Land acquisition is the stages of purchasing land for several different uses including building or holding for future development. The Acquisition of Land Act 1981 is the current legislation in the UK and the process is like buying a property. At Haggar Construction, we have a friendly team to support you finding land, surveying and projection management during every stage of construction.
The obvious starting point is choosing an area to focus your research on and considering whether you plan to build a commercial or residential development (now, or in the future). Will this be a Brownfield, Greenfield, or Green Belt site? Online sites such as Rightmove, OnTheMarket and Plotfinder can filter land for sale but at Hagger, we strongly recommend registering your requirements with local estate agents as you are more likely to find unlisted plots. Alternatively, you can search for government land to purchase and in rare cases, appeal for the acquisition of land that is not for sale. Specialist auctions do sell land and whether you go through the traditional estate agent route or via auction, do try to visit the site in person to get a feel for the land and surrounding area.
Once you have found the land you wish to acquire, contact the owner or agent to make an offer. If you see potential in land that is not currently for sale, you can still contact the landowner and make an offer or use a local estate to act on your behalf. However, we strongly recommend that you carry out comprehensive research before submitting any offer.
If you are looking at Greenfield or Brownfield sites then read our article ‘What are Greenfield and Brownfield sites? ‘ to learn more.
Although the process of buying land is like that of a normal property purchase, it is less complicated. Hire the services of a land surveyor to carry out a thorough evaluation of the land – a local estate agent will have recommendations if you do not already have one. The report will provide you with information on the feasibility of the site and potential issues that could arise. Expect to pay £500+ for a survey and then if you are happy to proceed, pay a solicitor to handle the legalities of the purchase. Estate agents will again provide you with reputable solicitors and expect to pay a fixed fee or 0.5% of the sale price in fees.
Finalising the deal
Ensure your finances are in good condition. Banks consider land purchases riskier as there is nothing to recoup should you default on payments. Fortunately, the process of applying for financing is what you would expect when applying for a mortgage and your solicitor will help manage the paperwork side of things. With finances now secured, you can then make an offer on the land. Depending on the interest on the land and the seller’s own circumstances, you may want to make a lower offer at first. If competing with other buyers, a best and final offer may be required.
With agreement reached on the purchase price, a solicitor will handle all the necessary paperwork. Register the land with the HM Land Registry where you will need to provide information such as detailed maps and biographical information about you. You will need to pay the land registration fee but the charges change based on how you submit the application and the cost of the land. A further fee will be required from the stamp duty land tax and around 1% on land over £150,000.
Do you need some advice?
Working with a professional company like Haggar Construction can support you with all stages land purchasing and construction of your development.
Speaking of development, read our article The Real Estate Development Process: Understanding the Risks and Milestones to plan ahead before purchasing your new plot of land.
We pride ourselves on delivering smart, sustainable solutions for our clients’ construction projects, giving each project the time and focus it deserves and ensuring the highest quality outcomes. We are a family-run business with a huge amount of experience in the construction industry, working on large and small scale projects, but always with the highest level of commitment and professionalism.
We seek to add value to your project with our expert knowledge, forward-thinking approach and transparent service. If you are looking for a hands-on team to help you with the utilities for your construction project, please do not hesitate to get in touch and one of our friendly team will be happy to help.