Complex world of valuation of development land

Some key issues can impact on value

31 August 2017

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We have been asked to consider what issues are relevant when valuing an attractive parcel of agricultural land allocated for residential development. No two sites are the same and each will have different issues but below are just a few key issues that can impact on value.


If the site is attractive this may be because there are hedges and mature trees which are protected.  There could be streams and watercourses which restrict development.  The field could be home to rare species of plants and animals such as orchids, newts, badgers and bats.  There may also be invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed which delay development and can be expensive to remedy.  Obtaining an ecology report in a timely manner is important; this can take time as often investigations need to span the seasons.


Even if a site is allocated in the Local Development Plan for residential redevelopment, until an implementable planning consent has been obtained there is still a large amount of uncertainty. Issues which affect value are the density of development; the contributions required in terms of Community Infrastructure Levy/Planning Obligations; and the percentage of Affordable Housing required on site.


The Local Highway Authority will require that any access to a new development is safe.  Sometimes clients do not control all of the land required between a site and the adopted highway, which may be land over which access is taken or just a small area to provide sufficient visibility splays. This can allow a third party to ransom the development.


The ability to link into mains services is not guaranteed, particularly in rural areas and the mains capacity needs to be investigated at an early stage.


The interest that is held needs to be understood, to ensure that there are no third party interests which can prevent redevelopment.  These could be in the form of restrictive covenants, rights of way or easements.

If you would like further information or advice, our professional independent valuation and consultancy team will be happy to talk to you about how you can obtain an accurate picture of asset worth.

Jane Shankland is very approachable and responsive as well as having sound all round experience of rating law. The Council has benefited greatly from Jane’s support, sound advice and skill and the Council will continue to use her services.

Louise Horner, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council