Strategic Land

Securing or disposing of land to deliver new homes and communities is a complex process requiring expert advice. Our long established Strategic Land team has extensive experience working on both greenfield and brownfield sites with medium to long term development potential for residential development.

We work with a wide range of landowners, promoters and developers and we have an in depth knowledge of the legal structures and issues relating to the promotion of strategic land to development stage so as to unlock value and deliver new communities. 

Our integrated approach combines the specialist expertise of our real estate and planning lawyers with our construction, tax, trusts and corporate specialists. We work with our clients at every stage, from structuring the initial transaction, through to planning and development. Our services include:

  • Structuring advice in relation to heads of terms in respect of promotion agreements, strategic options, conditional contracts, overage arrangements, joint ventures and collaboration agreements;
  • Transactional real estate advice – taking the deal through from heads of terms stage to conclusion;
  • Planning advice – including section 106 agreements, planning appeals and environmental issues;
  • Tax and trusts advice – including strategic estate planning, tax issues linked to joint ventures and land pooling; and
  • Tenancies and third party occupiers – including achieving vacant possession and dealing with third party tenancies and leases.

Alongside our Strategic Land practice, we also have a particularly strong residential development practice. We act for a broad range of developers in the acquisition of land for short term residential development, setting up schemes for disposal and selling plots. The depth of our industry knowledge gained from operating extensively in this sector means that we are exceptionally well placed to navigate the risks and challenges which arise when advising clients in relation to medium or longer term strategic land.

"Commercial and forward-thinking, putting the client relationship first. Commercially astute providing clear and concise advice."
Chambers & Partners UK
‘Comprehensive team of expert property lawyers experienced in real estate transactions and the sale of development sites in particular’. ‘They have good resources as a firm so are able to call on support for tax, VAT, planning, trusts and corporate law matters’
Legal 500

Recent experience

  • Acting for a group of private landowners in a promotion agreement relating to the potential residential development of a 100 acre site near Exeter, including a landowner’s agreement regulating the complex relationship between the land-owning parties and providing for a land pooling trust and equalisation of the sale proceeds.
  • Acting for a leading regional developer in the securing of options to acquire land for residential development where our role includes the provision of detailed structuring advice and the development of bespoke documents addressing a range of planning contexts with input from our planning team.
  • Acting for a landed estate in the north of England in relation to circa 1000 acres of the Estate's lands which are zoned for inclusion in the Greater Manchester Development Framework for industrial/distribution/ residential and mixed use development. This involves complex agreements with a joint venture consortium addressing issues such as the treatment of major up front infrastructure, and tax suspension arrangements.
  • Acting for a leading regional land promoter in securing a promotion agreement relating to land for residential development with provision, for example, for the promotion of sites in phases, the disposal of consented sites in tranches and arrangements dealing with the provision of roads and services to adjoining land as well as acquisitions, onward sales and the exercise of options.
  • Acting for private landowners in South Wales in relation to a major land holding within the local plan for housing development involving a series of option agreements with a national house builder, renewals and extensions of options and guidance from our planning team through the planning and infrastructure processes necessary to unlock the land for development.
  • Acting for a group of local authorities in Essex in relation to the initial promotion and due diligence stage of an exciting garden communities' project for the delivery of over 10,000 proposed new homes in three garden communities to be supported by the delivery of new roads and infrastructure.
  • Acting for a landed estate in Devon which has embarked on a series of joint venture agreements with national and regional house builders to deliver sites with permission for more than 500 new homes in East Devon with provision to allow the Estate to exercise control over quality and design to secure its legacy as well as to share in the profits of the ventures.
  • Acting for an offshore landowning trust in relation to the sale to a national house builder of a site with planning permission for over 230 dwellings in Cornwall with arrangements for the site assembly to be secured by agreements with the adjoining landowners and addressing complex issues relating to mineral rights.