A developer’s guide to Estate Site Set-Up for New Builds
Once a development site is ready to go to market, it is essential to have everything in place ready for a contract pack to be issued to the buyer’s solicitor on reservation. Here Jannah Hibberd explores some of the key information that is required from a developer.
Acquiring a development site can be a rather lengthy process, meeting planning condition requirements, negotiating infrastructure agreements and much more. After all of the work the developer has gone through to get a spade in the ground, they need to ensure they are ready for the next step – selling the new builds (plot sales).
The Estate Site Set Up of a development forms the foundation to ensuring plot sales are progressed as quickly as possible, but what will you need? Below are some of the key documents a developer’s solicitor will need to prepare the Estate Site Set Up.
Site Information Sheet
It is essential to have a comprehensive site information sheet containing as much information about the development as possible. This minimises buyers’ solicitors raising enquiries and gives the buyer’s solicitor a head start when reviewing the title documentation.
This includes Official Copy Entries of the site, along with any supporting documents. The buyer’s solicitor will need to review these as part of the conveyancing process.
Draft Contract and Transfer or Lease
Drafting a contract and transfer or lease that works for the development is paramount. It needs to suit the development and be buyer friendly to reduce enquires. We work with developers to agree the drafting before the marketing of the plots, so it is ready to be issued on the first reservation.
Plans can be a minefield for developers. It is essential to have Land Registry compliant plans for buyers’ solicitors to carry out searches. We would recommend obtaining Land Registry approval to the sale plans to eliminate the risk of requisitions for buyers’ solicitors post completion.
The developer should ensure that all pre-commencement and pre-development conditions in the planning permissions are discharged and evidence of this is provided in the legal pack. It would be advisable to have a live planning tracker throughout the life cycle of the development.
This should include the Initial Notice and the Final Certificate when it is available.
New Homes Warranty
The development should be registered with a new home warranty provider which is accepted by most lenders. This will give confidence to the buyers to proceed with the purchase.
Section 106 Agreements
Most developments will be subject to a s106 agreement between the developer and the local authority. Developers need to ensure evidence of compliance with their obligations in the s106 agreement is available, in particular the confirmation that financial contributions have been made.
If the local authority have adopted a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) the developer needs to ensure they have evidence of payment which needs including in the legal pack.
Section 104 Agreement
If the sewers within the development are to be adopted, the developer will need to enter into an adoption agreement with the Water Authority. A copy of this agreement should be included in the legal pack.
Section 38 Agreement
If the roads within the development are to be adopted an adoption agreement between the Highways Authority and the developer is required and should be included in the legal pack.
The above list is not extensive but provides an idea of what an Estate Site Set up looks like.
The point of a legal pack is to provide as much information to the buyers as possible at the outset to reduce the number of enquiries and promote confidence in the development.
If you have any questions or require any further advice on this topic, get in touch with our specialist teams today at firstname.lastname@example.org
[This blog is intended to give general information only and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. The contents of this blog should not be regarded as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Readers are advised to seek specific legal advice.]