RICS draft guidance note - Valuation of development land, 1st edition

Valuation of development land, 1st edition

Appendix A: Factual issues

A1 Inspection and site-specific information

A1.1 Valuers are reminded that sites for potential development may contain many hazards. For a comprehensive guide to safe working practice, see Surveying safely: health and safety principles for property professionals (2nd edition), RICS guidance note.

A1.2 Physical inspection of the site, and related enquiries, will reveal site-specific information. Such information, either positive or negative, could include:

  • the presence of archaeological features. These may be evident, or there may be a high probability of their presence due to the site location (for instance, close to city centres)
  • evidence of waste management obligations and whether these obligations have been fulfilled
  • water or mineral extraction rights that may be available
  • geotechnical conditions, including potential for contamination or other environmental risks (see Environmental risks and global real estate (1st edition), RICS guidance note)
  • limitations, encumbrances or conditions imposed on the relevant interest by private contract
  • rights of access to public highways or other public areas
  • the availability of and requirements to provide or improve necessary services, for example, water, drainage or power and
  • the need for any off-site infrastructure improvements and the rights required to undertake this work.

A2 Existing planning matters

A2.1 The planning regime is an important factor in the value of development land. It regulates overall development. However, there are some generic principles and issues to address when undertaking a development valuation. These include:

  • the existence of any particular development plan or elements of zoning of land for different uses
  • the existence of any current permissions to undertake development. This may be in outline or in full and may include conditions or reserved matters
  • where the permission is time limited it is necessary to establish if it is still valid and, if close to expiry, if a similar permission would be granted again
  • the existence of regulations that specify the extent to which development of the site might be permissible without the need for a planning application or consent
  • the permitted use of existing buildings (if to be retained) or the possibility of identifying an established use
  • legally binding agreements that have been, or are to be, documented in order to secure the grant of planning permission
  • any special controls that may apply to the site or buildings (for example, these may relate to heritage and conservation of sites or buildings)
  • requirements to protect or enhance environmentally sensitive features, such as water courses or wildlife, and to comply with the relevant environmental protection legislation and
  • any requirements for view corridors, sight lines or buffer zones.