CITY of York Council’s consultation on its preferred development sites ended in September with its findings being reviewed and considered.

As the emerging Local Plan evolves, evidence from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment suggests that there is a significant undersupply of housing in the district.

As such, landowners, developers and promoters are increasingly seeking to secure land for development.

A landowner should consider the options available if land is owned which might be suitable for development.

The Lupton Fawcett Property team has noted that both its developer and landowner clients are choosing to use promotion agreements to deal with future development potential.

Under a promotion agreement a promoter (usually an experienced developer) obtains planning permission for development of the land, and when the land is sold the promoter takes a share of the profit.

This is different to an option agreement, where the developer, having obtained planning permission, has the exclusive right to purchase the land at a price (or a calculation) that is often fixed before a planning permission is granted.

However, the promotion agreement is becoming increasingly popular with developers too, given the flexibility that they provide.

But before entering into a promotion agreement, landowners should give careful thought to the following:

• Protection of the use, value and future development potential of any retained land if the planning permission only affects part of the landowner’s land.

• Securing a minimum land value while driving for maximisation of value.

• Using the land during the planning process.

• How much involvement does the landowner want in the planning process? This can be particularly important if they live nearby or will be retaining adjoining land.

• What happens if the promoter fails to fulfil its obligations in the agreement?

• Who pays “the upfront cost”?

• Will the promoter’s deductible costs be capped?

• How will the sale proceeds be split?

• Is the promoter involved in competing sites?

• How much profit should we “give away”?

We know that such a land transaction is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a landowner and that it is important that you receive clear and decisive advice.

Lupton Fawcett acts for developers and landowners alike in such transaction. This experience, expertise and strength in depth means we can get the best outcome for you, your business and your family.

• Jonathan Moore is a director and head of the York Office Commercial Property Team of Lupton Fawcett.

He can be contacted at or on 01904 561407.