioned on our Land Market page as well as annual reports from Knight Frank and Savills (the large UK Estate Agencies and Property Consultants). These reports show land prices well in excess of £1m per acre in the London area and parts of the South-East, and land for less than £350,000 per acre in areas of the country that have been badly hit by the recession.

LandSite is closely involved with the current land market and we would normally make our own enquiries via existing contacts, discreet discussions with land professionals in development companies and by innovative use of the the various resources available to us.

Is my land suitable for development?

In our opinion the highest value land is usually that used for a Care Home, Retirement Property, or Retail use. Smaller sites of between 0.5 acres to up to 2 acres suit these developments very well indeed. However, sometimes larger sites of several acres can incorporate retail and care home uses. Immediately behind these top values lie high quality / luxury residential schemes, again usually on smaller sites of just a few acres. Luxury apartment developments may also work on small sites in extremely high value places such as London. Mainstream housebuilders will not normally build apartment schemes in the current economic climate (2013) and this has been a significant factor in reducing the potential sales value of smaller pieces of land. One of the lower values for land is that used for Affordable Housing (what used to be essentially Council Housing), in which case the value can be reduced by as much as 50%. Below are some example scenarios:

  • Small site (0.5 to 1 acre*) - RETIREMENT SCHEME / LUXURY RESIDENTIAL. These sites will be in good urban locations, perhaps close to the High Street. They might include a large house in a generous corner plot or an industrial unit with parking within existing housing. Values could be as little as £300,000 for a small site in a rural town not in the South-East, to as much as several £million for a similar sized site in a good part of London or the South-East.
  • Medium sites (3 acres to 10 acres) - RESIDENTIAL HOUSING DEVELOPMENT. An area of former Green Belt next to existing housing; a redundant factory complex; or land being disposed of by a public body (NHS, Police, Council) may be suitable. Values will be between £250,000 to as much as £1.2m per acre, dependant upon location. However, a 3 acre site might be worth £500,000 in total in a less affluent area, but as much as £4 million+ in an upmarket location.

* A standard sized football pitch equates to about one acre of land.

Why use LandSite to sell my land?

LandSite is a small, but tenacious company that prides itself on getting the deal done. We are not aggressive, but we are very committed to obtaining the best value for the landowner and a sensible and fair deal for the developer. Whilst a mainstream agent has many different projects as well as various administrative tasks to complete, we will only take on a land disposal or a site search if we can provide clear evidence to the landowner or developer that we can deliver a satisfactory result. We are not bound by the rules and professional regulations of the professional institutions and therefore unlike some larger agency practices we can often provide clear, honest and fair evaluation of value and potential for a site where others may not be able to. LandSite's aim is to get the job done as effectively and efficiently as we can.

Most landowners and developers like using LandSite because we (a) do not charge them fees up-front or on an ongoing basis; (b) we contact potential buyers and potential landowners discreetly and 'off-market'; and (c) we have experience of finding the best users for the land in question and for finding sites to suit a developer's requirement in a specific area or location.

Where does LandSite operate?

LandSite operates across the South-East, the Midlands and higher value parts of the rest of the UK.

What are the costs of selling my land?

LandSite provides its services to landowners free of charge on condition that if we take the land opportunity forward, the landowner provides us with a period of exclusivity. We then seek a fee from the developer (not the landowner), paid only after successful Conditional or Unconditional purchase of the site. We have numerous examples of landowners we have successfully dealt with to secure a sale of their land and we are always happy to provide contact details for a prospective client to ascertain for themselves our abilities in this area.

How long will it take to sell my land?

Much is dictated by the planning process which takes a minimum of 8 weeks to decide each planning application. Discussions to sell a piece of land may take between 2 to 6 months to complete; the planning application would then take a further 3-4 months to prepare properly and then it would be submitted (a further 2-3 months). Realistically you should assume that from contacting LandSite to receiving a payment for your land will take about 12-15 months at best.

Why is there an opportunity at the moment for developing residential sites?

During the last 6 years (to 2013), the UK has not been building enough new homes to meet current demand. Many Local Authorities are now under considerable pressure to grant planning permission for new sites, often in what was previously considered as 'sacrosanct' Green Belt land. Government intervention in the market such as 'Help To Buy' and a relaxation of some planning policies has helped to fuel the demand for housing and the potential for sites to succeed in obtaining planning permission for development.

I have been approached by a land promoter, what is your advice?

Land promoters certainly have a place in the market and there are some excellent and trustworthy companies. However, do be aware that a land promoter will normally require that a landowner must sign an Option or a 'Promotion Agreement', which will then bind your land to them for a period of time. The land promoter may then take the site to several housebuilders or developers to get the best price they can. The ultimate price you get will reflect a deduction against what is known as the 'Open Market Value' (OMV - the actual value of your land with the benefit of a planning permission if it was sold on the open market at that point). In some cases, this deduction may result in the price being 70% to 80% of OMV (e.g. a discount of up to 30%). LandSite take your land directly to the developer and depending upon the circumstances you can expect to get between 90% to 100% of OMV.

Is it expensive to develop land myself?

Yes. A typical medium-sized residential site of 10 acres would cost the developer between £200,000 and £250,000+ to obtain a planning permission for. It could easily cost several million pounds to build the houses and infrastructure apart from the associated payment of costs to the Local Authority such as S106 Payments, the CIL (Community Infrastruture Levy) and road improvements. It is an expensive business and that is why it is always best to try to deal directly with a developer from the outset.