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1) Poor due diligence on site constraints.

All land is NOT equal. Every potential development site is unique and has its own constraints that have to be discovered, negotiated and resolved. These constraints can rage from covenants, to Tree preservation orders or hidden utility cables that lie underground and can cost a fortune to relocate.


Only thorough investigation can highlight all of the potential constraints and more often that not, some of these constraints can make of break the deal so it is in everyone’s best interest to determine what constraints are present first.


There is nothing worse than gaining planning permission to then find that the physical build is not financially viable.  The land owner doesn’t sell the land for the price they were promised and the developer probably goes bankrupt.

2) Poor Design

Optimal layout and design of any development site is an absolute fundamental of any serious developer. The right layout maximises square footage and optimal unit size as well as meets the needs of planning policy. Designing a site from the very beginning that ticks all the boxes is a rare skill.

For land owners, the more lucrative the site layout and design is, the greater the value of land.

3) Lack of Knowledge / Effective Plan

Knowing what to do for the whole planning process is a priceless skill that is acquired over years of hard work and education. Thousands of planing applications are submitted every year that get refused and a lot of those applications are on sites that will never get planning approved anytime soon.

Knowing the system and rules is where a successful plan can save thousands of pounds and in some cases years of ups and downs.


Some planning sites are strategically approved by going to appeal. Having the right plan in place from day one is critical.


“Fail to plan, plan to fail”

4) No Sales or Marketing 

What most developers fail to realise is that once all the rules and technical elements of a development site have been designed, the next major element of gaining a successful planning application is marketing and selling the concept to the authorities. 

A properly marketed and sales effort will minimise any delays and concerns on a development site. 


If a potential development site is marketed and sold right, everyone wins.

5) Greed

"Greed is so destructive, it destroys everything" 

And that is where most development proposals go wrong. Asking for too much will not sit well with planners and unless you have covered all the above, they will throw every possible reason as to why they will not approve the application they can. 

As a result, planning is never going to be obtainable which then leaves the land owners deserted from a sale they were promised. 

If you have land that is a potential development site and you want to avoid all of the above mistakes, click the contact button below for an informal chat.


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